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Nationality: Noun and adjective--Guyanese (sing. and pl.).
Population (last census 1991): 723,673; (2000 est.) 700,000.
Ethnic groups: East Indian origin 49%, African origin 32%, mixed 12%, Amerindian 6%, White and Chinese 1%.
Religions: Christian 57%, Hindu 33%, Muslim 9%, other 1%.
Languages: English, Guyanese Creole, Amerindian languages (primarily Carib and Arawak).
Education: Years compulsory--ages 5 1/2-14 1/2. Attendance--primary 78.6%, secondary 80.5%. Literacy--96.5% of adults who have attended school.
Health: Infant mortality rate--49/1,000. Life expectancy--men 59 yrs., women 64 yrs.
Work force (278,000): Industry and commerce--36.4%; agriculture--30.2%; services--30.2%; other--3.2%.
People of Guyana
Guyana's population is made up of five main ethnic groups--East Indian, African, Amerindian, Chinese, and Portuguese. Ninety percent of the inhabitants live on the narrow coastal plain, where population density is more than 115 persons per square kilometer (380 per sq. mi.). The population density for Guyana as a whole is low--less than four persons per square kilometer. Although the government has provided free education from nursery school to the university level since 1975, it has not allocated sufficient funds to maintain the standards of what had been considered the best educational system in the region. Many school buildings are in poor condition, there is a shortage of text and exercise books, the number of teachers has declined, and fees are being charged at the university level for some courses of study for the first time.