Guyana Population, People, Languages and Religions

By | January 21, 2022

Guyana Country Overview

Where is Guyana located? Guyana is a country in South America that borders the Atlantic Ocean. On the time zone map, which divides the world into world time zones along the lines of longitude, Guyana is in a time zone that is four hours behind Universal Coordinated Time. This zone is referred to as “Guyana Time” (GYT) and that on the clocks in this time zone is always 4 hours ahead of those on the world clock (UTC-4). In summer there is no time shift to daylight saving time.

Bordering Countries of Guyana

According to abbreviationfinder, Guyana is bordered by three countries in South America, namely Brazil to the south and west, Suriname to the east, and Venezuela to the west. The total length of its land borders is 2,818 kilometers.

The Guyana-Brazil border runs for 1,308 kilometers from east to west along Roraima State and Amazonas State. This boundary was established in 1899 following an agreement between both countries. The Guyana-Suriname border runs for 515 kilometers from north to south along Marowijne District and Cuyuni-Mazaruni Region. This boundary was established as part of a peace treaty signed between both countries in 1966 which ended years of conflict in this region.

The Guyana-Venezuela border runs for 995 kilometers from east to west along Bolívar State and Amazonas State. This boundary was also established as part of a peace treaty signed between both countries in 1966 which ended years of conflict in this region. Additionally, Guyana has a maritime border with Trinidad and Tobago which runs for 200 kilometers along the Atlantic Ocean. This boundary was established as part of a maritime agreement signed between both countries in 1973 which recognized the exclusive economic zones of each nation within their respective territorial waters.

Guyana National Flag

Population Distribution

As of 2023, the latest population of Guyana is 750,204, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).

Total population 750,204
Population growth rate 0.72%
Birth rate 15.40 births per 1,000 people
Life expectancy
Overall 67.68 years
Men 63.83 years
Women 71.72 years
Age structure
0-14 years 25.38%
15-64 years 68.22%
65 years and above 6.39%
Median age 25.40 years
Gender ratio (Male to Female) 0.99
Population density 3.49 residents per km²
Urbanization 37.60%
44% Indian, 30% Afro-Caribbean, 17% mixed race, 9% Indigenous; Portuguese, Chinese and others
Christian 50%, Hindu 33%, Muslim 9%, other 8%
Human Development Index (HDI) 0.670
HDI ranking 123rd out of 194

People in Guyana

Almost half of Guyana’s residents are of Indian origin (43 percent). This has to do with the fact that the British started bringing farm workers here from their colony in India from 1838 after slavery was abolished. You should now be working on the sugar plantations. You were recruited in India. They were often forced to work. This system was practiced until 1917. Anyone who stayed after their contract had expired received land.

The descendants of the slaves make up the second large population group, the blacks, at 30 percent. Most of them were brought here during the period when Guyana was a Dutch colony. They were not given land after their release. That created tension.

The Indians (Indo-Guyans) and Blacks (Afro-Guyans) are deeply divided. In politics, too, the conflict between the Indian and African ethnic groups continues.

Macushi and other indigenous people

9 percent belong to the indigenous peoples. The Macushi make up the largest group with around 9500 people in Guyana. Others are the Patamona, Pemón, Arawak (Lokono), Caribs (Kalina), Wapishana, Akawaio, Warao and WaiWai. The WaiWai are the smallest group in Guyana with only 170 people. All indigenous peoples of Guyana live across borders, mostly in Brazil and Venezuela, the Caribs also live in Suriname. The Warao live on the coast.

Minorities are Chinese and Portuguese (0.2 percent each).

  • Children: Every woman in Guyana has an average of 2.5 children. With us, every woman has an average of 1.4 children.
  • Urban and rural: 29 percent of Guyana’s residents live in cities. This roughly corresponds to the population of Georgetown, which is also the only larger city in the country. The country’s second largest city, Linden, has only 45,000 residents. Most of Guyana’s population lives on the coast. Only in the coastal region are there any (small) cities.

Languages in Guyana

Guyana is the only country in South America whose official language is English. However, the Guyanese Creole language is widespread. It is based on English and is mixed with African, Dutch, indigenous and Indian elements. An example of Guyanese Creole: Dis wata de colcol means “This water is very cold”.

The indigenous peoples have preserved their languages, even if they mostly learn English as a second language. Macushi has the most speakers. Like Akawaio, Karib (Kalina) and Pemón, it belongs to the Caribbean languages. Here are a few words from the Pemón: yuurö means “I”, tuna means “water”, apok means “fire” and aute means “house”.

In addition to English, the population of Indian descent also partly speaks Hindi or Tamil. Chinese is spoken by the immigrant Chinese and their descendants.

Religions in Guyana

56 percent of the population are Christians. 8 percent of them are Catholics. Guyana is one of the countries in South America with the fewest Catholics. 30.5 percent belong to one of the many Protestant churches, and another 17.7 percent belong to other Christian churches. 28 percent are Hindus and 7 percent are Muslim. The others belong to another church or have not given any information.