The former colony of Dutch Guiana on the north
coast of South America became the independent Surinam in
1975. Military coups and insurgency characterized much
of the first period after independence. The population
is of very mixed origin. Most are descendants of
contract workers from India or Java, or of African
slaves. The majority live in the coastal region while
the rest of the country consists mostly of untouched
rainforest. The economy is based on gold, oil and to a
lesser extent agriculture.
Brief profiles of Suriname, including geography, history, politics, economics as well as common acronyms about this country.
Suriname is located in northern South America
with a coast to the Atlantic. On the surface it is South
America's smallest country, corresponding to just over a
third of Sweden's. Most of the country is covered by
rainforest and the climate is tropical.
Suriname, formerly Dutch Guiana, borders the former
British Guiana and French Guiana, which still constitute
French territory. The country also has a shorter border
with Brazil in the south.
Almost the entire population lives on the narrow
coastal plain with mangrove swamps and swamp forests.
Inside the plain takes a slightly hilly landscape. In
southern Suriname several mountain ranges descend
towards the Tumuk Humak Mountains (Tumac-Humac) at the
border with Brazil. Seven major rivers flow north toward
the Atlantic, including the Surinam River, which on its
way to the capital Paramaribo passes the dammed van
Blommestein Lake. Many of the Surinam rivers are
contested and can only be navigated by canoe.
About 90 percent of the land area is covered by
rainforest, which has largely remained untouched.
Wildlife is abundant with monkeys, jaguars and other
cats, slugs, parrots and hummingbirds, frogs and
insects. In the rivers there are pirayas as well as the
world's largest snake, the anaconda.
The climate is hot and humid with high rainfall in
almost all year round, with a peak in May and June when
it falls over 300 mm and rain can be expected almost
every day. Only during the period September to November
it rains slightly less. The temperature is basically the
same all year round.
FACTS - GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
163 265 km2 (2018)
Swedish –4 hours
Adjacent country (s)
Guyana, Brazil, French Guiana
Capital with number of inhabitants
Paramaribo 224,000 (estimated 2019)
Other major cities
Lelydorp 18 200, Niuew Nickerie 13 100 (estimate
Julianatop (1,230 m asl)
from Lake Blommestein
Average Precipitation / month
Paramaribo 310 mm (May), 76 mm (Oct)
Average / day
27 °C (year-round)