Society of Guyana



Population per sq km: 4

Life expectancy: 66 years

Net primary enrolment: 72%

Population: 767,000 (2015); distribution is very uneven, with a high concentration of people along the coastal strip and many inland areas virtually uninhabited; 29 per cent of people live in urban areas; growth 0.4 per cent p.a. 1990–2015, depressed over this period by emigration; birth rate 19 per 1,000 people (38 in 1970); life expectancy 66 years (60 in 1970).

The ethnic origins of the people are: 44 per cent Indian (resident mostly in agricultural areas); 30 per cent African (mostly in towns); 17 per cent of mixed descent; nine per cent Amerindian (mainly in the west and south, or on reserves; data from 2002 census).

Language: English is the official language, Guyana being the only English-speaking country in South America. An English-based Creole is widely used; Hindi, Urdu and Amerindian languages are also spoken.

Religion: Christians about 57 per cent (Pentecostals 17 per cent, Roman Catholics eight per cent, Anglicans seven per cent, Seventh Day Adventists five per cent), Hindus 28 per cent, Muslims seven per cent (2002 census).

Media: The state-owned Guyana Chronicle/Sunday Chronicle and privately owned Stabroek News and Kaieteur News are dailies.

The National Communications Network provides public radio and TV services.

There are 38 personal computers per 1,000 people (2005).

Public holidays: New Year’s Day, Republic Day (Mashramani, 23 February), Labour Day (1 May), Arrival Day (5 May), Independence Day (26 May), CARICOM Day (first Monday in July), Emancipation Day (first Monday in August), Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Republic Day celebrations continue for about a week, though only one day is a public holiday.

Religious and other festivals whose dates vary from year to year include Prophet’s Birthday, Phagwah (Holi, March), Good Friday, Easter Monday, Deepavali (Diwali, October/November) and Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice).