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Guyana :: South America



Originally a Dutch colony in the 17th century, by 1815 Guyana had become a British possession. The abolition of slavery led to settlement of urban areas by former slaves and the importation of indentured servants from India to work the sugar plantations. The resulting ethnocultural divide has persisted and has led to turbulent politics. Guyana achieved independence from the UK in 1966, and since then it has been ruled mostly by socialist-oriented governments. In 1992, Cheddi JAGAN was elected president in what is considered the country's first free and fair election since independence. After his death five years later, his wife, Janet JAGAN, became president but resigned in 1999 due to poor health. Her successor, Bharrat JAGDEO, was elected in 2001 and again in 2006. Early elections held in May 2015 resulted in the first change in governing party and the replacement of President Donald RAMOTAR by current President David GRANGER. After a December 2018 no-confidence vote against the GRANGER government, national elections will be held before the scheduled spring 2020 date.



Northern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Suriname and Venezuela

Geographic coordinates:

5 00 N, 59 00 W

Map references:

South America


total: 214,969 sq km
land: 196,849 sq km
water: 18,120 sq km
country comparison to the world: 85

Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than Idaho; almost twice the size of Tennessee

Land boundaries:

total: 2,933 km
border countries (3): Brazil 1308 km, Suriname 836 km, Venezuela 789 km


459 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the outer edge of the continental margin


tropical; hot, humid, moderated by northeast trade winds; two rainy seasons (May to August, November to January)


mostly rolling highlands; low coastal plain; savanna in south


mean elevation: 207 m
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Laberintos del Norte on Mount Roraima 2,775 m

Natural resources:

bauxite, gold, diamonds, hardwood timber, shrimp, fish

Land use:

agricultural land: 8.4% (2011 est.)
arable land: 2.1% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 0.1% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 6.2% (2011 est.)
forest: 77.4% (2011 est.)
other: 14.2% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land:

1,430 sq km (2012)

Population distribution:

population is heavily concentrated in the northeast in and around Georgetown, with noteable concentrations along the Berbice River to the east; the remainder of the country is sparsely populated

Natural hazards:

flash flood threat during rainy seasons

Environment - current issues:

water pollution from sewage and agricultural and industrial chemicals; deforestation

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:

the third-smallest country in South America after Suriname and Uruguay; substantial portions of its western and eastern territories are claimed by Venezuela and Suriname respectively; contains some of the largest unspoiled rainforests on the continent

People and Society


750,204 (July 2020 est.)
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected
country comparison to the world: 166


noun: Guyanese (singular and plural)
adjective: Guyanese

Ethnic groups:

East Indian 39.8%, African descent 29.3%, mixed 19.9%, Amerindian 10.5%, other 0.5% (includes Portuguese, Chinese, white) (2012 est.)


English (official), Guyanese Creole, Amerindian languages (including Caribbean and Arawak languages), Indian languages (including Caribbean Hindustani, a dialect of Hindi), Chinese (2014 est.)


Protestant 34.8% (Pentecostal 22.8%, Seventh Day Adventist 5.4%, Anglican 5.2%, Methodist 1.4%), Hindu 24.8%, Roman Catholic 7.1%, Muslim 6.8%, Jehovah's Witness 1.3%, Rastafarian 0.5%, other Christian 20.8%, other 0.9%, none 3.1% (2012 est.)

Demographic profile:

Guyana is the only English-speaking country in South America and shares cultural and historical bonds with the Anglophone Caribbean. Guyana's two largest ethnic groups are the Afro-Guyanese (descendants of African slaves) and the Indo-Guyanese (descendants of Indian indentured laborers), which together comprise about three quarters of Guyana's population. Tensions periodically have boiled over between the two groups, which back ethnically based political parties and vote along ethnic lines. Poverty reduction has stagnated since the late 1990s. About one-third of the Guyanese population lives below the poverty line; indigenous people are disproportionately affected. Although Guyana's literacy rate is reported to be among the highest in the Western Hemisphere, the level of functional literacy is considerably lower, which has been attributed to poor education quality, teacher training, and infrastructure. ++ Guyana's emigration rate is among the highest in the world - more than 55% of its citizens reside abroad - and it is one of the largest recipients of remittances relative to GDP among Latin American and Caribbean counties. Although remittances are a vital source of income for most citizens, the pervasive emigration of skilled workers deprives Guyana of professionals in healthcare and other key sectors. More than 80% of Guyanese nationals with tertiary level educations have emigrated. Brain drain and the concentration of limited medical resources in Georgetown hamper Guyana's ability to meet the health needs of its predominantly rural population. Guyana has one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the region and continues to rely on international support for its HIV treatment and prevention programs.

Age structure:

0-14 years: 23.91% (male 91,317/female 88,025)
15-24 years: 21.23% (male 81,294/female 77,987)
25-54 years: 39.48% (male 154,825/female 141,385)
55-64 years: 8.37% (male 29,385/female 33,386)
65 years and over: 7.01% (male 21,325/female 31,275) (2020 est.)

Dependency ratios:

total dependency ratio: 53.2
youth dependency ratio: 42.5
elderly dependency ratio: 10.7
potential support ratio: 9.3 (2020 est.)

Median age:

total: 27.5 years
male: 27.2 years
female: 27.9 years (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 146

Population growth rate:

0.72% (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 134

Birth rate:

15.5 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112

Death rate:

7.5 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 102

Net migration rate:

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 83

Population distribution:

population is heavily concentrated in the northeast in and around Georgetown, with noteable concentrations along the Berbice River to the east; the remainder of the country is sparsely populated


urban population: 26.8% of total population (2020)
rate of urbanization: 0.83% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

Major urban areas - population:

110,000 GEORGETOWN (capital) (2018)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.1 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.88 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.68 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth:

20.8 years (2009 est.)
note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

Maternal mortality rate:

667 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 9

Infant mortality rate:

total: 27.6 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 31.3 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 23.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 63

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 69.5 years
male: 66.5 years
female: 72.6 years (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 168

Total fertility rate:

1.89 children born/woman (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 130

Contraceptive prevalence rate:

33.9% (2014)

Drinking water source:

improved: urban: 100% of population
rural: 95.6% of population
total: 96.7% of population
unimproved: urban: 0% of population
rural: 38.7% of population
total: 26.5% of population (2017 est.)

Current Health Expenditure:

4.9% (2017)

Physicians density:

0.8 physicians/1,000 population (2018)

Hospital bed density:

1.7 beds/1,000 population (2016)

Sanitation facility access:

improved: urban: 97.8% of population
rural: 95.4% of population
total: 96% of population
unimproved: urban: 2.2% of population
rural: 4.6% of population
total: 4% of population (2017 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

1.4% (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 33

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

8,700 (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 109

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

<200 (2019 est.)

Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: very high (2020)
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria

Obesity - adult prevalence rate:

20.2% (2016)
country comparison to the world: 103

Children under the age of 5 years underweight:

8.2% (2014)
country comparison to the world: 70

Education expenditures:

5.5% of GDP (2018)
country comparison to the world: 35


definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 88.5%
male: 87.2%
female: 89.8% (2015)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 11 years
male: 11 years
female: 12 years (2012)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:

total: 21.5%
male: 17.3%
female: 27.7% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 58


Country name:

conventional long form: Cooperative Republic of Guyana
conventional short form: Guyana
former: British Guiana
etymology: the name is derived from Guiana, the original name for the region that included British Guiana, Dutch Guiana, and French Guiana; ultimately the word is derived from an indigenous Amerindian language and means "Land of Many Waters" (referring to the area's multitude of rivers and streams)

Government type:

parliamentary republic


name: Georgetown
geographic coordinates: 6 48 N, 58 09 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
etymology: when the British took possession of the town from the Dutch in 1812, they renamed it Georgetown in honor of King George III (1738-1820)

Administrative divisions:

10 regions; Barima-Waini, Cuyuni-Mazaruni, Demerara-Mahaica, East Berbice-Corentyne, Essequibo Islands-West Demerara, Mahaica-Berbice, Pomeroon-Supenaam, Potaro-Siparuni, Upper Demerara-Berbice, Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo


26 May 1966 (from the UK)

National holiday:

Republic Day, 23 February (1970)


history: several previous; latest promulgated 6 October 1980
amendments: proposed by the National Assembly; passage of amendments affecting constitutional articles, such as national sovereignty, government structure and powers, and constitutional amendment procedures, requires approval by the Assembly membership, approval in a referendum, and assent of the president; other amendments only require Assembly approval; amended many times, last in 2016

Legal system:

common law system, based on the English model, with some Roman-Dutch civil law influence

International law organization participation:

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


citizenship by birth: yes
citizenship by descent only: yes
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: na


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: President Mohammed Irfaan ALI (since 2 August 2020); First Vice President Mark PHILLIPS (since 20 May 2015); Vice Presidents Bharrat JAGDEO (since 20 May 2015), Sydney ALLICOCK (since 2 August 2020), Khemraj RAMJATTAN (since 2 August 2020); Prime Minister Mark PHILLIPS (since 2 August 2020); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Mohammed Irfaan ALI (since 2 August 2020); First Vice President Mark PHILLIPS (since 20 May 2015); Vice Presidents Bharrat JAGDEO (since 20 May 2015), Sydney ALLICOCK (since 2 August 2020), Khemraj RAMJATTAN (since 2 August 2020)
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president, responsible to the National Assembly
elections/appointments: the predesignated candidate of the winning party in the last National Assembly election becomes president for a 5-year term (no term limits); election last held on 2 March 2020 (next to be held in 2025); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Mohammed Irfaan ALI (PPP/C) designated president by the majority party in the National Assembly

Legislative branch:

description: unicameral National Assembly (65 seats; 40 members directly elected in a single nationwide constituency and 25 directly elected in multi-seat constituencies - all by closed list proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: last held on 2 March 2020 (next to be held in 2025)
election results: percent of vote by party - PPP/C 50.69%, APNU-AFC 47.34%, LJP 0.58%, ANUG 0.5%, TNM 0.05%, other 0.84%; seats by party - PPP/C 33, APNU-AFC 31, LJP-ANUG-TNM 1; composition - men 43, women 22, percent of women 33.8%; note - the initial results were declared invalid and a partial recount was conducted from 6 May to 8 June 2020, in which PPP/C was declared the winner

Judicial branch:

highest courts: Supreme Court of Judicature (consists of the Court of Appeal with a chief justice and 3 justices, and the High Court with a chief justice and 10 justices organized into 3- or 5-judge panels); note - in 2009, Guyana acceded to the Caribbean Court of Justice as the final court of appeal in civil and criminal cases, replacing that of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London)
judge selection and term of office: Court of Appeal and High Court chief justices appointed by the president; other judges of both courts appointed by the Judicial Service Commission, a body appointed by the president; judges appointed for life with retirement at age 65
subordinate courts: Land Court; magistrates' courts

Political parties and leaders:

A New and United Guyana or ANUG [Ralph RAMKARRAN] ++ A Partnership for National Unity or APNU [David A. GRANGER] ++ Alliance for Change or AFC [Raphael TROTMAN] ++ Justice for All Party [C.N. SHARMA] ++ Liberty and Justice Party or LJP [Lenox SHUMAN] ++ National Independent Party or NIP [Saphier Husain SUBEDAR] ++ People's Progressive Party/Civic or PPP/C [Bharrat JAGDEO] ++ The New Movement or TNM [joint leadership of several medical doctors] ++ The United Force or TUF [Manzoor NADIR] ++ United Republican Party or URP [Vishnu BANDHU]

International organization participation:


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Riyad David INSANALLY (since 16 Sept 2016)
chancery: 2490 Tracy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 265-6900
FAX: [1] (202) 232-1297
consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Sarah-Ann LYNCH (since 13 March 2019)
telephone: [592] 225-4900 through 4909
embassy: US Embassy, 100 Young and Duke Streets, Kingston, Georgetown
mailing address: P. O. Box 10507, Georgetown; US Embassy, 3170 Georgetown Place, Washington DC 20521-3170
FAX: [592] 225-8497

Flag description:

green with a red isosceles triangle (based on the hoist side) superimposed on a long, yellow arrowhead; there is a narrow, black border between the red and yellow, and a narrow, white border between the yellow and the green; green represents forest and foliage; yellow stands for mineral resources and a bright future; white symbolizes Guyana's rivers; red signifies zeal and the sacrifice of the people; black indicates perseverance; also referred to by its nickname The Golden Arrowhead

National symbol(s):

Canje pheasant (hoatzin), jaguar, Victoria Regia water lily; national colors: red, yellow, green, black, white

National anthem:

name: Dear Land of Guyana, of Rivers and Plains
lyrics/music: Archibald Leonard LUKERL/Robert Cyril Gladstone POTTER
note: adopted 1966


Economic overview:

The Guyanese economy exhibited moderate economic growth in recent years and is based largely on agriculture and extractive industries. The economy is heavily dependent upon the export of six commodities - sugar, gold, bauxite, shrimp, timber, and rice - which represent nearly 60% of the country's GDP and are highly susceptible to adverse weather conditions and fluctuations in commodity prices. Guyana closed or consolidated several sugar estates in 2017, reducing production of sugar to a forecasted 147,000 tons in 2018, less than half of 2017 production. Much of Guyana's growth in recent years has come from a surge in gold production. With a record-breaking 700,000 ounces of gold produced in 2016, Gold production in Guyana has offset the economic effects of declining sugar production. In January 2018, estimated 3.2 billion barrels of oil were found offshore and Guyana is scheduled to become a petroleum producer by March 2020. ++ Guyana's entrance into the Caricom Single Market and Economy in January 2006 broadened the country's export market, primarily in the raw materials sector. Guyana has experienced positive growth almost every year over the past decade. Inflation has been kept under control. Recent years have seen the government's stock of debt reduced significantly - with external debt now less than half of what it was in the early 1990s. Despite these improvements, the government is still juggling a sizable external debt against the urgent need for expanded public investment. In March 2007, the Inter-American Development Bank, Guyana's principal donor, canceled Guyana's nearly $470 million debt, equivalent to 21% of GDP, which along with other Highly Indebted Poor Country debt forgiveness, brought the debt-to-GDP ratio down from 183% in 2006 to 52% in 2017. Guyana had become heavily indebted as a result of the inward-looking, state-led development model pursued in the 1970s and 1980s. Chronic problems include a shortage of skilled labor and a deficient infrastructure.

GDP real growth rate:

2.1% (2017 est.)
3.4% (2016 est.)
3.1% (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 131

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

2% (2017 est.)
0.8% (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112

Credit ratings:

GDP (purchasing power parity) - real:

$6.301 billion (2017 est.)
$3.169 billion (2016 est.)
$5.969 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$3.561 billion (2017 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$8,100 (2017 est.)
$8,000 (2016 est.)
$7,800 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
country comparison to the world: 127

Gross national saving:

10.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
15% of GDP (2016 est.)
8.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 161

GDP - composition, by sector of origin:

agriculture: 15.4% (2017 est.)
industry: 15.3% (2017 est.)
services: 69.3% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use:

household consumption: 71.1% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 18.2% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 25.4% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: 0% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 47.8% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -63% (2017 est.)

Ease of Doing Business Index scores:

55.5 (2020)

Agriculture - products:

sugarcane, rice, edible oils; beef, pork, poultry; shrimp, fish


bauxite, sugar, rice milling, timber, textiles, gold mining

Industrial production growth rate:

-5% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 196

Labor force:

313,800 (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 162

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: NA
industry: NA
services: NA

Unemployment rate:

11.1% (2013)
11.3% (2012)
country comparison to the world: 157

Population below poverty line:

35% (2006 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 1.3%
highest 10%: 33.8% (1999)


revenues: 1.002 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 1.164 billion (2017 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:

28.1% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 96

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):

-4.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 165

Public debt:

52.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
50.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 95

Fiscal year:

calendar year

Current account balance:

-$237 million (2017 est.)
$13 million (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 103


$1.439 billion (2017 est.)
$1.38 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 151

Exports - partners:

Canada 24.9%, US 16.5%, Panama 9.6%, UK 7.7%, Jamaica 5.1%, Trinidad and Tobago 5% (2017)

Exports - commodities:

sugar, gold, bauxite, alumina, rice, shrimp, molasses, rum, timber


$1.626 billion (2017 est.)
$1.341 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 175

Imports - commodities:

manufactures, machinery, petroleum, food

Imports - partners:

Trinidad and Tobago 27.5%, US 26.5%, China 8.9%, Suriname 6.1% (2017)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$565.4 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$581 million (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 146

Debt - external:

$1.69 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.542 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 156

Exchange rates:

Guyanese dollars (GYD) per US dollar -
207 (2017 est.)
206.5 (2016 est.)
206.5 (2015 est.)
206.5 (2014 est.)
206.45 (2013 est.)


Electricity access:

electrification - total population: 91.8% (2018)
electrification - urban areas: 96.9% (2018)
electrification - rural areas: 90% (2018)

Electricity - production:

1.01 billion kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 151

Electricity - consumption:

790.1 million kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 161

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 146

Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 158

Electricity - installed generating capacity:

428,000 kW (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 151

Electricity - from fossil fuels:

89% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 56

Electricity - from nuclear fuels:

0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 105

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:

0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 177

Electricity - from other renewable sources:

11% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 78

Crude oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 147

Crude oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 135

Crude oil - imports:

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 139

Crude oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 143

Refined petroleum products - production:

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 155

Refined petroleum products - consumption:

14,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 154

Refined petroleum products - exports:

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 164

Refined petroleum products - imports:

13,720 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 140

Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 144

Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 157

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 119

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 137

Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 145

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:

2.131 million Mt (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 158


Telephones - fixed lines:

total subscriptions: 130,497
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 17.52 (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 131

Telephones - mobile cellular:

total subscriptions: 617,998
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 82.97 (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 169

Telecommunication systems:

general assessment: reliable international long distance service; 100% digital network; national transmission supported by fiber optic cable and rural network by microwaves; more than 150,000 lines; many areas still lack fixed-line telephone services; 2019 budget allocates funds for ICT (Information and Communications Technology) development; broadband subscribers remains small and end-users incur expense to use (2020)
domestic: fixed-line teledensity is about 18 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular teledensity about 83 per 100 persons (2019)
international: country code - 592; landing point for the SG-SCS submarine cable to Suriname, and the Caribbean; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2019)
note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated

Broadcast media:

government-dominated broadcast media; the National Communications Network (NCN) TV is state-owned; a few private TV stations relay satellite services; the state owns and operates 2 radio stations broadcasting on multiple frequencies capable of reaching the entire country; government limits on licensing of new private radio stations has constrained competition in broadcast media

Internet country code:


Internet users:

total: 276,498
percent of population: 37.33% (July 2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 168

Broadband - fixed subscriptions:

total: 64,889
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 9 (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 129


Civil aircraft registration country code prefix:

8R (2016)


117 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 48

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 11 (2017)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 (2017)
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2017)
under 914 m: 8 (2017)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 106 (2013)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 16 (2013)
under 914 m: 89 (2013)


total: 3,995 km (2019)
paved: 799 km (2019)
unpaved: 3,196 km (2019)
country comparison to the world: 155


330 km (the Berbice, Demerara, and Essequibo Rivers are navigable by oceangoing vessels for 150 km, 100 km, and 80 km respectively) (2012)
country comparison to the world: 91

Merchant marine:

total: 56
by type: general cargo 28, oil tanker 6, other 22 (2019)
country comparison to the world: 112

Ports and terminals:

major seaport(s): Georgetown

Military and Security

Military and security forces:

Guyana Defense Force: Army, Air Corps, Coast Guard (2019)

Military expenditures:

1.7% of GDP (2019)
1.6% of GDP (2018)
1.6% of GDP (2017)
1.5% of GDP (2016)
1.5% of GDP (2015)
country comparison to the world: 65

Military and security service personnel strengths:

the Guyana Defense Force has approximately 3,000 active personnel (2019 est.)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions:

the Guyana Defense Force's limited inventory is mostly comprised of second-hand platforms from a variety of foreign suppliers, including Brazil, China, the former Soviet Union, the UK, and the US; since 2000, Guyana has received limited amounts of military equipment from Brazil, China, Costa Rica, and the UK (2019 est.)

Military service age and obligation:

18 years of age or older for voluntary military service; no conscription (2014)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international:

all of the area west of the Essequibo River is claimed by Venezuela preventing any discussion of a maritime boundary; Guyana has expressed its intention to join Barbados in asserting claims before UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) that Trinidad and Tobago's maritime boundary with Venezuela extends into their waters; Suriname claims a triangle of land between the New and Kutari/Koetari Rivers in a historic dispute over the headwaters of the Courantyne

Trafficking in persons:

current situation: Guyana is a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor – children are particularly vulnerable; women and girls from Guyana, Venezuela, Suriname, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic are forced into prostitution in Guyana's interior mining communities and urban areas; forced labor is reported in mining, agriculture, forestry, domestic service, and shops; Guyanese nationals are also trafficked to Suriname, Jamaica, and other Caribbean countries for sexual exploitation and forced labor
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Guyana does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; in 2014, Guyana was granted a waiver from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3 because its government has a written plan that, if implemented would constitute making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; the government released its anti-trafficking action plan in June 2014 but made uneven efforts to implement it; law enforcement was weak, investigating seven trafficking cases, prosecuting four alleged traffickers, and convicting one trafficker – a police officer – who was released on bail pending appeal; in 2014, as in previous years, Guyanese courts dismissed the majority of ongoing trafficking prosecutions; the government referred some victims to care services, which were provided by NGOs with little or no government support (2015)

Illicit drugs:

transshipment point for narcotics from South America - primarily Venezuela - to Europe and the US; producer of cannabis; rising money laundering related to drug trafficking and human smuggling