Demographics of Guyana

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This article is about the demographic features of Guyana, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.

Guyana's population (Guyanese people) is made up of five main ethnic groups: Amerindians, Africans, Indians, Europeans, and Chinese. Ninety percent of the inhabitants live on the narrow coastal plain, where population density is more than 115 inhabitants per square kilometre (300 /sq mi). The population density for Guyana as a whole is low: less than four inhabitants per square kilometre (10.4 /sq mi).

Although the government has provided free education from nursery school to the university level since 1975, it has not allocated sufficient funds to maintain the standards of what had been considered the best educational system in the region. Many school buildings are in poor condition, there is a shortage of text and exercise books, the number of teachers has declined, and fees are being charged at the university level for some courses of study for the first time.

Guyana continues to be influenced by British culture as well distantly with the cultures of the United States, Europe, Africa, the Islamic world, East and South Asian countries, and Latin America, esp. with neighboring countries of Venezuela and Brazil. It is one of three countries and two territories to form The Guianas, such as Suriname and the island of Trinidad and Tobago; and territories like the French Guiana and parts of neighboring countries named for Guayana (Venezuela) and Amapa of Brazil.

There is an organization dedicated to the integration of Guyana with the United States, GuyanaUSA. Their claim is based on the idea that Guyana has strong connections with the United States in terms of people (100,000 people have joint Guyanese American citizenship and 350,000 Guyanese live in the U.S., half as many as remain in Guyana).[citation needed]

Population[edit]

According to the 2010 revison of the World Population Prospects the total population was 754 000 in 2010, compared to only 407 000 in 1950. The proportion of children below the age of 15 in 2010 was 33.6%, 62.1% was between 15 and 65 years of age, while 4.3% was 65 years or older .[1]

Total population
(x 1000)
Proportion
aged 0–14
(%)
Proportion
aged 15–64
(%)
Proportion
aged 65+
(%)
1950 407 39.9 56.0 4.1
1955 483 43.6 52.8 3.6
1960 560 46.3 50.4 3.3
1965 640 47.7 49.0 3.4
1970 721 48.7 47.9 3.4
1975 749 45.5 50.9 3.6
1980 777 42.5 53.7 3.8
1985 752 38.6 57.0 4.4
1990 725 34.4 60.6 5.0
1995 728 34.6 60.4 5.0
2000 733 35.5 60.0 4.5
2005 746 36.9 59.3 3.8
2010 754 33.6 62.1 4.3

Age structure[edit]


0–14 years: 35.6% (male 135,629; female 131,518; total 267,147)
15–64 years: 60.2% (male 226,058; female 226,551; total 452,609)
65 years and over: 4.2% (male 14,347; female 17,120; total 31,467) (2002 census)[2][3]


Vital statistics[edit]

The Population Departement of the United Nations prepared the following estimates of vital statistics of Guyana. [1]

Period Live births
per year
Deaths
per year
Natural change
per year
CBR* CDR* NC* TFR* IMR* Life expectancy
total
Life expectancy
males
Life expectancy
females
1950-1955 20 000 8 000 12 000 49.4 18.1 31.4 6.68 118 49.2 46.5 52.0
1955-1960 23 000 8 000 15 000 47.5 15.8 31.7 6.77 107 51.7 49.4 54.1
1960-1965 25 000 8 000 17 000 41.5 13.6 27.9 6.15 98 53.7 51.8 55.6
1965-1970 27 000 8 000 19 000 40.0 12.5 27.5 6.11 92 55.1 53.8 56.4
1970-1975 25 000 7 000 18 000 34.1 11.0 23.2 4.90 83 57.2 55.9 58.6
1975-1980 24 000 7 000 17 000 31.1 10.0 21.0 3.94 77 58.8 57.4 60.3
1980-1985 23 000 7 000 16 000 28.7 9.6 19.1 3.26 73 60.0 57.9 62.5
1985-1990 19 000 7 000 12 000 26.4 9.8 16.6 2.70 68 60.6 57.9 63.8
1990-1995 19 000 7 000 12 000 23.5 9.8 13.7 2.55 63 61.4 58.5 64.9
1995-2000 18 000 7 000 11 000 22.0 8.9 13.0 2.50 56 63.1 60.1 66.6
2000-2005 16 000 7 000 9 000 20.1 7.6 12.5 2.43 49 65.7 62.7 69.1
2005-2010 14 000 6 000 8 000 18.8 5.9 12.9 2.33 42 68.7 65.5 71.9
* CBR = crude birth rate (per 1000); CDR = crude death rate (per 1000); NC = natural change (per 1000); IMR = infant mortality rate per 1000 births; TFR = total fertility rate (number of children per woman)

Fertility and Births[edit]

Total Fertility Rate (TFR) and Crude Birth Rate (CBR):[4]


Year CBR (Total) TFR (Total) CBR (Urban) TFR (Urban) CBR (Rural) TFR (Rural)
2009 23 2,8 17 2,1 24 3,0

Ethnic groups[edit]

The present population of Guyana is racially and ethnically heterogeneous, with ethnic groups originating from India, Africa, Europe, and China, as well as indigenous or aboriginal peoples. The largest ethnic group is the Indo-Guyanese (also known as East Indians), the descendants of indentured labourers from India, who make up 43.4% of the population, according to the 2002 census. They are followed by the Afro-Guyanese, the descendants of slaves from Africa, who constitute 30.2%. Guyanese of mixed heritage make up 16.7%, while the indigenous peoples (known locally as Amerindians) make up 9.1%. The indigenous groups include the Arawaks, the Wai Wai, the Caribs, the Akawaio, the Arecuna, the Patamona, the Wapixana, the Macushi and the Warao. The two largest groups, the Indo-Guyanese and Afro-Guyanese, have experienced some racial tension.[5][6][7]

Most Indo-Guyanese are descended from Bhojpuri-speaking Bihari and Uttar Pradesh migrants.[8] Many Indo-Guyanese are also Tamil speaking Tamils from Tamil Nadu, and Telugus of Andhra Pradesh in South India.[9]

The distribution pattern in the 2002 census was similar to those of the 1980 and 1991 censuses, but the share of the two main groups has declined. Indo-Guyanese made up 51.9% of the total population in 1980, but by 1991 this had fallen to 48.6%, and then to 43.5% in the 2002 census. Those of African descent increased slightly from 30.8% to 32.3% during the first period (1980 and 1991) before falling to 30.2% in the 2002 census. With small growth in the overall population, the decline in the shares of the two larger groups has resulted in the relative increase of shares of the multiracial and Amerindian groups. The Amerindian population rose by 22,097 people between 1991 and 2002. This represents an increase of 47.3% or annual growth of 3.5%. Similarly, the multiracial population increased by 37,788 persons, representing a 43.0% increase or annual growth rate of 3.2% from the base period of 1991 census. The number of Portuguese (4.3% of the population in 1891) has been declining constantly over the decades.[10]

Population of Guyana according to ethnic group[11] [12]
Ethnic
group
Census 1946 Census 1960 Census 1980 Census 1991 Census 2002 Census 2012
Number  % Number  % Number  % Number  % Number  % Number  %
Amerindian 16,322 4.3 25.450 4.5 40,343 5.3 46,722 6.5 68,675 9.1
East Indian 163,434 43.5 267,840 47.8 394,417 51.9 351,939 48.6 326,277 43.4
African / Black 143,385 38.2 183,980 32.8 234,094 30.8 233,465 32.3 227,062 30.2
Mixed 37,685 10.0 67,189 12.0 84,764 11.2 87,881 12.1 125,727 16.7
White 8,543 2.3 3,218 0.6 3,790 0.5 2,267 0.3 1,974 0.3
Chinese 3,567 0.9 4,074 0.7 1,864 0.2 1,290 0.2 1,396 0.2
Other 2,765 0.7 8,655 1.5 294 0.0 107 0.0 112 0.0
Total 375,701 560,406 759,566 723,671 751,223

Language[edit]

Main article: Languages of Guyana

English is the official language of Guyana, which is the only South American country with English as the official language.[13][14]

Guyanese Creole (an English-based creole with African and/or East Indian syntax) is widely spoken in Guyana.[13]

A number of Amerindian languages are also spoken by a minority of the population. These include Cariban languages such as Macushi, Akawaio and Wai-Wai; Arawakan languages such as Arawak (or Lokono) and Wapishana.[13][14]

Other languages spoken include Chinese, Hindi and Tamil . [13][14]

Second and third languages[edit]

Portuguese is an increasingly widely used as a second language in Guyana, particularly in the south of the country, bordering on Brazil. [13] Dutch and French are spoken by those who frequently visit neighboring French Guiana and Suriname. French is widely taught in secondary schools along with Spanish as foreign languages. Spanish is also used by a minority of the population as a second language. Spanish is spoken typically by visitors and residents from Venezuela.[15]

Religion[edit]

Hindu 28.4%, Pentecostal 16.9%, Roman Catholic 8.1%, Muslim 7.2%, Anglican 6.9%,
Seventh Day Adventist 5%, Other Christian denominations 20.5%, no religion 4.3%, Rastafarian 0.5%, Bahá'í 0.1%, other religions 2.2% and a small Jewish community.[16]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, World Population Prospects: The 2010 Revision
  2. ^ Guyana Census 2002, population composition, Ch. 2 (p. 44)
  3. ^ Total population 751,223, where 15-64 years is 452,609/751,223 ~= 60.2%.
  4. ^ http://microdata.worldbank.org/index.php/catalog/1393
  5. ^ "Guyana turns attention to racism". BBC News. 20 September 2005.
  6. ^ "Conflict between East-Indian and Blacks in Trinidad and Guyana Socially, Economically and Politically". Gabrielle Hookumchand, Professor Moses Seenarine. 18 May 2000.
  7. ^ International Business Times: "Guyana: A Study in Polarized Racial Politics" 12 December 2011
  8. ^ Helen Myers (1999). Music of Hindu Trinidad. ISBN 9780226554532. 
  9. ^ Indian Diaspora. 
  10. ^ "Portuguese emigration from Madeira to British Guiana"
  11. ^ UN Demographic Yearbooks
  12. ^ Guyana Census 2002, population composition, Ch. 2 (pp. 27-28)
  13. ^ a b c d e Smock, Kirk (2008). Guyana: The Bradt Travel Guide. Bradt. p. 19. ISBN 978 1 84162 223 1. 
  14. ^ a b c Ali, Arif (2008). Guyana. London: Hansib. ISBN 978-1-906190-10-1. 
  15. ^ Damoiseau, Robert (2003) Eléments de grammaire comparée français-créole guyanais Ibis rouge, Guyana, ISBN 2-84450-192-3
  16. ^ Guyana Census 2002, population composition, Ch. 2 (pp. 32-34)

External links[edit]