Department of Electoral Cooperation and Observation
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Suriname - Parliamentary Elections on May 25, 2015
Country Profile
A former Dutch colony, the Republic of Suriname, is located in Northern South America and bordered by Guyana to the West, French Guyana to the East and Brazil to the South. It has a population of approximately 573,311 and an area of 163,830 km (CITE) making it the smallest sovereign state in South America.

A member of CARICOM, it is considered to be a culturally Caribbean country and has extensive trade and cultural exchange with the Caribbean nations.

Suriname has a population of approximately 539,300, most of whom live on the country's north coast, where the capital Paramaribo is located. Suriname is a mostly Dutch-speaking country; Sranang, an English-based creole language, is a widely used lingua franca. It is the only independent entity in the Americas where Dutch is spoken by a majority of the population.

The formal economy is dominated by the bauxite industry, which accounts for more than 15 percent of the GDP and 70 percent of export earnings. However, the contribution of the informal, and sometimes illegal, gold-mining and timber-cutting revenues is not yet fully gauged or incorporated into these figures. Suriname has a GDP of $7.12 billion, and is considered an upper middle income country according to the World Bank.