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Suriname: Country Profile (as of May 2022)

Countries
Suriname
Sources
OCHA
Publication date

SOCIOECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT

Suriname´s economy is highly dependent on the extractive sector, with oil and gold accounting for approximately 85 per cent of the country´s exports and 27 per cent of the national revenues. The country is ranked 38th in the extractive resource dependency index, making it highly vulnerable to external shocks and the international commodity market. The country´s economy is still recovering from its second major economic shock in six years, fueled by a reversal in commodity fortunes in 2015 leading to a sharp change in the country´s economic performance.

KEY ISSUES

ECONOMIC CRISIS

The economy of Suriname experienced a triple commodity shock in 2015, pushing the economy into recession. In 2015, gold prices dropped by 30 per cent compared to 2012, while oil crude prices decline by 56 per cent when compared to 2012 added to a halt in alumina production. Consequently, the country´s growth rate declined by 3.4 and 5.6 per cent in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

CLIMATE CHANGE AND GEOGRAPHIC DISPARITIES

Suriname is the third most urbanized country in the region with close to 70 per cent of its population residing in the country´s capital Paramaribo. This places a high proportion of the population vulnerable to the impacts of global climate change as 86.8 per cent of the population lives within 25 km of the coastline and 78.7 per cent lives in low elevation zones, less than 10 meters above sea level.

EMIGRATION

Suriname has consistently faced high levels of emigration (273,200 people left the country in 2020), resulting in significant losses of human capital and shortages of professionals in various specializations, particularly health care. Family migration has become the primary motive to leave Suriname. During the period 2002-2011, over 9,000 people, representing three quarters of registered Suriname-born migrants in the Netherlands, moved to the Netherlands for family reunification. Brain drain in the country is a reality with prospective students and skilled workers leaving the country while low-skilled migrants enter the country.

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