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  Dominican Republic  
Flag of Dominican Republic
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  Introduction
  Geography
  People
  Government
  Economy
  Communications
  Transportation
  Military
  Transnational Issues

In general, information available as of 1 January, 2004
was used in the preparation of The World Factbook 2004.


This page was last updated on 30 November, 2004


Map of Dominican Republic

Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Dominican Republic
Background:
Definition Field Listing
Explored and claimed by Columbus on his first voyage in 1492, the island of Hispaniola 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. A legacy of unsettled, mostly non-representative, rule for much of its subsequent history was brought to an end in 1966 when Joaquin BALAGUER became president. He 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. The Dominican economy has had one of the fastest growth rates in the hemisphere over the past decade.
   Geography    Dominican Republic
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Caribbean, eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of Haiti
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
19 00 N, 70 40 W
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Central America and the Caribbean
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 48,730 sq km
land: 48,380 sq km
water: 350 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly more than twice the size of New Hampshire
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 360 km
border countries: Haiti 360 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
1,288 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 6 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
tropical maritime; little seasonal temperature variation; seasonal variation in rainfall
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
rugged highlands and mountains with fertile valleys interspersed
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Lago Enriquillo -46 m
highest point: Pico Duarte 3,175 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
nickel, bauxite, gold, silver
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 22.65%
permanent crops: 10.33%
other: 67.02% (2001)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
2,590 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
lies in the middle of the hurricane belt and subject to severe storms from June to October; occasional flooding; periodic droughts
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
water shortages; soil eroding into the sea damages coral reefs; deforestation
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
shares island of Hispaniola with Haiti
   People    Dominican Republic
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
8,833,634 (July 2004 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 33.3% (male 1,502,062; female 1,435,135)
15-64 years: 61.4% (male 2,767,880; female 2,658,861)
65 years and over: 5.3% (male 219,230; female 250,466) (2004 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 23.7 years
male: 23.5 years
female: 23.9 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.33% (2004 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
23.6 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
7.1 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
-3.22 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.88 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 33.28 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 35.75 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 30.68 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 67.63 years
male: 65.98 years
female: 69.35 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.89 children born/woman (2004 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.7% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
88,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
7,900 (2003 est.)
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Dominican(s)
adjective: Dominican
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
white 16%, black 11%, mixed 73%
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Roman Catholic 95%
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
Spanish
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 84.7%
male: 84.6%
female: 84.8% (2003 est.)
   Government    Dominican Republic
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Dominican Republic
conventional short form: none
local long form: Republica Dominicana
local short form: none
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
representative democracy
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Santo Domingo
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
31 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 Jose de Ocoa, San Juan, San Pedro de Macoris, Santiago, Santiago Rodriguez, Santo Domingo, Valverde
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
27 February 1844 (from Haiti)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 27 February (1844)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
28 November 1966
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on French civil codes; undergoing modification in 2004 towards an accusatory system
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age, universal and compulsory; married persons regardless of age
note: members of the armed forces and police cannot vote
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President Leonel FERNANDEZ Reyna (since 16 August 2004); Vice President Rafael ALBURQUERQUE de Castro (since 16 August 2004); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Leonel FERNANDEZ Reyna (since 16 August 2004); Vice President Rafael ALBURQUERQUE de Castro (since 16 August 2004); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
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 16 May 2004 (next to be held in May 2008)
election results: Leonel FERNANDEZ elected president; percent of vote - Leonel FERNANDEZ (PLD) 57.1%, Rafael Hipolito MEJIA Dominguez (PRD) 33.7%, Eduardo ESTRELLA (PRSC) 8.7%
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of the Senate or Senado (32 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms) and the Chamber of Deputies or Camara de Diputados (150 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held 16 May 2002 (next to be held NA May 2006); Chamber of Deputies - last held 16 May 2002 (next to be held NA May 2006)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PRD 29, PLD 2, PRSC 1; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PRD 73, PLD 41, PRSC 36
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
Dominican Liberation Party or PLD [Leonel FERNANDEZ Reyna]; Dominican Revolutionary Party or PRD [Hatuey DE CAMPS]; Social Christian Reformist Party or PRSC [Eduardo ESTRELLA]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Collective of Popular Organizations or COP; Citizen Participation Group (Participacion Ciudadania)
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
ACP, Caricom (observer), FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (subscriber), ITU, LAES, LAIA (observer), NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW (signatory), PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Hugo GUILIANI Cury
chancery: 1715 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 332-6280
FAX: [1] (202) 265-8057
consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Jacksonville, Mayaguez (Puerto Rico), Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and San Juan (Puerto Rico)
consulate(s): Mobile and Ponce (Puerto Rico)
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Hans H. HERTELL
embassy: corner of Calle Cesar Nicolas Penson and Calle Leopoldo Navarro, Santo Domingo
mailing address: Unit 5500, APO AA 34041-5500
telephone: [1] (809) 221-2171
FAX: [1] (809) 686-7437
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
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 an olive 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
   Economy    Dominican Republic
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
The Dominican Republic is a Caribbean representative democracy which enjoyed GDP growth of more than 7% in 1998-2000. Growth subsequently plummeted as part of the global economic slowdown. 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% enjoys nearly 40% of national income. Growth turned negative in 2003 with reduced tourism, a major bank fraud, and limited growth in the US economy, the source of 87% of export revenues. Resumption of a badly needed IMF loan was slowed due to government repurchase of electrical power plants.
GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $52.71 billion (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
-0.7% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $6,000 (2004 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 10.7%
industry: 31.5%
services: 57.8% (2003)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
19.9% of GDP (2004 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
25%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 2.1%
highest 10%: 37.9% (1998)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
47.4 (1998)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
27.5% (2004 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.3 million - 2.6 million (2000 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 17%, industry 24.3%, services and government 58.7% (1998 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
16.5% (2004 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $2.601 billion
expenditures: $3.353 billion, including capital expenditures of $1.1 billion (2004 est.)
Public debt:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
59.4% of GDP (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
sugarcane, coffee, cotton, cocoa, tobacco, rice, beans, potatoes, corn, bananas; cattle, pigs, dairy products, beef, eggs
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
tourism, sugar processing, ferronickel and gold mining, textiles, cement, tobacco
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2% (2001 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
9.186 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
8.543 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
129,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$867 million (2004 est.)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$5.524 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
ferronickel, sugar, gold, silver, coffee, cocoa, tobacco, meats, consumer goods
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 83.8%, Canada 1.5%, Haiti 1.5% (2003)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$7.911 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
foodstuffs, petroleum, cotton and fabrics, chemicals and pharmaceuticals
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 52.1%, Venezuela 11.9%, Mexico 4.7%, Colombia 4.2% (2003)
Reserves of foreign exchange & gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$261 million (2004 est.)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$6.567 billion (2004 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$239.6 million (1995)
Currency:
Definition Field Listing
Dominican peso (DOP)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
DOP
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Dominican pesos per US dollar - 30.8307 (2003), 18.6098 (2002), 16.9516 (2001), 16.415 (2000), 16.0331 (1999)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Dominican Republic
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
901,800 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2,120,400 (2003)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: NA
domestic: relatively efficient system based on island-wide microwave radio relay network
international: country code - 1-809; 1 coaxial submarine cable; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 120, FM 56, shortwave 4 (1998)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
25 (2003)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.do
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
64,197 (2003)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
500,000 (2003)
   Transportation    Dominican Republic
Railways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 1,743 km
standard gauge: 375 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 142 km 0.762-m gauge
note: additional 1,226 km operated by sugar companies in 1.076-m, 0.889-m, and 0.762-m gauges (2003)
Highways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 12,600 km
paved: 6,224 km
unpaved: 6,376 km (1999)
Pipelines:
Definition Field Listing
crude oil 96 km; petroleum products 8 km
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Barahona, La Romana, Manzanillo, Puerto Plata, San Pedro de Macoris, Santo Domingo
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
total: 3 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 11,230 GRT/17,011 DWT
by type: cargo 1, petroleum tanker 2
foreign-owned: Pakistan 1, Singapore 1
registered in other countries: 1 (2003 est.)
Airports:
Definition Field Listing
31 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 13
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 1 (2003 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 18
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 10 (2003 est.)
   Military    Dominican Republic
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Army, Navy, Air Force
Military manpower - military age:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age (2004 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 2,354,800 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 1,474,978 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males: 90,434 (2004 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$180 million (1998)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.1% (1998)
   Transnational Issues    Dominican Republic
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
despite efforts to control illegal migration, destitute Haitians fleeing poverty and violence continue to cross into the Dominican Republic; illegal migration of Dominicans and other nationals across the Mona Passage to Puerto Rico has increased in the last year
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
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; Colombian narcotics traffickers favor the Dominican Republic for illicit financial transactions

This page was last updated on 30 November, 2004


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