Mostly rolling hills; narrow coastal plain with swamps
Tropical; moderated by trade winds
Population: 566,846 (July 2013 est.)
Languages: Dutch (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
Hindu 27.4%, Protestant 25.2% (predominantly Moravian), Roman Catholic 22.8%, Muslim 19.6%, indigenous beliefs 5%
The economy is dominated by the mining industry, with exports of alumina, gold, and oil accounting for about 85% of exports and 25% of government revenues, making the economy highly vulnerable to mineral price volatility. Economic growth has remained at about 4-5% per year in 2010-13, but the government's budget was strained by high inflation in 2010. In January 2011, the government devalued the currency by 20% and raised taxes to reduce the budget deficit.
Life expectancy is sixty-eight years for men and seventy-three for women, among the highest in South America. The country's economy suffered during the 1980s because of political instability. Health is generally good. Sanitary conditions and nutrition are generally adequate.
US Military Presence/Support