Suriname, formally the Republic of Suriname, is a sovereign state located on South America’s northeastern Atlantic coast. It is bounded on the east by French Guiana, on the west by Guyana, and on the south by Brazil. It is the smallest nation in South America, with little under 165,000 km2 (64,000 sq mi). Suriname has a population of about 566,000 people, the most of whom reside on the country’s north coast, in and around Paramaribo, the capital and biggest city.
Suriname was long inhabited by a variety of indigenous civilizations before falling under Dutch control in the late 17th century. The nation became a component country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1954. Suriname gained independence from the Kingdom of the Netherlands on 25 November 1975, while retaining strong economic, diplomatic, and cultural connections to its former colonizer. Its indigenous peoples have been more vocal in demanding land rights and advocating for the preservation of their native lands and ecosystems.
Suriname is a culturally Caribbean nation and a Caribbean Community member (CARICOM). While Dutch is the official language of government, business, the media, and education, Sranan is a commonly used lingua franca based on English. Suriname is the only country outside of Europe where the majority of the people speaks Dutch. Suriname’s population is one of the most varied in the world, including a wide range of ethnic, religious, and linguistic groupings.