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Countries > Dominican Republic Dominican Republic Flag
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Capital: Santo Domingo
Population: 7,823,000
Click to Listen Play the National Anthem
Dominican Republic Map

Geography

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 : 275 km
border countries: Haiti 275 km

Coastline: 1,288 km

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

Environment - international agreements:
party to : Biodiversity, Endangered Species, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Climate Change, 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

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:
total population:73.68 years
male :71.57 years
female: 75.91 years (2002 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.94 children born/woman (2002 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

Country name:
conventional long form: Dominican Republic
conventional short form: none
local long form : Republica Dominicana
local short form: none

Data code: DR

Government type: republic

National 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: 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 2000 (next to be held NA May 2004)
election results:Raphael Hipolito MEJIA Dominguez elected president; percent of vote - 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:Senate - last held 16 May 1998 (next to be held NA May 2002); Chamber of 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 (Corte Suprema), judges are elected by a Council made up of legislative and executive members 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, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (subscriber), ITU, LAES, LAIA (observer), NAM (observer), OAS, OPANAL, OPCW (signatory), PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIK, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Hugo GUILIANI Cury
chancery: 1715 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 332-6280, 6281
FAX: [1] (202) 265-8057
consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Mayaguez (Puerto Rico), Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and San Juan (Puerto Rico)
consulate(s): Charlotte Amalie (Virgin Islands), Detroit, Houston, Jacksonville, Mobile, and Ponce (Puerto Rico)

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 address: Unit 5500, APO AA 34041
telephone: [1] (809) 221-2171, 221-8100
FAX: [1] (809) 686-7437

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, the bottom ones are red (hoist side) and blue; a small coat of arms is at the center of the cross

Economy

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)

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 5% (2001 est.)

Labor force: 2.3 million - 2.6 million
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 - capacity: 2,450,400 kW (1995)

Electricity - production:9.475 billion kWh (2000)

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

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

Exports:
total value: $5.5 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
commodities: ferronickel, sugar, gold, coffee, cocoa
partners : US 87.3%, Netherlands 1.1%, Canada 0.7%, France 0.7% (2000 est.)

Imports:
total value: $8.7 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
commodities: foodstuffs, petroleum, cotton and fabrics, chemicals and pharmaceuticals
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: 1 Dominican peso (RD$) = 100 centavos

Exchange rates: Dominican pesos (RD$) per US$1 - 14.206 (January 1997), 13.775 (1996), 13.597 (1995), 13.160 (1994), 12.676 (1993), 12.774 (1992)

Fiscal year: calendar year

Communications

Telephones: 709,000 (1997)

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

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

Radios:1.44 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 25 (1997)

Televisions: 770,000 (1997)

Transportation

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

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

Pipelines: crude oil 96 km; petroleum products 8 km

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

Merchant marine:
total : 1 cargo ship (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,587 GRT/1,165 DWT (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 (1996 est.)
under 914 m: 10 (2001)

Military

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

Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age

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

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males : 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

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