Suriname: People & Society#

Population585,824 (July 2016 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Surinamer(s)
adjective: Surinamese
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%
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), Caribbean Hindustani (a dialect of Hindi), Javanese
ReligionsHindu 27.4%, Protestant 25.2% (predominantly Moravian), Roman Catholic 22.8%, Muslim 19.6%, indigenous beliefs 5%
Demographic profileSuriname is a pluralistic society consisting primarily of Creoles (persons of mixed African and European heritage), the descendants of escaped African slaves known as Maroons, and the descendants of Indian and Javanese contract workers. The country overall is in full, post-industrial demographic transition, with a low fertility rate, a moderate mortality rate, and a rising life expectancy. However, the Maroon population of the rural interior lags behind because of lower educational attainment and contraceptive use, higher malnutrition, and significantly less access to electricity, potable water, sanitation, infrastructure, and health care. Some 350,000 people of Surinamese descent live in the Netherlands, Suriname's former colonial ruler. In the 19th century, better-educated, largely Dutch-speaking Surinamese began emigrating to the Netherlands. World War II interrupted the outflow, but it resumed after the war when Dutch labor demands grew - emigrants included all segments of the Creole population. Suriname still is strongly influenced by the Netherlands because most Surinamese have relatives living there and it is the largest supplier of development aid. Other emigration destinations include French Guiana and the United States. Suriname's immigration rules are flexible, and the country is easy to enter illegally because rainforests obscure its borders. Since the mid-1980s, Brazilians have settled in Suriname's capital, Paramaribo, or eastern Suriname, where they mine gold. This immigration is likely to slowly re-orient Suriname toward its Latin American roots.
Age structure0-14 years: 25.15% (male 75,088/female 72,261)
15-24 years: 17.46% (male 52,129/female 50,141)
25-54 years: 44.36% (male 132,334/female 127,562)
55-64 years: 7.16% (male 20,564/female 21,394)
65 years and over: 5.86% (male 14,848/female 19,503) (2016 est.)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 50.8%
youth dependency ratio: 40.4%
elderly dependency ratio: 10.4%
potential support ratio: 9.6% (2015 est.)
Median agetotal: 29.5 years
male: 29.1 years
female: 29.9 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate1.05% (2016 est.)
Birth rate16 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate6.1 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate0.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Population distributionpopulation concentrated along the nothern coastal strip; the remainder of the country is sparsely populated
Urbanizationurban population: 66% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 0.78% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - populationPARAMARIBO (capital) 234,000 (2014)
Sex ratioat 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: 1.04 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Maternal mortality rate155 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 25.3 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 29.5 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 20.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 72.2 years
male: 69.8 years
female: 74.8 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate1.95 children born/woman (2016 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate47.6% (2010)
Health expenditures5.7% of GDP (2014)
Hospital bed density3.1 beds/1,000 population (2010)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 98.1% of population
rural: 88.4% of population
total: 94.8% of population
urban: 1.9% of population
rural: 11.6% of population
total: 5.2% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 88.4% of population
rural: 61.4% of population
total: 79.2% of population
urban: 11.6% of population
rural: 38.6% of population
total: 20.8% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate1.08% (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS3,800 (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths100 (2015 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria

note: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses an important risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus (2016)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate26.1% (2014)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight5.8% (2010)
Education expendituresNA
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 95.6%
male: 96.1%
female: 95% (2015 est.)
Child labor - children ages 5-14total number: 6,094
percentage: 6% (2006 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 15.3%
male: 11.6%
female: 21.7% (2013 est.)