Library

 
View Text Low Bandwidth Version
Download Publication
Central America and Caribbean :: Dominican Republic
Page last updated on July 15, 2015
 
view 3 photos of
Dominican Republic
  • Introduction :: DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

  • The Taino - indigenous inhabitants of Hispaniola prior to the arrival of the Europeans - divided the island into five chiefdoms and territories. Christopher COLUMBUS explored and claimed the island on his first voyage in 1492; it became a springboard for Spanish conquest of the Caribbean and the American mainland. In 1697, Spain recognized French dominion over the western third of the island, which in 1804 became Haiti. The remainder of the island, by then known as Santo Domingo, sought to gain its own independence in 1821 but was conquered and ruled by the Haitians for 22 years; it finally attained independence as the Dominican Republic in 1844. In 1861, the Dominicans voluntarily returned to the Spanish Empire, but two years later they launched a war that restored independence in 1865. A legacy of unsettled, mostly non-representative rule followed, capped by the dictatorship of Rafael Leonidas TRUJILLO from 1930 to 1961. Juan BOSCH was elected president in 1962 but was deposed in a military coup in 1963. In 1965, the US led an intervention in the midst of a civil war sparked by an uprising to restore BOSCH. In 1966, Joaquin BALAGUER defeated BOSCH in the presidential election. BALAGUER maintained a tight grip on power for most of the next 30 years when international reaction to flawed elections forced him to curtail his term in 1996. Since then, regular competitive elections have been held in which opposition candidates have won the presidency. Former President Leonel FERNANDEZ Reyna (first term 1996-2000) won election to a new term in 2004 following a constitutional amendment allowing presidents to serve more than one term, and was later reelected to a second consecutive term. In 2012, Danilo MEDINA Sanchez was elected president.
  • Geography :: DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

  • Caribbean, eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of Haiti
    19 00 N, 70 40 W
    Central America and the Caribbean
    total: 48,670 sq km
    land: 48,320 sq km
    water: 350 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 132
    slightly more than twice the size of New Hampshire
    total: 376 km
    border countries (1): Haiti 376 km
    1,288 km
    measured from claimed archipelagic straight baselines
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    contiguous zone: 24 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
    tropical maritime; little seasonal temperature variation; seasonal variation in rainfall
    rugged highlands and mountains interspersed with fertile valleys
    lowest point: Lago Enriquillo -46 m
    highest point: Pico Duarte 3,175 m
    nickel, bauxite, gold, silver, arable land
    agricultural land: 51.5%
    arable land 16.6%; permanent crops 10.1%; permanent pasture 24.8%
    forest: 40.8%
    other: 7.7% (2011 est.)
    3,065 sq km (2009)
    21 cu km (2011)
    total: 5.47 cu km/yr (26%/1%/72%)
    per capita: 574.2 cu m/yr (2005)
    lies in the middle of the hurricane belt and subject to severe storms from June to October; occasional flooding; periodic droughts
    water shortages; soil eroding into the sea damages coral reefs; deforestation
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
    shares island of Hispaniola with Haiti
  • People and Society :: DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

  • noun: Dominican(s)
    adjective: Dominican
    mixed 73%, white 16%, black 11%
    Spanish (official)
    Roman Catholic 95%, other 5%
    10,478,756 (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    0-14 years: 27.53% (male 1,467,374/female 1,416,998)
    15-24 years: 18.39% (male 982,191/female 945,087)
    25-54 years: 39.41% (male 2,113,028/female 2,016,733)
    55-64 years: 7.44% (male 392,230/female 387,052)
    65 years and over: 7.23% (male 349,983/female 408,080) (2015 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 57.1%
    youth dependency ratio: 47%
    elderly dependency ratio: 10.1%
    potential support ratio: 9.9% (2014 est.)
    total: 27.1 years
    male: 26.9 years
    female: 27.3 years (2014 est.)
    1.23% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    18.73 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 92
    4.55 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 203
    -1.91 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 165
    urban population: 79% of total population (2015)
    rate of urbanization: 2.6% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    SANTO DOMINGO (capital) 2.873 million (2014)
    at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2015 est.)
    total: 18.84 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 20.75 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 16.86 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 92
    total population: 77.97 years
    male: 75.76 years
    female: 80.28 years (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    2.33 children born/woman (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    73% (2009/10)
    5.4% of GDP (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 130
    1.49 physicians/1,000 population (2011)
    1.7 beds/1,000 population (2011)
    improved:
    urban: 82.5% of population
    rural: 77.2% of population
    total: 80.9% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 17.5% of population
    rural: 22.8% of population
    total: 19.1% of population (2012 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 85.5% of population
    rural: 73.8% of population
    total: 82% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 14.5% of population
    rural: 26.2% of population
    total: 18% of population (2012 est.)
    0.7% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 52
    45,500 (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 57
    1,700 (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    degree of risk: high
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne disease: dengue fever (2013)
    23% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    4% (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    3.8% of GDP (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 163
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 91.8%
    male: 91.2%
    female: 92.3% (2015 est.)
    total: 13 years
    male: 13 years
    female: 14 years (2012)
    total number: 180,423
    percentage: 10% (2000 est.)
    total: 29.4%
    male: 22.6%
    female: 40.8% (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 26
  • Government :: DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

  • conventional long form: Dominican Republic
    conventional short form: The Dominican
    local long form: Republica Dominicana
    local short form: La Dominicana
    democratic republic
    name: Santo Domingo
    geographic coordinates: 18 28 N, 69 54 W
    time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    10 regions (regiones, singular - region); Cibao Nordeste, Cibao Noroeste, Cibao Norte, Cibao Sur, El Valle, Enriquillo, Higuamo, Ozama, Valdesia, Yuma
    27 February 1844 (from Haiti)
    Independence Day, 27 February (1844)
    many previous (38 total); latest proclaimed 26 January 2010; note - the Dominican Republic Government has a practice of promulgating a "new" constitution whenever an amendment is ratified (2013)
    civil law system based on the French civil code; Criminal Procedures Code modified in 2004 to include important elements of an accusatory system
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age, universal and compulsory; married persons regardless of age can vote; note - members of the armed forces and national police by law cannot vote
    chief of state: President Danilo MEDINA Sanchez (since 16 August 2012); Vice President Margarita CEDENO DE FERNANDEZ (since 16 August 2012); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
    head of government: President Danilo MEDINA Sanchez (since 16 August 2012); Vice President Margarita CEDENO DE FERNANDEZ (since 16 August 2012)
    cabinet: Cabinet nominated by the president
    elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms; election last held on 20 May 2012 (next to be held in 2016)
    election results: Danilo MEDINA Sanchez elected president; percent of vote - Danilo MEDINA Sanchez 51.2%, Hipolito MEJIA 47%, other 1.8%; Margarita CEDENO DE FERNANDEZ elected vice president
    description: bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of the Senate or Senado (32 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 4-year terms) and the House of Representatives or Camara de Diputados (195 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms)
    elections: Senate - last held on 16 May 2010 (next to be held in May 2016); House of Representatives - last held on 16 May 2010 (next to be held in May 2016); note - in order to synchronize presidential, legislative, and local elections for 2016, members elected in 2010 will actually serve six-year terms
    election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PLD 31, PRSC 1; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PLD 105, PRD 75, PRSC 3
    highest court(s): Supreme Court of Justice or Suprema Corte de Justicia (consists of a minimum of 16 magistrates); Constitutional Court or Tribunal Constitucional (consists of 13 judges); note - the Constitutional Court was established in 2010 by constitutional amendment
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court and Constitutional Court judges appointed by the National Council of the Judiciary comprised of the president, the leaders of both chambers of congress, the president of the Supreme Court, and a non-governing party congressional representative; Supreme Court judges appointed for 7-year terms; Constitutional Court judges appointed for 9-year terms
    subordinate courts: courts of appeal; courts of first instance; justices of the peace; special courts for juvenile, labor, and land cases; Contentious Administrative Court for cases filed against the government
    Dominican Liberation Party or PLD [Leonel FERNANDEZ Reyna]
    Dominican Revolutionary Party or PRD [Miguel VARGAS Maldonado]
    National Progressive Front [Vinicio CASTILLO, Pelegrin CASTILLO]
    Social Christian Reformist Party or PRSC [Carlos MORALES Troncoso]
    Citizen Participation Group (Participacion Ciudadania)
    Collective of Popular Organizations or COP
    Foundation for Institution-Building and Justice or FINJUS
    ACP, AOSIS, BCIE, Caricom (observer), CD, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA, MIGA, MINUSMA, NAM, OAS, OIF (observer), OPANAL, OPCW, Pacific Alliance (observer), PCA, Petrocaribe, SICA (associated member), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    chief of mission: Ambassador Jose Tomas PEREZ (since 23 February 2015)
    chancery: 1715 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 332-6280
    FAX: [1] (202) 265-8057
    consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Mayaguez (Puerto Rico), Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Juan (Puerto Rico)
    chief of mission: Ambassador James Walter BREWSTER, Jr. (since 9 December 2013)
    embassy: Av. Republica de Colombia
    mailing address: Unit 5500, APO AA 34041-5500
    telephone: [1] (809) 567-7775
    FAX: [1] (809) 686-7437
    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 featuring a shield supported by a laurel branch (left) and a palm branch (right) is at the center of the cross; above the shield a blue ribbon displays the motto, DIOS, PATRIA, LIBERTAD (God, Fatherland, Liberty), and below the shield, REPUBLICA DOMINICANA appears on a red ribbon; in the shield a bible is opened to a verse that reads "Y la verdad nos hara libre" (And the truth shall set you free); blue stands for liberty, white for salvation, and red for the blood of heroes
    palmchat (bird); national colors: red, white, blue
    name: "Himno Nacional" (National Anthem)
    lyrics/music: Emilio PRUD"HOMME/Jose REYES
    note: adopted 1934; also known as "Quisqueyanos valientes" (Valient Sons of Quisqueye); the anthem never refers to the people as Dominican but rather calls them "Quisqueyanos," a reference to the indigenous name of the island
  • Economy :: DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

  • The Dominican Republic has long been viewed primarily as an exporter of sugar, coffee, and tobacco, but in recent years the service sector has overtaken agriculture as the economy's largest employer, due to growth in telecommunications, tourism, and free trade zones. The mining sector has also played a greater role in the export market since late 2012 with the commencement of the extraction phase of the Pueblo Viejo Gold and Silver mine. The economy is highly dependent upon the US, the destination for approximately half of exports. Remittances from the US amount to about 7% of GDP, equivalent to about a third of exports and two-thirds of tourism receipts. The country suffers from marked income inequality; the poorest half of the population receives less than one-fifth of GDP, while the richest 10% enjoys nearly 40% of GDP. High unemployment and underemployment remains an important long-term challenge. The Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) came into force in March 2007, boosting investment and exports and reducing losses to the Asian garment industry. The Dominican Republic's economy rebounded from the global recession in 2010-14, and the fiscal situation is improving. A tax reform package passed in November 2012 and a reduction in government spending helped to narrow the central government budget deficit from 6.6% of GDP in 2012 to 2.7% in 2014. A successful government bond placement in 2013 and 2014 helped finance the deficit. A liability management operation in January 2015, in which the government paid down over $4 billion of the country’s Petrocaribe debt, at a discount of 52% with proceeds from the sale of $2.5 billion in global bonds, reduced the country’s debt load by approximately by 3.3% of GDP.
    $138.3 billion (2014 est.)
    $129.2 billion (2013 est.)
    $123.3 billion (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 74
    $64.05 billion (2014 est.)
    7.3% (2014 est.)
    4.8% (2014 est.)
    2.6% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 49
    $12,800 (2014 est.)
    $12,400 (2013 est.)
    $12,000 (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2013 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 114
    household consumption: 72%
    government consumption: 10.2%
    investment in fixed capital: 21.4%
    investment in inventories: 0.8%
    exports of goods and services: 26.1%
    imports of goods and services: -30.6%
    (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 6.3%
    industry: 32.1%
    services: 61.6% (2014 est.)
    cocoa, tobacco, sugarcane, coffee, cotton, rice, beans, potatoes, corn, bananas; cattle, pigs, dairy products, beef, eggs
    tourism, sugar processing, gold mining, textiles, cement, tobacco
    6% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    4.996 million (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    agriculture: 14.4%
    industry: 20.8%
    services: 64.7% (2014 est.)
    14.6% (2014 est.)
    15% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 142
    41.1% (2013 est.)
    lowest 10%: 1.9%
    highest 10%: 35.8% (2012 est.)
    45.7 (2012 est.)
    52 (2000 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 35
    revenues: $10.11 billion
    expenditures: $11.77 billion (2014 est.)
    15.8% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 186
    -2.6% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    48.2% of GDP (2014 est.)
    45.6% of GDP (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    calendar year
    3.3% (2014 est.)
    4.8% (2013 est.)
    13.7% (31 December 2014 est.)
    13.59% (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 52
    $5.621 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $5.203 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 94
    $17.42 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $15.97 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 89
    $26.87 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $24.87 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 78
    $NA
    -$1.852 billion (2014 est.)
    -$2.467 billion (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 145
    $10.11 billion (2014 est.)
    $9.504 billion (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    gold, silver, cocoa, sugar, coffee, tobacco, meats, consumer goods
    US 38.9%, Haiti 16%, Canada 11.9% (2013)
    $16.97 billion (2014 est.)
    $16.81 billion (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 83
    petroleum, foodstuffs, cotton and fabrics, chemicals and pharmaceuticals
    US 44.7%, Venezuela 7.8%, China 6.5%, Mexico 6.3%, Trinidad and Tobago 4.2% (2013)
    $4.503 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $4.703 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    $19.72 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $18.78 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 84
    $28.52 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $26.42 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 68
    $72.8 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $72.8 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    Dominican pesos (DOP) per US dollar -
    43.5 (2014 est.)
    41.808 (2013 est.)
    39.34 (2012 est.)
    38.232 (2011 est.)
    37.307 (2010 est.)
  • Energy :: DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

  • 14.1 billion kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    9.176 billion kWh (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 91
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 140
    3.364 million kW (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 91
    85.2% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 92
    0% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 79
    13.2% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 98
    1.6% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 84
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 170
    0 bbl/day (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 104
    26,500 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 66
    0 bbl (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 126
    28,050 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 89
    123,500 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 172
    85,490 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 54
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 125
    1.28 billion cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 85
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    1.28 billion cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 57
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 132
    20.8 million Mt (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
  • Communications :: DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

  • 1.065 million (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    9.038 million (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 86
    general assessment: relatively efficient system based on island-wide microwave radio relay network
    domestic: fixed-line teledensity is about 10 per 100 persons; multiple providers of mobile-cellular service with a subscribership of nearly 90 per 100 persons
    international: country code - 1-809; landing point for the Americas Region Caribbean Ring System (ARCOS-1), Antillas 1, and the Fibralink submarine cables that provide links to South and Central America, parts of the Caribbean, and US; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2011)
    combination of state-owned and privately owned broadcast media; 1 state-owned TV network and a number of private TV networks; networks operate repeaters to extend signals throughout country; combination of state-owned and privately owned radio stations with more than 300 radio stations operating (2007)
    AM 120, FM 56, shortwave 4 (1998)
    25 (2003)
    .do
    404,500 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 55
    2.701 million (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 66
  • Transportation :: DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

  • 36 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 110
    total: 16
    over 3,047 m: 3
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
    914 to 1,523 m: 4
    under 914 m: 1 (2013)
    total: 20
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
    914 to 1,523 m: 1
    under 914 m:
    18 (2013)
    1 (2013)
    gas 27 km; oil 103 km (2013)
    total: 142 km
    standard gauge: 142 km 1.435-m gauge (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    total: 19,705 km
    paved: 9,872 km
    unpaved: 9,833 km (2002)
    country comparison to the world: 110
    major seaport(s): Puerto Haina, Puerto Plata, Santo Domingo
    oil terminal(s): Punta Nizao oil terminal
    LNG terminal(s) (import): Andres LNG terminal (Boca Chica)
  • Military :: DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

  • Army (Ejercito Nacional, EN), Navy (Marina de Guerra, MdG; includes naval infantry), Dominican Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Dominicana, FAD) (2013)
    17-21 years of age for voluntary military service; recruits must have completed primary school and be Dominican Republic citizens; women may volunteer (2012)
    males age 16-49: 2,580,083
    females age 16-49: 2,464,698 (2010 est.)
    males age 16-49: 2,188,358
    females age 16-49: 2,090,180 (2010 est.)
    male: 100,047
    female: 96,302 (2010 est.)
    0.61% of GDP (2012)
    0.63% of GDP (2011)
    0.61% of GDP (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 121
  • Transnational Issues :: DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

  • Haitian migrants cross the porous border into the Dominican Republic to find work; illegal migrants from the Dominican Republic cross the Mona Passage each year to Puerto Rico to find better work
    stateless persons: 210,000 (2014); note - a September 2013 Constitutional Court ruling revoked the citizenship of those born after 1929 to immigrants without proper documentation, even though the constitution at the time automatically granted citizenship to children born in the Dominican Republic and the 2010 constitution provides that constitutional provisions cannot be applied retroactively; the decision overwhelmingly affected people of Haitian descent whose relatives had come to the Dominican Republic since the 1940s as a cheap source of labor for sugar plantations; a May 2014 law passed by the Dominican Congress will regularize the status of those who have birth certificates but will require those without them to prove they were born in the Dominican Republic and to apply for naturalization
    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; substantial money laundering activity in particular by Colombian narcotics traffickers; significant amphetamine consumption (2008)
GO TOP