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Basic Facts
Country name conventional long form: Republic of Suriname
conventional short form: Suriname
local long form: Republiek Suriname
local short form: Suriname
former: Netherlands Guiana, Dutch Guiana
Gevernment typeconstitutional democracy
Capital name: Paramaribo
geographic coordinates: 5 50 N, 55 10 W
time difference: UTC-3 (2 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Flag descriptionfive horizontal bands of green (top, double width), white, red (quadruple width), white, and green (double width); there is a large, yellow, five-pointed star centered in the red band
CurrencySurinam dollar (SRD)
Internet country code.sr
Ports and terminalsParamaribo
Agriculture productspaddy rice, bananas, palm kernels, coconuts, plantains, peanuts; beef, chickens; shrimp; forest products
Industriesbauxite and gold mining, alumina production; oil, lumbering, food processing, fishing
Geography
LocationNorthern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between French Guiana and Guyana
Coordinates4 00 N, 56 00 W
ContinentSouth America
Area total: 163,270 sq km
land: 161,470 sq km
water: 1,800 sq km
Boundaries total: 1,703 km
border countries: Brazil 593 km, French Guiana 510 km, Guyana 600 km
Coastline386 km
Climatetropical; moderated by trade winds
Terrainmostly rolling hills; narrow coastal plain with swamps
Natural resourcestimber, hydropower, fish, kaolin, shrimp, bauxite, gold, and small amounts of nickel, copper, platinum, iron ore
Natural hazardsNA
People
Population439,117 (July 2006 est.)
Ethnic groupsHindustani (also known locally as "East Indians"; their ancestors emigrated from northern India in the latter part of the 19th century) 37%, Creole (mixed white and black) 31%, Javanese 15%, "Maroons" (their African ancestors were brought to the country in the 17th and 18th centuries as slaves and escaped to the interior) 10%, Amerindian 2%, Chinese 2%, white 1%, other 2%
ReligionsHindu 27.4%, Protestant 25.2% (predominantly Moravian), Roman Catholic 22.8%, Muslim 19.6%, indigenous beliefs 5%
LanguagesDutch (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

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