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Quick Facts
CapitalParamaribo
Governmentconstitutional democracy
CurrencySurinamese Dollar(SRD)
Areatotal: 163,270 sq km
land: 161,470 sq km
water: 1,800 sq km
Population436,494 (July 2002 est.)
LanguageDutch (official), English (widely spoken), Sranang Tongo (Surinamese, sometimes called Taki-Taki, is native language of Creoles and much of the younger population and is lingua franca among others), Hindustani (a dialect of Hindi), Javanese
ReligionHindu 27.4%, Muslim 19.6%, Roman Catholic 22.8%, Protestant 25.2% (predominantly Moravian), indigenous beliefs 5%

Suriname, formerly the colony of Netherlands Guiana or Dutch Guiana, is a country in Northern South America. It has a North Atlantic Ocean coastline in the north and is surrounded by French Guiana to the east, Brazil to the south and Guyana to the west. It is the smallest independent country on South American continent. The relatively small population lives mostly along the coast.

Regions

Administrative divisions 
10 districts (distrikten, singular - distrikt); Brokopondo, Commewijne, Coronie, Marowijne, Nickerie, Para, Paramaribo, Saramacca, Sipaliwini, Wanica

Cities

  • Paramaribo - Capital
  • Albina
  • Moengo
  • New Nickerie
  • Paranam
  • Wageningen

Understand

Climate

Tropical; moderated by trade winds

Terrain

Mostly rolling hills; narrow coastal plain with swamps. Mostly tropical rain forest; great diversity of flora and fauna that, for the most part, is increasingly threatened by new development.

Elevation extremes 
lowest point: unnamed location in the coastal plain -2 m
highest point: Juliana Top 1,230 m

History

Independence from the Netherlands was granted in 1975. Five years later the civilian government was replaced by a military regime that soon declared a socialist republic. It continued to rule through a succession of nominally civilian administrations until 1987, when international pressure finally forced a democratic election. In 1989, the military overthrew the civilian government, but a democratically-elected government returned to power in 1991.

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