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Suriname People - 2024


GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese


639,759 (2023 est.)


noun: Surinamer(s)

adjective: Surinamese

Ethnic groups

Hindustani (also known locally as "East Indians"; their ancestors emigrated from northern India in the latter part of the 19th century) 27.4%, Maroon (their African ancestors were brought to the country in the 17th and 18th centuries as slaves and escaped to the interior) 21.7%, Creole (mixed White and Black) 15.7%, Javanese 13.7%, mixed 13.4%, other 7.6%, unspecified 0.6% (2012 est.)


Dutch (official), English (widely spoken), Sranang Tongo (Surinamese, sometimes called Taki-Taki, is the native language of Creoles and much of the younger population and is lingua franca among others), Caribbean Hindustani (a dialect of Hindi), Javanese

major-language sample(s):
Het Wereld Feitenboek, een omnisbare bron van informatie. (Dutch)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information. (English)


Protestant 23.6% (includes Evangelical 11.2%, Moravian 11.2%, Reformed 0.7%, Lutheran 0.5%), Hindu 22.3%, Roman Catholic 21.6%, Muslim 13.8%, other Christian 3.2%, Winti 1.8%, Jehovah's Witness 1.2%, other 1.7%, none 7.5%, unspecified 3.2% (2012 est.)

Demographic profile

Suriname 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 (Indonesian) 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 structure

0-14 years: 22.77% (male 73,914/female 71,762)

15-64 years: 69.96% (male 223,807/female 223,762)

65 years and over: 7.27% (2023 est.) (male 19,152/female 27,362)

2023 population pyramid:

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 50.9

youth dependency ratio: 40

elderly dependency ratio: 11

potential support ratio: 9.1 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 31.6 years (2023 est.)

male: 30.7 years

female: 32.6 years

Population growth rate

1.11% (2023 est.)

Birth rate

15.2 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Death rate

6.6 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Net migration rate

2.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Population distribution

population concentrated along the nothern coastal strip; the remainder of the country is sparsely populated


urban population: 66.4% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 0.88% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas - population

239,000 PARAMARIBO (capital) (2018)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female

total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2023 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

96 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 29.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)

male: 38 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 21.3 deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 72.6 years (2023 est.)

male: 68.9 years

female: 76.5 years

Total fertility rate

1.91 children born/woman (2023 est.)

Gross reproduction rate

0.92 (2023 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

39.1% (2018)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 99.5% of population

rural: 98.2% of population

total: 99.1% of population

unimproved: urban: 0.5% of population

rural: 1.8% of population

total: 0.9% of population (2020 est.)

Current health expenditure

6.8% of GDP (2020)

Physicians density

0.82 physicians/1,000 population (2018)

Hospital bed density

3 beds/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 98.5% of population

rural: 91.2% of population

total: 96% of population

unimproved: urban: 1.5% of population

rural: 8.8% of population

total: 4% of population (2020 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2023)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: malaria

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

26.4% (2016)

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 6.6 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 3.4 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0.14 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 2.87 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0.18 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

6.7% (2018)

Currently married women (ages 15-49)

52.1% (2023 est.)

Child marriage

women married by age 15: 8.8%

women married by age 18: 36%

men married by age 18: 19.6% (2018 est.)

Education expenditures

5% of GDP (2020 est.)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 95%

male: 96.5%

female: 93.4% (2021)

NOTE: The information regarding Suriname on this page is re-published from the 2024 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Suriname 2024 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Suriname 2024 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 04 May 24, Copyright © 2024 ITA all rights reserved.