In 2019, Guyana had an average population density of 4
residents per km2. Almost the entire population
lives along the coast, while the hinterland is largely
unpopulated. As a result of extensive emigration, Guyana has
a low population growth.
Countryaah data, the country is little urbanized; In 2019, 27 percent of
the population lived in cities. The capital Georgetown
(118,400 residents, 2013) is the completely dominant city.
Guyana's indigenous population, the Indians, in 2002
reached almost 10 percent of the population, or about 77,000
individuals, following strong growth (nearly 50 percent) in
the last decade.
The coastal Indian people are highly acculturated. More
of the original culture has been preserved in the
Caribbean's inland people, such as akawaio, patamona and
waiwai, and among the ara-speaking wapisiana. These peoples
live mainly by burning, focused on cassava, but also devote
themselves to fishing, hunting and gathering. Ancestry is
counted bilaterally (on the paternity and maternity), but
settlement usually takes place near the mother's family.
During the 19th century, the Native Americans were monitored
by mission stations, but in 1910 several reserves were
formed. Today, multinational mining companies pose the
greatest threat to Guyanese Indians, and many have moved
across the border to Venezuela.
Other ethnic groups are largely found on a narrow strip
along the coast. Slave settlements of African origin
constitute about one-third (2002). A well-known but small
part of these constitute the so-called maroons. These
managed to escape from the plantations during the 18th
century and re-establish their African culture in the
rainforest. After the abolition of slavery in 1834–38, many
slaves left the plantations and became small farmers or
moved to the cities.
The Indians, who replaced the Africans on the
plantations, today make up about 44 percent of the total
population. Among the other ethnic groups are Chinese (0.2
per cent) and Portuguese (0.2 per cent). They also
originally came to the country as plantation workers but are
now mainly engaged in trade.
The country's official language is English. However, the
vast majority (85%) speak an English-based Creole language.
Among the Native American population there are various
Arabic and Carib languages, such as macushi and wapishana.
About 55% of the population is Christian, most of them
Anglicans, Methodists, Presbyterians and Baptists. About
7.9% are Catholics, 10,000 Orthodox.
Through immigration there is a strong element of Hinduism
(about 35%) and Islam (about 10%) as well as Confucianism
There is ecumenical cooperation between Christian
churches, mainly for the poor and the marginalized. In
recent years, there has been a marked increase in
fundamentalist, evangelical and charismatic groups living in
a tension relationship with older Christian communities.