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Central America and Caribbean :: DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
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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 became president; he was reelected in 2016.
  • 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
    mean elevation: 424 m
    elevation extremes: 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.)
    3,070 sq km (2012)
    coastal development is significant, especially in the southern coastal plains and the Cibao Valley, where population density is highest; smaller population clusters exist in the interior mountains (Cordillera Central)
    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 (eastern two-thirds makes up the Dominican Republic, western one-third is Haiti)
  • People and Society :: DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

  • 10,606,865 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    noun: Dominican(s)
    adjective: Dominican
    mixed 73%, white 16%, black 11%
    Spanish (official)
    Roman Catholic 95%, other 5%
    0-14 years: 27.06% (male 1,460,389/female 1,410,226)
    15-24 years: 18.3% (male 989,020/female 952,375)
    25-54 years: 39.54% (male 2,146,082/female 2,047,860)
    55-64 years: 7.67% (male 409,166/female 403,977)
    65 years and over: 7.43% (male 363,791/female 423,979) (2016 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 57.8%
    youth dependency ratio: 47.3%
    elderly dependency ratio: 10.5%
    potential support ratio: 9.5% (2015 est.)
    total: 27.8 years
    male: 27.6 years
    female: 28 years (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 135
    1.21% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 94
    18.6 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 92
    4.6 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 203
    -1.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 162
    coastal development is significant, especially in the southern coastal plains and the Cibao Valley, where population density is highest; smaller population clusters exist in the interior mountains (Cordillera Central)
    urban population: 79% of total population (2015)
    rate of urbanization: 2.6% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    SANTO DOMINGO (capital) 2.945 million (2015)
    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 (2016 est.)
    21.3
    note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2013 est.)
    92 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    total: 18.1 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 20 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 16.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    total population: 78.1 years
    male: 75.9 years
    female: 80.5 years (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 64
    2.31 children born/woman (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    73% (2009/10)
    4.4% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 130
    1.49 physicians/1,000 population (2011)
    1.7 beds/1,000 population (2011)
    improved:
    urban: 85.4% of population
    rural: 81.9% of population
    total: 84.7% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 14.6% of population
    rural: 18.1% of population
    total: 15.3% of population (2015 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 86.2% of population
    rural: 75.7% of population
    total: 84% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 13.8% of population
    rural: 24.3% of population
    total: 16% of population (2015 est.)
    1.03% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 45
    67,900 (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 52
    3,100 (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 44
    degree of risk: high
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne disease: dengue fever
    note: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses an important risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus (2016)
    23% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    4% (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    2.1% of GDP (2007)
    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 (2014)
    total: 31.4%
    male: 22.2%
    female: 46.7% (2013 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
    etymology: the country name derives from the capital city of Santo Domingo (Saint Dominic)
    presidential 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 (2016)
    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
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of the Dominican Republic
    dual citizenship recognized: yes
    residency requirement for naturalization: 2 years
    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/appointments: president and vice president directly elected on the same ballot by absolute vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 4-year term (eligible for consecutive terms); election last held on 15 May 2016 (next to be held in 2020)
    election results: Danilo MEDINA Sanchez reelected president; percent of vote - Danilo MEDINA Sanchez (PLD) 61.7%, Luis Rodolfo ABINADER Corona (PRM) 35%, other 3.3%; Margarita CEDENO DE FERNANDEZ (PLD) reelected 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 (190 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms)
    elections: Senate - last held on 15 May 2016 (next to be held in May 2020); House of Representatives - last held on 15 May 2016 (next to be held in May 2020)
    election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PLD 26, 2PRM, 1 BIS, 1 PLRD, 1 PRD, PRSC 1; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PLD 106, PRM 42, PRSC 18, PRD 16, PLRD 3, other 5
    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]
    Institutional Social Democratic Bloc or BIS
    Liberal Reformist Party or PLRD
    Modern Revolutionary Party or PRM [Andres BAUTISTA Garcia]
    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)
    consulate(s): San Francisco
    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 construction, 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 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, a large informal sector, and underemployment remain important long-term challenges.
    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 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 2010-15, and the fiscal situation is improving. A tax reform package passed in November 2012, a reduction in government spending, and lower energy costs helped to narrow the central government budget deficit from 6.6% of GDP in 2012 to 2.6% in 2015. 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 4% of GDP. Analysts project 6% GDP growth in 2016 and inflation within the Central Bank’s target of 4.0% 1.0%, due to low oil prices, increased remittances, and continued expansion in the services sector based on growth in construction.
    $149.7 billion (2015 est.)
    $139.9 billion (2014 est.)
    $130.3 billion (2013 est.)
    note: data are in 2015 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 74
    $67.49 billion (2015 est.)
    7% (2015 est.)
    7.3% (2014 est.)
    4.8% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    $15,000 (2015 est.)
    $14,200 (2014 est.)
    $13,300 (2013 est.)
    note: data are in 2015 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 108
    household consumption: 70.2%
    government consumption: 10.9%
    investment in fixed capital: 23.6%
    investment in inventories: -0.1%
    exports of goods and services: 24.7%
    imports of goods and services: -29.3% (2015 est.)
    agriculture: 5.3%
    industry: 33.2%
    services: 61.5% (2015 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, electrical components, medical devices
    8.5% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 19
    5.012 million (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    agriculture: 14.4%
    industry: 20.8%
    services: 64.7% (2014)
    14% (2015 est.)
    14.5% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 149
    41.1% (2013 est.)
    lowest 10%: 1.9%
    highest 10%: 37.4% (2013 est.)
    47.1 (2013 est.)
    45.7 (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 27
    revenues: $11.94 billion
    expenditures: $11.5 billion (2015 est.)
    17.7% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 176
    0.7% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    44.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
    44.5% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 103
    calendar year
    0.8% (2015 est.)
    3% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    14.88% (31 December 2015 est.)
    13.9% (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    $5.986 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $5.488 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    $18.74 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $16.99 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    $30.9 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $27.16 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    $NA
    -$1.299 billion (2015 est.)
    -$2.026 billion (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 132
    $9.523 billion (2015 est.)
    $9.899 billion (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 91
    gold, silver, cocoa, sugar, coffee, tobacco, meats, consumer goods
    US 42.5%, Haiti 16.5%, Canada 8.1%, India 4.8% (2015)
    $16.86 billion (2015 est.)
    $17.27 billion (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 79
    petroleum, foodstuffs, cotton and fabrics, chemicals and pharmaceuticals
    US 42%, China 9.2%, Venezuela 5.6%, Trinidad and Tobago 4.5%, Mexico 4.4% (2015)
    $5.266 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $4.862 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 91
    $25.71 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $26.71 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 80
    $31.05 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $28.81 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 67
    $272 million (31 December 2015 est.)
    $249.6 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    Dominican pesos (DOP) per US dollar -
    45.052 (2015 est.)
    43.556 (2014 est.)
    43.556 (2013 est.)
    39.34 (2012 est.)
    38.232 (2011 est.)
  • Energy :: DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

  • population without electricity: 300,000
    electrification - total population: 98%
    electrification - urban areas: 99%
    electrification - rural areas: 97% (2013)
    14 billion kWh (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 78
    15.14 billion kWh (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 78
    0 kWh (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    0 kWh (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    3.8 million kW (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    85.2% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    0% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    13.2% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    1.6% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 85
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 118
    27,660 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 64
    0 bbl (1 January 2016 es)
    country comparison to the world: 126
    25,390 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    116,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 83
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 176
    54,920 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 180
    1.069 billion cu m (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 85
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    1.069 billion cu m (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 54
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)
    country comparison to the world: 132
    22 million Mt (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
  • Communications :: DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

  • total subscriptions: 1,304,968
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 12 (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 68
    total: 8.797 million
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 84 (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 94
    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 85 per 100 persons
    international: country code - 1-809; 1-829; 1-849; landing point for the Americas Region Caribbean Ring System (ARCOS-1), Antillas 1, AMX-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) (2015)
    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 (2015)
    .do
    total: 5.442 million
    percent of population: 51.9% (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 69
  • Transportation :: DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

  • number of registered air carriers: 1
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 6
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 14,463
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 0 mt-km (2015)
    HI (2016)
    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: 496 km
    standard gauge: 354 km 1.435-m gauge
    narrow gauge: 142 km 0.762-m gauge (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    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 and Security :: 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)
    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: 133,770 (2015); 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 with birth certificates but will require those without them to prove they were born in the Dominican Republic and to apply for naturalization
    note: revised estimate includes only individuals born to parents who were both born abroad; it does not include individuals born in the country to one Dominican-born and one foreign-born parent or subsequent generations of individuals of foreign descent; the estimate, as such, does not include all stateless persons (2015)
    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)