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Suriname, Population

chief seaport, Creoles, Paramaribo, European descent, main religions

The total population of Suriname (2002 estimate) is 436,494, giving a population density of 3 persons per sq km (7 per sq mi). Paramaribo (population, 1997 estimate, 289,000) is the countryís capital, largest city, and chief seaport. The main ethnic groups are Asian Indians (Hindus), who make up about 37 percent of the population, and Creoles, a people descended from African slaves or persons of mixed African and European descent, who make up about 31 percent of the population. There are also sizable communities of Indonesians (15 percent); Maroons, descendants of blacks who escaped slavery long ago by moving to the interior (10 percent); Native Americans, descendants of indigenous tribes (3 percent); Chinese (2 percent); and Europeans (1 percent). Many Surinamers have emigrated to The Netherlands. The official language is Dutch; most people also speak Sranang Tongo (Taki-Taki), a local language that includes elements of several other languages. The main religions are Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism. Some 87,882 students were enrolled in primary schools, and another 18,165 attended secondary and teacher-training schools in the 1993-94 school year. The University of Suriname (1968) is in Paramaribo.

Article key phrases:

chief seaport, Creoles, Paramaribo, European descent, main religions, Maroons, African slaves, Hinduism, population density, official language, Native Americans, Europeans, Islam, Hindus, largest city, Christianity, local language, slavery, school year, percent, elements, primary schools, estimate, Netherlands, Chinese, interior, languages, students, people


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