Demerara (Dutch: Demerary)[needs Dutch IPA] is a historical region in the Guianas on the north coast of South America which is now part of the country of Guyana. It was a Dutch colony until 1815 and a county of British Guiana from 1838 to 1966. It was located about the lower courses of the Demerara River, and its main town was Georgetown.

Colony of Demerara
Kolonie Demerary
Coat of arms
The Demerara colony in 1759
(Note this map has East at its top.)
See here for its exact location (6° 48' N 58° 10' W).
StatusColony of the Dutch West India Company (1616-1796)
Occupied Territory of Great Britain (1796-1802)
Colony of Batavian Republic (1802-1803)
CapitalFort Zeelandia (1745–1755)
Borsselen (1755–1782)
Stabroek (1782–1815)
Common languagesDutch, African languages, Akawaio, Macushi, Waiwai, Arawakan, Patamona, Warrau, Carib, Wapishana, Arekuna, Portuguese, Spanish, French, English
 Ceded to the United Kingdom
November 20 1803
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Essequibo (colony)
Today part of Guyana
2 Joes (or 44 Dutch Guilders), Colonies of Demerary and Essequebo (1830s), second issue.

The name "Demerara" comes from a variant of the Arawak word "Immenary" or "Dumaruni" which means "river of the letter wood" (wood of Brosimum guianense tree).[1] Demerara sugar is so named because originally it came from sugar cane fields in the colony of Demerara.