The social differences are well-marked among the largest ethnic groups, which are Creole, Indian and Indonesian. A minority of European origin as well as Chinese carry important positions in society. The differences tend to decrease in both business and social life. However, the indigenous people as well as descendants of escaped African slaves live in old patterns shielded from the rest of society. Health care and drinking water are available in both cities and rural areas to about 90 percent of the population. Visit AbbreviationFinder to see the definitions of SUR and acronym for Suriname.
HUMAN AND ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY
From the demographic point of view, the Suriname presents a situation in progress towards more balanced models. The population growth rate, which according to a 1998 estimate amounts to 414,000 residents, is 3 ‰ (a very low value for a Third World country), and other basic social indicators also show positive signs: the mortality rate infant age has dropped to around 29% today (it was 70% in 1960), while life expectancy at birth has risen to over 70 years. The level of education has also become good: the total adult literacy rate is 93 %, and 99% of children reach the fifth grade. It should also be remembered the presence of a university in the capital, Paramaribo: in 1995 – 96 there were 1335 students enrolled, with an academic body of 155 teachers.
The urbanization rate has reached 50 %; the capital is concentrated in most of the population and the political-administrative, commercial and industrial functions of the country. The second most important city is Nieuw Nickerie, located in an important agricultural district; followed by Totness, Albina and Moengo, a mining center.
The country enjoys a rather diversified economy, but the real strength lies in the aid that the Netherlands continues – albeit with alternating trends – to provide, and in the remittances of the large number of emigrants. Agricultural activity remains based almost exclusively on rice monoculture, which covers just under 90% of the cultivated area, and the efforts undertaken for some time to attempt a diversification of production and to strengthen the sector have not so far had the expected success. Consequently, an extensive arable area is in fact abandoned due to the backwardness of production systems, the lack of infrastructures and the difficulties in starting products on the market in competitive conditions. Agricultural productions destined for internal consumption are also insufficient, and the Suriname is forced to import foodstuffs. The forestry heritage is very considerable (92 % of the total area) and the annual production is around 200. 000 m ³of timber. Livestock farming is still at modest levels, while fishing (shellfish, mostly exported) offers good income.
The main economic activity is yet to be the extraction of bauxite, although production has been decreasing in recent years and the Suriname has lost its role at international level (in 1996, with 3, 2 % of world production, the country fell to seventh place in the ranking of major producers). The exploitation of some gold mines has recently begun, and the high taxes on its extraction have provided the government with a decent income. The secondary sector is represented almost exclusively by metallurgical plants for processing bauxite; the other industries are quite modest and include cement factories and factories for the processing of agricultural and forestry products.
Paramaribo, the capital of Suriname in South America; 240,900 residents (2012). Check to see Suriname population. The town is located on the Surinam River approximately 20 km from the mouth. It became a cure. by French colonists in the 1640’s, but soon after was taken over by the English and in the 1660’s by the Dutch. The last have characterized the city, among other things. with street names, canals and a number of fine Dutch-style houses from the 1700’s and 1800’s. Paramaribo’s inner city is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Paramaribo became the capital of Surinam’s independence in 1975, and the city is the country’s economic and industrial center and main port city. From here, among other things, bauxite and alumina (for the manufacture of aluminum), timber, rice, sugar cane and citrus fruits. The city is one of many included in the wide-ranging network of drug routes from South to North America, and organized crime is a problem. The city’s university dates from 1968. The presidential palace of the former governor’s residence and Fort Zeelandia has been restored. The Catholic Cathedral of Peter and Paul of 1885 is said to be the world’s largest wooden church. Other religious communities are also represented in the multi-ethnic city, with, for example, Hindu temples, synagogues and the Caribbean’s largest mosque.
A special tradition of competitions with songbirds is maintained in the city’s parks. That is why many walkers walk to and from training with their little black tua-tua in cages.