45 Informative Facts About Suriname

Last updated on February 15th, 2019

Suriname, officially known as the Republic of Suriname, is a South American country. Let us learn more about this beautiful country with these 45 facts that discuss its history, people, economy, government and more.

1. It was formerly known as Dutch Guiana.

2. Suriname has a territorial dispute with Guyana and French Guiana.

3. Suriname is the smallest country in South America while Brazil is the largest of all. Suriname is also the least populous country in South America.

4. Chicken with rice is the national dish of Suriname.

5. Suriname is also spelled as “Surinam”. Officially, the spelling “Surinam” was changed to “Suriname” in January 1978.

6. Suriname has a river called the “Suriname River “- also known as the Coppename. The Suriname River is 480 Km long.

7. The Courantyne and the Maroni are other two major rivers of the country. All these rivers flow northward toward the Atlantic.

8. The central and southeastern parts of the country receive the highest rainfall.

9. There are close to 350 species of fish in the coastal and inland waters of the country.

Flag of Suriname

flag of Suriname
The National Flag of Suriname. Image credit – CIA.

10. Between 1667 and 1954, Suriname was a Dutch colony.

11. In 1954 Suriname, became one of the constituent countries of the Netherlands until November 1975, when it became an independent state.

12. Suriname is also the only territory outside Europe where Dutch is spoken by a majority of the population. Dutch is spoken by around 24 million people as a first language and it is the third most spoken West Germanic language after English and German. It is also spoken in the Netherlands, Belgium, Aruba, and the Dutch Antilles.

13. Despite Suriname’s low population, the country has a diverse population which comprises of people coming from various ethnicities, religions and linguistic groups.

14. Indigenous people are estimated to have inhabited the region dating back to 3000 B.C.

15. The name Suriname is considered to be a derivative from a “Taino” indigenous people called “Surinen”. These people inhabited the region at the time of the European contact.

Also read: 146 facts about Brazil

16. There are two UNESCO Heritage sites in Suriname. Cultural (1): Historic Inner City of Paramaribo (2002); Natural (1): Central Suriname Nature Reserve (2000).

17. Juliana Top is the highest mountain in Suriname. It is 1,286 m above sea level.

18. The area occupied by Suriname is slightly larger than the state of Georgia.

19. Suriname is famous for its water lilies and orchids.

20 Suriname is one of the top producers of Bauxite in the world.

21. Suriname has one of the most cosmopolitan populations in the world.

22. Suriname also has one of the largest protected areas of rainforest in the world – the central Suriname Nature Reserve. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The rainforest covers the southern four-fifths of the country.

23. Majority of the country’s area, about nine-tenths is covered with heterogeneous forest that contains more than 1000 species of trees.

24. The tapir is the largest land mammal in Suriname.

25. Indians are the original inhabitants of Suriname. However, today their population is reduced to just a fraction in the country.

26. The Netherlands – Suriname’s former colonial ruler is home to some 350,000 people of Surinamese descent.

27. Almost 45% of the country’s population is between the age group 25-54 years.

28. Suriname has a population growth rate of 1% while Lebanon has that of 9.7%.

29. Between 1973 and 1980, a large portion of the country’s population left and immigrated to the Netherlands, after the announcement of the country’s independence. A large chunk of these people were professionals and skilled workers. However, during the early 21st century, many of the retired workers returned to Suriname.

30. Suriname is also a member of the Caribbean community.

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