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The lottery of birth is responsible for much of who we are. If you were not born in the country you were, what would your life be like? Would you be the same person?

IfItWereMyHome.com is your gateway to understanding life outside your home. Use our country comparison tool to compare living conditions in your own country to those of another.

You can also use our visualization tool to help understand the impact of a disaster. The Pakistan Flood and BP Oil Spill are currently featured. Check out the individual pages to gain some perspective on these awful tragedies.

If you're not sure where to begin, try this week's featured country, Suriname

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Country of the Week

Suriname

With its 573,311 people, Suriname is the 168th largest country in the world by population. It is the 92nd largest country in the world by area with 163,820 square kilometers.

First explored by the Spaniards in the 16th century and then settled by the English in the mid-17th century, Suriname became a Dutch colony in 1667. With the abolition of African slavery in 1863, workers were brought in from India and Java. Independence from the Netherlands was granted in 1975. Five years later the civilian government was replaced by a military regime that soon declared a socialist republic. It continued to exert control through a succession of nominally civilian administrations until 1987, when international pressure finally forced a democratic election. In 1990, the military overthrew the civilian leadership, but a democratically elected government - a four-party coalition - returned to power in 1991. The coalition expanded to eight parties in 2005 and ruled until August 2010, when voters returned former military leader Desire BOUTERSE and his opposition coalition to power.

Compare The United States to Suriname
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