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Dominican Republic
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Flag of the Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic

Country Profile

Capital City: Santo Domingo (pop. 2.4 million)

Other Cities: Santiago de los Caballeros (pop. 690 548)

Local Time: UTC -4h

Location: Caribbean, eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola, east of Haiti, between Cuba and Puerto Rico. the north of Caribbean Sea to south of the North Atlantic Ocean. Area: 48 442 sq. km. (18 704 sq. mi.)
Terrain: Highlands and mountains with fertile valleys.

Border countries
: Haiti

Climate: Maritime semitropical, with an average yearly temperature of 26°C (78°F).

Type: Representative democracy.
Independence: 27 February 1844 (from Haiti). Restoration of independence, 16 August 1863.
Constitution: 28 November 1966; amended 25 July 2002

Nationality: Noun and adjective--Dominican(s).
Population: 8.9 million.
Ethnic groups: European 16%, African origin 11%, mixed 73%.
Religion: Roman Catholic 95%.
Language: Spanish.
Literacy: 83%.


Currency: Dominican Peso (DOP)

Natural resources: Nickel, bauxite, gold, silver.

Agriculture products: Sugarcane, coffee, cotton, cocoa, tobacco, rice, beans, potatoes, corn, bananas; cattle, pigs, dairy products, beef, eggs.

Industries: Tourism, sugar processing, ferronickel and gold mining, textiles, cement, tobacco.

Exports partners:
USA 83.8%, Canada 1.5%, Haiti 1.5% (2003)

Imports partners: USA 52.1%, Venezuela 11.9%, Mexico 4.7%, Colombia 4.2% (2003)

Internet Links

Official Sites of Dominican Republic

Presidencia de la República Dominicana

Bienvenidos a la República Dominicana

Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores

Diplomatic Missions
Misión Permanente de la República Dominicana ante las Naciones Unidas

Embassy of the Dominican Republic

Oficina Nacional de Estadística

Map of Dominican Republic

Map of Central America and the Caribbean


Dominican Republic

Background:  A legacy of unsettled, mostly nonrepresentative, rule for
much of the 20th century was brought to an end in 1996 when free and
open elections ushered in a new government.

Geography Dominican Republic

Location:  Caribbean, eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola,
between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of Haiti

Geographic coordinates:  19 00 N, 70 40 W

Map references:  Central America and the Caribbean

Area:  total: 48,730 sq km land: 48,380 sq km water: 350 sq km

Area - comparative:  slightly more than twice the size of New Hampshire

Land boundaries:  total: 360 km border countries: Haiti 360 km

Coastline:  1,288 km

Maritime claims:  contiguous zone: 24 NM territorial sea: 6 NM continental
shelf: 200 NM or to the edge of the continental margin exclusive economic
zone: 200 NM

Climate:  tropical maritime; little seasonal temperature variation;
seasonal variation in rainfall

Terrain:  rugged highlands and mountains with fertile valleys interspersed

Elevation extremes:  lowest point: Lago Enriquillo -46 m highest point:
Pico Duarte 3,175 m

Natural resources:  nickel, bauxite, gold, silver

Land use:  arable land: 21% permanent crops: 10% other: 69% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land:  2,590 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural hazards:  lies in the middle of the hurricane belt and subject to
severe storms from June to October; occasional flooding; periodic droughts

Environment - current issues:  water shortages; soil eroding into the
sea damages coral reefs; deforestation; Hurricane Georges damage

Environment - international agreements:  party to: Biodiversity,
Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes,
Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer
Protection, Ship Pollution signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea

Geography - note:  shares island of Hispaniola with Haiti (eastern
two-thirds is the Dominican Republic, western one-third is Haiti)

People Dominican Republic

Population:  8,721,594 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:  0-14 years: 33.7% (male 1,503,344; female 1,439,157)
15-64 years: 61.3% (male 2,720,308; female 2,621,539) 65 years and over:
5% (male 206,556; female 230,690) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate:  1.61% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:  24.4 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:  4.68 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:  -3.59 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:  at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.04
male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female 65 years and over:
0.9 male(s)/female total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate:  33.41 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:   75.91 years (2002 est.)  male: Total fertility
rate:  2.94 children born/woman (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  2.8% (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:  130,000 (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:  4,900 (1999 est.)

Nationality:  noun: Dominican(s) adjective: Dominican

Ethnic groups:  white 16%, black 11%, mixed 73%

Religions:  Roman Catholic 95%

Languages:  Spanish

Literacy:  definition: age 15 and over can read and write total
population: 82.1% male: 82% female: 82.2% (1995 est.)

Government Dominican Republic

Country name:   Dominican Republic conventional short form: Government
type:  representative democracy

Capital:  Santo Domingo

Administrative divisions:  29 provinces (provincias, singular -
provincia) and 1 district* (distrito); Azua, Baoruco, Barahona, Dajabon,
Distrito Nacional*, Duarte, Elias Pina, El Seibo, Espaillat, Hato Mayor,
Independencia, La Altagracia, La Romana, La Vega, Maria Trinidad Sanchez,
Monsenor Nouel, Monte Cristi, Monte Plata, Pedernales, Peravia, Puerto
Plata, Salcedo, Samana, Sanchez Ramirez, San Cristobal, San Juan, San
Pedro de Macoris, Santiago, Santiago Rodriguez, Valverde

Independence:  27 February 1844 (from Haiti)

National holiday:  Independence Day, 27 February (1844)

Constitution:  28 November 1966

Legal system:  based on French civil codes

Suffrage:  18 years of age, universal and compulsory; married persons
regardless of age note: members of the armed forces and police cannot vote

Executive branch:  chief of state: President Rafael Hipolito MEJIA
Dominguez (since 16 August 2000); Vice President Milagros ORTIZ-BOSCH
(since 16 August 2000); note - the president is both the chief of state
and head of government head of government: President Rafael Hipolito MEJIA
Dominguez (since 16 August 2000); Vice President Milagros ORTIZ-BOSCH
(since 16 August 2000); note - the president is both the chief of state
and head of government cabinet:  elected on the same ticket by popular
vote for four-year terms; election last held 16 May 2000 (next to be
held NA May 2004) election results:  Rafael Hipolito MEJIA Dominguez
(PRD) 49.87%, Danilo MEDINA (PLD) 24.95%, Joaquin BALAGUER (PRSC) 24.6%

Legislative branch:  bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional
consists of the Senate or Senado (30 seats; members are elected by popular
vote to serve four-year terms) and the Chamber of Deputies or Camara
de Diputados (149 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve
four-year terms) elections:  Deputies - last held 16 May 1998 (next to
be held NA May 2002) election results: Senate - percent of vote by party
- NA%; seats by party - PRD 24, PLD 3, PRSC 3; Chamber of Deputies -
percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - PRD 83, PLD 49, PRSC 17

Judicial branch:  Supreme Court or Corte Suprema (judges are elected by
a Council made up of members of the legislative and executive branches
with the president presiding)

Political parties and leaders:  Dominican Liberation Party or PLD [Leonel
FERNANDEZ Reyna]; Dominican Revolutionary Party or PRD [Hatuey DE CAMPS];
Social Christian Reformist Party or PRSC [Joaquin BALAGUER Ricardo]

Political pressure groups and leaders:  Collective of Popular
Organizations or COP

International organization participation:  ACP, Caricom (observer), ECLAC,
IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (subscriber), ITU, LAES, LAIA
(observer), NAM (observer), OAS, OPANAL, OPCW (signatory), PCA, RG, UN,

Diplomatic representation in the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador Hugo
GUILIANI Cury consulate(s): Houston, Jacksonville, Mobile, and Ponce
(Puerto Rico) consulate(s) general:  Philadelphia, San Francisco, and
San Juan (Puerto Rico) FAX: [1] (202) 265-8057 telephone: [1] (202)
332-6280 chancery: 1715 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

Diplomatic representation from the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador
Hans H. HERTELL embassy: corner of Calle Cesar Nicolas Penson and Calle
Leopoldo Navarro, Santo Domingo mailing
 [1] (809) 221-7121 FAX:
Flag description:  a centered white cross that extends to the edges
divides the flag into four rectangles - the top ones are blue (hoist side)
and red, and the bottom ones are red (hoist side) and blue; a small coat
of arms is at the center of the cross

Economy Dominican Republic

Economy - overview:  The Dominican economy experienced dramatic growth
over the last decade, even though the economy was hit hard by Hurricane
Georges in 1998.  Although the country has long been viewed primarily as
an exporter of sugar, coffee, and tobacco, in recent years the service
sector has overtaken agriculture as the economy's largest employer,
due to growth in tourism and free trade zones. The country suffers from
marked income inequality; the poorest half of the population receives
less than one-fifth of GNP, while the richest 10% enjoy 40% of national
income. A US $500 million foreign bond issue in September 2001 will
contribute to increased public investment spending.

GDP:  purchasing power parity - $50 billion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:  1.5% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita:  purchasing power parity - $5,800 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:  agriculture: 11.1% industry: 34.1% services:
54.8% (2000)

Population below poverty line:  25% (1999 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:  lowest 10%: 1.6%
highest 10%: 39.6% (1989)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:  47.4 (1998)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):  5% (2001 est.)

Labor force:  2.3 million - 2.6 million

Labor force - by occupation:  services and government 58.7%, industry
24.3%, agriculture 17% (1998 est.)

Unemployment rate:  15% (2001 est.)

Budget:  revenues: $2.9 billion expenditures: $3.2 billion, including
capital expenditures of $1.1 billion (2001 est.)

Industries:  tourism, sugar processing, ferronickel and gold mining,
textiles, cement, tobacco

Industrial production growth rate:  2% (2001 est.)

Electricity - production:  9.475 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - production by source:  fossil fuel: 87.21% hydro: 12.53%
other: 0.26% (2000) nuclear: 0%

Electricity - consumption:  8,812.029 million kWh (2000)

Electricity - exports:  0 kWh (2000)

Electricity - imports:  0 kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products:  sugarcane, coffee, cotton, cocoa, tobacco, rice,
beans, potatoes, corn, bananas; cattle, pigs, dairy products, beef, eggs

Exports:  $5.5 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)

Exports - commodities:  ferronickel, sugar, gold, silver, coffee, cocoa,
tobacco, meats, consumer goods

Exports - partners:  US 87.3%, Netherlands 1.1%, Canada 0.7%, France 0.7%
(2000 est.)

Imports:  $8.7 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)

Imports - commodities:  foodstuffs, petroleum, cotton and fabrics,
chemicals and pharmaceuticals

Imports - partners:  US 60.5%, Japan 10.4%, Mexico 4.7%, Venezuela 3%
(2000 est.)

Debt - external:  $5.4 billion (2001 est.)

Economic aid - recipient:  $239.6 million (1995)

Currency:  Dominican peso (DOP)

Currency code:  DOP

Exchange rates:  Dominican pesos per US dollar - 17.310 (January 2002),
16.952 (2001), 16.415 (2000), 16.033 (1999), 15.267 (1998), 14.265 (1997)

Fiscal year:  calendar year

Communications Dominican Republic

Telephones - main lines in use:  709,000 (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular:  130,149 (1997)

Telephone system:  general assessment: NA domestic: relatively efficient
system based on islandwide microwave radio relay network international: 1
coaxial submarine cable; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic

Radio broadcast stations:  AM 120, FM 56, shortwave 4 (1998)

Radios:  1.44 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations:  25 (1997)

Televisions:  770,000 (1997)

Internet country code:  .do

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):  24 (2000)

Internet users:  25,000 (1999)

Transportation Dominican Republic

Railways:  total: 757 km standard gauge: 375 km 1.435-m gauge (Central
Romana Railroad) miscellaneous gauge: 240 km operated by sugar companies
in various gauges (0.558-m, 0.762-m, 1.067-m gauges) (2000 est.)
narrow gauge: 142 km 0.762-m gauge (Dominican Republic Government Railway)

Highways:  total: 12,600 km paved: 6,224 km unpaved: 6,376 km (1996)

Waterways:  none

Pipelines:  crude oil 96 km; petroleum products 8 km

Ports and harbors:  Barahona, La Romana, Manzanillo, Puerto Plata,
San Pedro de Macoris, Santo Domingo

Merchant marine:  total: 1 ship (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,587
GRT/1,165 DWT ships by type: cargo 1 (2002 est.)

Airports:  29 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:  total: 13 over 3,047 m: 3 2,438 to 3,047
m: 2 1,524 to 2,437 m: 4 914 to 1,523 m: 3 under 914 m: 1 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:  total: 16 1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 914 to
1,523 m: 4 under 914 m: 10 (2001)

Military Dominican Republic

Military branches:  Army, Navy, Air Force, National Police

Military manpower - military age:  18 years of age (2002 est.)

Military manpower - availability:  males age 15-49: 2,323,088 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:  males age 15-49: 1,455,887
(2002 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:  males: 87,404
(2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure:  $180 million (FY98)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:  1.1% (FY98)

Transnational Issues Dominican Republic

Disputes - international:  none

Illicit drugs:  transshipment point for South American drugs destined
for the US and Europe; has become a transshipment point for ecstasy from
the Netherlands and Belgium destined for US and Canada

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002



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