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Guyana Country Profile
GEOGRAPHY

The Co-operative Republic of Guyana lies in the north-east of South America, north of the equator. It is bordered by Suriname, Brazil and Venezuela and, to the north and east, extends to the North Atlantic Ocean. The country comprises ten regions.

  • Area: 214,970 sq km (83,000 sq miles)
  • Coastline: 459 km (285 miles)
  • Cities: Capital-Georgetown (pop.  250,000).  Other cities-Linden (29,000) and New Amsterdam (18,000).
  • Terrain: Low coastal plain, hilly sand and clay region, forested highlands, interior savanna.
  • Climate: Tropical
  • Natural resources: bauxite, gold, diamonds, hardwood timber, shrimp, fish
PEOPLE

Guyana’s population of over 756,000 is diverse; the three largest ethnic groups are the Indo-Guyanese (43.5%),
the Afro-Guyanese (30.2%), who constitute the majority urban population, and those of mixed origin (16.7%) who
live in the country’s interior and are divided into a number of different groups. More than 90% of the population lives
along the coastal strip;.and many inland areas are virtually uninhabited.

  • Nationality: Noun and adjective-Guyanese (sing.  and pl.).
  • Population: 756,000 (UN, 2011)
  • Ethnic groups: East Indian origin 43%, African origin 30%, mixed 17%, Amerindian 9%.
  • Religions: Christianity 57%, Hinduism 28%, Muslim 10%, other 5%.
  • Languages: English, Guyanese Creole, Amerindian languages (primarily Carib and Arawak), Hindi, Urdu
  • Education (2007): Years compulsory-ages 5-1/2 to 14-1/2.  Attendance-primary 93.6%, secondary 93%.  Literacy-98.8% of adults who have attended school.
  • Health: Infant mortality rate-30/1,000.  Life expectancy-men 67 years, women 73 years
  • Work force (2007 Bank of Guyana estimates): 333,900.  Industry and commerce-36.4%; agriculture-30.2%; services-30.2%; other-3.2%.
GOVERNMENT

Guyana is a unitary republic with a unicameral parliament known as the National Assembly.

  • Type: Republic within the Commonwealth.
  • Independence: May 26, 1966; Republic, February 23, 1970.
  • Constitution: 1980.
  • Executive Branch: Executive-president (chief of state and head of government), prime minister. 
  • Legislative Branch: unicameral National Assembly of 65 deputies.  The ten administrative regions of the country elect 25 members, 40 are elected from party lists by proportion of the national vote. 
  • Judicial Branch: Judicial Court of Appeal, High Court.
  • Subdivisions: 10 regions.
  • Suffrage: Universal at 18.
  • Membership of international groups/organisations including: CARICOM, WTO, OAS, ACS, UNASUR, ECLAC, United Nations, the Africa-Caribbean-Pacific (ACP group), the Commonwealth, the Group of 77, the Organisation of Islamic Conference, Non-Aligned Movement, the Rio Group.
ELECTORAL SYSTEM

The National Assembly has 65 members elected for a five-year period; 40 elected by proportional representation and 25 indirectly elected by regional assemblies.

  • Election Type: Parliamentary
  • Parliament name: National Assembly
  • Structure of parliament: Unicameral
  • Constituencies: 10 regions
  • Voting system: Proportional Representation
  • Last Parliamentary Election: 28 August 2006
PARTIES IN ELECTION 2015
PPP/C

People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C)

APNU/AFC A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) + Alliance For Change (AFC)
ECONOMY

The economy is based on agriculture and mining, notably of gold and bauxite; the main cash crops are sugar and rice.

  • Nominal GDP: $999.4 million.
  • Real annual growth rate: 2.3%.
  • Per capita GDP (PPP): $3,800.
  • Per capita GDP: $1,298.
  • GNI per capita: US$2,900 (World Bank, 2011)
  • Agriculture: Products-sugar, rice, shrimp, fish, fresh fruits and vegetables.
    Natural resources: Gold, bauxite, diamonds, timber.
  • Industry: Types-mining (gold, bauxite, diamonds), agriculture (sugar, rice, livestock, fresh fruits and vegetables), forestry, fisheries, manufacturing (beverage, foodstuff processing, apparel, footwear assembly, pharmaceuticals), engineering and construction, and services (distribution, financial, transport and communication).
  • Merchandise trade: Exports-$768.2 million: gold, sugar, rice, bauxite, timber, fish and shrimp, prepared food, diamonds, and molasses.  Major export markets- Canada, U.K., U.S., Ukraine, Jamaica, Netherlands, Germany, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, and Belgium.  Imports-$1.2 billion: fuel and lubricants, veterinary medicine, plant equipment, motor cars, iron and steel, electric power machines, cement and fertilizer.  Major suppliers-U.S., Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Suriname, China, United Kingdom, Japan, Finland, Canada, Netherlands.
  • Monetary unit: 1 Guyanese dollar (G$) = 100 cents
Key
A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC); People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C); Healing the Nation Theocracy Party (HTNTP); Independent Party (IP); National Independent Party (NIP); Organisation for the Victory of the People Party (OVPP); The United Force (TUF); United Republican Party (URP); Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM)
Sources
http://www.state.gov/p/wha/ci/gy/
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/country_profiles/1211325.stm
http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/country-profile/south-america/guyana
http://www.commonwealthgovernance.org/countries/americas/guyana/geography/
http://www.clgf.org.uk/userfiles/1/file/Guyana_Local_Government_Profile_2013_CLGF.pdf
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 SEARCH CARIBBEAN ELECTIONS
 VOTER EDUCATION learn more
   Guyana Country Profile
   Guyana Government Structure
   Guyana Election Basics
   The Parliament of Guyana
   Political History and Dynamics
   Electoral Legislation
   Guyana Heads of State & Govenment
   Guyana Timeline
   Your Right to Vote
   Teacher Resources
   Glossary of Election Terms
 POLITICAL PARTIES learn more
  A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance for Change (APNU+APC)
  People's Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C)
  The United Force (TUF)
  Healing the Nation Theocracy Party (HTNTP)
  Independent Party's (IP)
  National Independent Party (NIP)
  Organisation for the Victory of the People Party (OVPP)
  United Republican Party (URP)
 PARTY MANIFESTOS learn more
Download APNNU-AFC 2015 Manifesto
Download PPP/C 2015 Manifesto
Download TUF 2015 Manifesto
Download URP 2015 Manifesto
 POPULAR RESOURCES learn more
Download Guyana Knowledge Centre
Learn more Guyana Heads of State
Learn more Guyana Prime Ministers
Learn more Guyana Leaders of the Opposition
 ABOUT CARIBBEAN ELECTIONS learn more
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