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People and Society






Originally a Dutch colony in the 17th century, by 1815 Guyana had become a British possession. The abolition of slavery led to black settlement of urban areas and the importation of indentured servants from India to work the sugar plantations. This 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 reelected in 2001 and again in 2006. Donald RAMOTAR was elected president in 2011.


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People And Society

Noun Guyanese (singular and plural)
Adjective Guyanese

Ethnic groups
East Indian 43.5%, black (African) 30.2%, mixed 16.7%, Amerindian 9.1%, other 0.5% (2002 census)

English, Amerindian dialects, Creole, Caribbean Hindustani (a dialect of Hindi), Urdu

Protestant 30.5% (Pentecostal 16.9%, Anglican 6.9%, Seventh-Day Adventist 5%, Methodist 1.7%), Hindu 28.4%, Roman Catholic 8.1%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.1%, Muslim 7.2%, other Christian 17.7%, other 4.3%, none 4.3% (2002 census)

Population World Ranking: 163
741,908 (July 2012 est.)
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

Age structure
0-14 years
31.9% (male 120,981/female 116,654)
15-64 years
63.3% (male 235,566/female 235,717)
65 years and over
4.8% (male 14,801/female 21,049) (2011 est.)

Median age
Total 24.2 years
Male 23.5 years
Female 25 years (2012 est.)

Population growth rate World Ranking: 212
-0.327% (2012 est.)

Birth rate World Ranking: 121
16.69 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Death rate World Ranking: 125
7.18 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)

Net migration rate World Ranking: 214
-12.78 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Urban population 29% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization
0.5% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major cities - population
GEORGETOWN (capital) 132,000 (2009)

Sex ratio
At birth 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over 0.69 male(s)/female
Total population
0.99 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal mortality rate World Ranking: 41
280 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)

Infant mortality rate World Ranking: 67
Total 35.59 deaths/1,000 live births
Male 39.74 deaths/1,000 live births
31.25 deaths/1,000 live births (2012 est.)

Life expectancy at birth World Ranking: 159
Total population 67.39 years
Male 63.57 years
Female 71.4 years (2012 est.)

Total fertility rate World Ranking: 98
2.27 children born/woman (2012 est.)

Health expenditures World Ranking: 101
6.1% of GDP (2009)

Physicians density
0.48 physicians/1,000 population (2000)

Hospital bed density
1.9 beds/1,000 population (2007)

Hiv/aids - adult prevalence rate World Ranking: 43
1.2% (2009 est.)

Hiv/aids - people living with hiv/aids World Ranking: 117
5,900 (2009 est.)

Hiv/aids - deaths World Ranking: 87
Fewer than 500 (2009 est.)

Major infectious diseases
Degree of risk High
Food or waterborne diseases
Bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
Vectorborne diseases Dengue fever and malaria
Water contact disease Leptospirosis (2009)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight World Ranking: 63
10.8% (2007)

Education expenditures World Ranking: 28
6.1% of GDP (2007)

Age 15 and over has ever attended school
Total population 91.8%
Male 92%
Female 91.6% (2002 Census)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
Total 12 years
Male 12 years
Female 12 years (2009)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 World Ranking: 35
Total 24.1%
Male 20.6%
Female 31.3% (2002)


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  Guyana (Georgetown):

  GPS points from Guyana (Georgetown)

Sarakuiparu Creek Cuyuni-mazaruni Region

Regenback Demerara-mahaica Region

Cedral Lake Upper Takutu-upper Essequibo Region

Yakusari Creek East Berbice-corentyne Region

Kangaruma Potaro-siparuni Region

Blygezight Demerara-mahaica Region

Kwasikubai River Barima-waini Region

Beterverwagting Demerara-mahaica Region
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