Republic of Suriname
Political Status: Former Netherlands dependency; granted internal autonomy on December 29, 1954, and complete independence on November 25, 1975; constitution of November 21, 1975, suspended on August 15, 1980, following military coup of February 25; present constitution approved by referendum of September 30, 1987.
Area: 63,036 sq. mi. (163,265 sq. km.).
Population: 492, 829 (2004C), 515,000 (2008E).
Major Urban Center (2005E): PARAMARIBO (urban area, 252,000).
Official Language: Linguistically, Suriname is exceptionally diverse. The official language is Dutch, but English, Hindi, Javanese, Chinese, and Sranan Tongo (Taki-Taki), a Creole lingua franca, are widely spoken, while Spanish has been adopted as a working language to facilitate communication with Latin American neighbors. In the interior, a number of indigenous languages are also spoken.
Monetary Unit: Suriname Dollar (market rate December ...