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Capital City: Roseau

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Papillote Wilderness Retreat



Background:  Dominica was the last of the Caribbean islands to be
colonized by Europeans, due chiefly to the fierce resistance of the
native Caribs. France ceded possession to Great Britain in 1763, which
made the island a colony in 1805. In 1980, two years after independence,
Dominica's fortunes improved when a corrupt and tyrannical administration
was replaced by that of Mary Eugenia CHARLES, the first female prime
minister in the Caribbean, who remained in office for 15 years.

Geography Dominica

Location:  Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and the North
Atlantic Ocean, about one-half of the way from Puerto Rico to Trinidad
and Tobago

Geographic coordinates:  15 25 N, 61 20 W

Map references:  Central America and the Caribbean

Area:  total: 754 sq km water: 0 sq km land: 754 sq km

Area - comparative:  slightly more than four times the size of Washington,

Land boundaries:  0 km

Coastline:  148 km

Maritime claims:   12 NM exclusive economic zone: Climate:  tropical;
moderated by northeast trade winds; heavy rainfall

Terrain:  rugged mountains of volcanic origin

Elevation extremes:  lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m highest point:
Morne Diablatins 1,447 m

Natural resources:  timber, hydropower, arable land

Land use:  arable land: 4% permanent crops: 16% other: 80% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land:  NA sq km

Natural hazards:  flash floods are a constant threat; destructive
hurricanes can be expected during the late summer months

Environment - current issues:  NA

Environment - international agreements:  party to: Biodiversity, Climate
Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification,
Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution,
Whaling signed, but not ratified: Geography - note:  known as "The Nature
Island of the Caribbean" due to its spectacular, lush, and varied flora
and fauna, which are protected by an extensive natural park system;
the most mountainous of the Lesser Antilles, its volcanic peaks are
cones of lava craters and include Boiling Lake, the second-largest,
thermally active lake in the world

People Dominica

Population:  70,158 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:  0-14 years: 28.3% (male 10,052; female 9,800) 15-64 years:
63.8% (male 23,011; female 21,782) 65 years and over: 7.9% (male 2,245;
female 3,268) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate:  -0.81% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:  17.3 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:  7.11 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:  -18.26 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:  at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.03
male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female 65 years and over:
0.69 male(s)/female total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate:  15.94 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:   76.88 years (2002 est.)  male: Total fertility
rate:  2.01 children born/woman (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  NA%

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:  NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths:  NA

Nationality:  noun: Dominican(s) adjective: Dominican

Ethnic groups:  black, mixed black and European, European, Syrian,
Carib Amerindian

Religions:  Roman Catholic 77%, Protestant 15% (Methodist 5%, Pentecostal
3%, Seventh-Day Adventist 3%, Baptist 2%, other 2%), none 2%, other 6%

Languages:  English (official), French patois

Literacy:   age 15 and over has ever attended school total population:
Government Dominica

Country name:  conventional long form: Commonwealth of Dominica
conventional short form: Dominica

Government type:  parliamentary democracy; republic within the

Capital:  Roseau

Administrative divisions:  10 parishes; Saint Andrew, Saint David, Saint
George, Saint John, Saint Joseph, Saint Luke, Saint Mark, Saint Patrick,
Saint Paul, Saint Peter

Independence:  3 November 1978 (from UK)

National holiday:  Independence Day, 3 November (1978)

Constitution:  3 November 1978

Legal system:  based on English common law

Suffrage:  18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:  chief of state: President Vernon Lordon SHAW (since 6
October 1998) elections: president elected by the House of Assembly for
a five-year term; election last held 6 October 1998 (next to be held
NA October 2003); prime minister appointed by the president election
results: Vernon Lordon SHAW elected president; percent of legislative
vote - NA% cabinet:  head of government: Prime Minister Pierre CHARLES
(since 1 October 2000); note - assumed post after death of Prime Minister
Roosevelt DOUGLAS

Legislative branch:  unicameral House of Assembly (30 seats, 9 appointed
senators, 21 elected by popular vote; members serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 31 January 2000 (next to be held by NA 2005) election
results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party -DLP 10, UWP 9,

Judicial branch:  Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, consisting of the
Court of Appeal and the High Court (located in Saint Lucia; one of the
six judges must reside in Dominica and preside over the Court of Summary

Political parties and leaders:  Dominica Freedom Party or DFP [Charles
SAVARIN]; Dominica Labor Party or DLP [Pierre CHARLES]; United Workers
Party or UWP [Edison JAMES]

Political pressure groups and leaders:  Dominica Liberation Movement or
DLM (a small leftist party)

International organization participation:  ACCT, ACP, C, Caricom, CDB,
IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO (subscriber), ITU, NAM (observer), OAS, OECS,

Diplomatic representation in the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador
Nicholas J. O. LIVERPOOL (resident in Dominica) chancery: 3216 New Mexico
Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016 telephone: [1] (202) 364-6781 consulate(s)
general: New York FAX: [1] (202) 364-6791

Diplomatic representation from the US:  the US does not have an embassy in
Dominica; US interests are served by the embassy in Bridgetown, Barbados

Flag description:  green, with a centered cross of three equal bands
- the vertical part is yellow (hoist side), black, and white and the
horizontal part is yellow (top), black, and white; superimposed in the
center of the cross is a red disk bearing a sisserou parrot encircled
by 10 green, five-pointed stars edged in yellow; the 10 stars represent
the 10 administrative divisions (parishes)

Economy Dominica

Economy - overview:  The Dominican economy depends on agriculture,
primarily bananas, and remains highly vulnerable to climatic
conditions. Hurricane Luis devastated the country's banana crop in
1995 after tropical storms wiped out a quarter of the 1994 crop. The
subsequent recovery has been fueled by increases in construction, soap
production, and tourist arrivals. Development of the tourism industry
remains difficult however, because of the rugged coastline, lack of
beaches, and the absence of an international airport. Economic growth is
sluggish, and unemployment is greater than 20%. The government has been
attempting to develop an offshore financial sector in order to diversify
the island's production base.

GDP:  purchasing power parity - $262 million (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:  -3.2% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita:  purchasing power parity - $3,700 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:  agriculture: 18% industry: 23% services:
59% (2001 est.)

Population below poverty line:  NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:  lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices):  1% (2001 est.)

Labor force:  25,000

Labor force - by occupation:  agriculture 40%, industry and commerce 32%,
services 28%

Unemployment rate:  23% (2000 est.)

Budget:  revenues: $72 million expenditures: $79.9 million, including
capital expenditures of $11.5 million (FY97/98)

Industries:  soap, coconut oil, tourism, copra, furniture, cement
blocks, shoes

Industrial production growth rate:  -10% (1997 est.)

Electricity - production:  67 million kWh (2000)

Electricity - production by source:  fossil fuel: 47.76% hydro: 52.24%
other: 0% (2000) nuclear: 0%

Electricity - consumption:  62.31 million kWh (2000)

Electricity - exports:  0 kWh (2000)

Electricity - imports:  0 kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products:  bananas, citrus, mangoes, root crops, coconuts,
cocoa; forest and fishery potential not exploited

Exports:  $49 million (f.o.b., 2000 est.)

Exports - commodities:  bananas, soap, bay oil, vegetables, grapefruit,

Exports - partners:  Caricom countries 47%, UK 36%, US 7% (1996 est.)

Imports:  $132 million (c.i.f., 2000 est.)

Imports - commodities:  manufactured goods, machinery and equipment,
food, chemicals

Imports - partners:  US 41%, Caricom countries 25%, UK 13%, Netherlands,
Canada (1996 est.)

Debt - external:  $150 million (2000)

Economic aid - recipient:  $24.4 million (1995)

Currency:  East Caribbean dollar (XCD)

Currency code:  XCD

Exchange rates:  East Caribbean dollars per US dollar - 2.7000 (fixed
rate since 1976)

Fiscal year:  1 July - 30 June

Communications Dominica

Telephones - main lines in use:  19,000 (1996)

Telephones - mobile cellular:  461 (1996)

Telephone system:   fully automatic network international:  Guadeloupe;
VHF and UHF radiotelephone links to Saint Lucia

Radio broadcast stations:  AM 3, FM 10, shortwave 0 (1998)

Radios:  46,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations:  0 (however, there is one cable television
company) (1997)

Televisions:  6,000 (1997)

Internet country code:  .dm

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):  16 (2000)

Internet users:  2,000 (2000)

Transportation Dominica

Railways:  0 km

Highways:  total: 780 km paved: 390 km unpaved: 390 km (2001)

Waterways:  none

Ports and harbors:  Portsmouth, Roseau

Merchant marine:  none (2002 est.)

Airports:  2 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:  total: 2 914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2001)

Military Dominica

Military branches:  Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force (including
Special Service Unit, Coast Guard)

Military expenditures - dollar figure:  $NA

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:  NA%

Transnational Issues Dominica

Disputes - international:  none

Illicit drugs:  transshipment point for narcotics bound for the US
and Europe; minor cannabis producer; banking industry is vulnerable to
money laundering

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002




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