Population of Guyana 2017


Current population of Guyana is 737,718 people (July 2017 est.).

note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2017 est.)


noun: Guyanese (singular and plural)
adjective: Guyanese

Ethnic Groups

East Indian 39.8%, black (African) 29.3%, mixed 19.9%, Amerindian 10.5%, other 0.5% (includes Portuguese, Chinese, white) (2012 est.)


English (official), Guyanese Creole, Amerindian languages (including Caribbean and Arawak languages), Indian languages (including Caribbean Hindustani, a dialect of Hindi), Chinese (2014 est.)


Protestant 34.8% (Pentecostal 22.8%, Seventh Day Adventist 5.4%, Anglican 5.2%, Methodist 1.4%), Hindu 24.8%, Roman Catholic 7.1%, Muslim 6.8%, Jehovah’s Witness 1.3%, Rastafarian 0.5%, other Christian 20.8%, other 0.9%, none 3.1% (2012 est.)

Demographic Profile

Guyana is the only English-speaking country in South America and shares cultural and historical bonds with the Anglophone Caribbean. Guyana’s two largest ethnic groups are the Afro-Guyanese (descendants of African slaves) and the Indo-Guyanese (descendants of Indian indentured laborers), which together comprise about three quarters of Guyana’s population. Tensions periodically have boiled over between the two groups, which back ethnically based political parties and vote along ethnic lines. Poverty reduction has stagnated since the late 1990s. About one-third of the Guyanese population lives below the poverty line; indigenous people are disproportionately affected. Although Guyana’s literacy rate is reported to be among the highest in the Western Hemisphere, the level of functional literacy is considerably lower, which has been attributed to poor education quality, teacher training, and infrastructure.

Guyana’s emigration rate is among the highest in the world – more than 55% of its citizens reside abroad – and it is one of the largest recipients of remittances relative to GDP among Latin American and Caribbean counties. Although remittances are a vital source of income for most citizens, the pervasive emigration of skilledworkers deprives Guyana of professionals in healthcare and other key sectors. More than 80% of Guyanese nationals with tertiary level educations have emigrated. Brain drain and the concentration of limited medical resources in Georgetown hamper Guyana’s ability to meet the health needs of its predominantly rural population. Guyana has one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the region and continues to rely on international support for its HIV treatment and prevention programs.

Age Structure

0-14 years: 26.22% (male 98,506/female 94,949)
15-24 years: 21.56% (male 81,487/female 77,567)
25-54 years: 38.1% (male 146,915/female 134,145)
55-64 years: 8.03% (male 26,924/female 32,345)
65 years and over: 6.08% (male 18,421/female 26,459) (2017 est.)

Dependency Ratios

total dependency ratio: 53.5
youth dependency ratio: 45.8
elderly dependency ratio: 7.7
potential support ratio: 13.3 (2015 est.)

Median Age

total: 25.8 years
male: 25.5 years
female: 26.2 years (2016 est.)

Population Growth Rate

0.3% (2017 est.)

Birth Rate

15.4 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)

Death Rate

7.4 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)

Net Migration Rate

-4.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)

Population Distribution

population is heavily concentrated in the northeast in and around Georgetown, with noteable concentrations along the Berbice River to the east; the remainder of the country is sparsely populated


urban population: 28.8% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: 0.91% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

Major Urban Areas – Population:

GEORGETOWN (capital) 124,000 (2014)

Sex Ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.09 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.82 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2016 est.)

Mother’s Mean Age at First Birth

20.8 years

note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2009 est.)

Maternal Mortality Rate

229 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant Mortality Rate

total: 31.5 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 35.4 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 27.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)

Life Expectancy at Birth

total population: 68.4 years
male: 65.4 years
female: 71.5 years (2016 est.)

Total Fertility Rate

2 children born/woman (2017 est.)

Contraceptive Prevalence Rate

33.9% (2014)

Health Expenditures

5.2% of GDP (2014)

Physicians Density

0.21 physicians/1,000 population (2010)

Hospital Bed Density

2 beds/1,000 population (2009)

Drinking Water Source

urban: 98.2% of population
rural: 98.3% of population
total: 98.3% of population

urban: 1.8% of population
rural: 1.7% of population
total: 1.7% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation Facility Access

urban: 87.9% of population
rural: 82% of population
total: 83.7% of population

urban: 12.1% of population
rural: 18% of population
total: 16.3% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS – Adult Prevalence Rate

1.6% (2016 est.)

HIV/AIDS – People Living with HIV/AIDS

8,500 (2016 est.)

HIV/AIDS – Deaths

<200 (2016 est.)

Major Infectious Disease

degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria

note: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses an important risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus (2016)

Obesity – Adult Prevalence Rate

21.9% (2014)

Children Under the Age of 5 Years Underweight

8.5% (2014)

Education Expenditures

3.2% of GDP (2012)


definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 88.5%
male: 87.2%
female: 89.8% (2015 est.)

School Life Expectancy (Primary to Tertiary Education)

total: 10 years
male: 10 years
female: 10 years (2012)

Child Labor – Children Ages 5-14

total number: 30,255
percentage: 16% (2006 est.)