Dominican Republic

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Introduction - Dominican Republic:

Country

Dominican Republic

Background

Explored and claimed by Christopher 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. 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 1930-61. Juan BOSCH was elected president in 1962, but was deposed in a military coup in 1963. In 1965, the United States led an intervention in the midst of a civil war sparked by an uprising to restore BOSCH. In 1966, Joaquin BALAGUER defeated BOSCH in an election to become president. 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 (1996-2000) Leonel FERNANDEZ Reyna won election to a second term in 2004 following a constitutional amendment allowing presidents to serve more than one term.

Location - 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

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

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: 22.49%
permanent crops: 10.26%
other: 67.25% (2005)

Irrigated land

2,750 sq km (2003)

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, 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

Geography note

shares island of Hispaniola with Haiti

People - Dominican Republic:

Population

9,365,818 (July 2007 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 32.1% (male 1,532,813/female 1,477,033)
15-64 years: 62.2% (male 2,971,620/female 2,851,207)
65 years and over: 5.7% (male 247,738/female 285,407) (2007 est.)

Median age

total: 24.5 years
male: 24.3 years
female: 24.6 years (2007 est.)

Population growth rate

1.5% (2007 est.)

Birth rate

22.91 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Death rate

5.32 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Net migration rate

-2.59 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.038 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.042 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.868 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 27.94 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 30.05 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 25.75 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 73.07 years
male: 71.34 years
female: 74.87 years (2007 est.)

Total fertility rate

2.81 children born/woman (2007 est.)

Hiv aids adult prevalence rate

1.7% (2003 est.)

Hiv aids people living with hiv aids

88,000 (2003 est.)

Hiv aids deaths

7,900 (2003 est.)

Nationality

noun: Dominican(s)
adjective: Dominican

Ethnic groups

mixed 73%, white 16%, black 11%

Religions

Roman Catholic 95%, other 5%

Languages

Spanish

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 87%
male: 86.8%
female: 87.2% (2002 census)

Government - Dominican Republic:

Country name

conventional long form: Dominican Republic
conventional short form: The Dominican
local long form: Republica Dominicana
local short form: La Dominicana

Government type

democratic republic

Capital

name: Santo Domingo
geographic coordinates: 18 28 N, 69 54 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

31 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia) and 1 district* (distrito); Azua, Baoruco, Barahona, Dajabon, Distrito Nacional*, Duarte, El Seibo, Elias Pina, 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, San Cristobal, San Jose de Ocoa, San Juan, San Pedro de Macoris, Sanchez Ramirez, Santiago, Santiago Rodriguez, Santo Domingo, Valverde

Independence

27 February 1844 (from Haiti)

National holiday

Independence Day, 27 February (1844)

Constitution

28 November 1966; amended 25 July 2002

Legal system

based on French civil codes; Criminal Procedures Code modified in 2004 to include important elements of an accusatory system; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage

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

Executive branch

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)
cabinet: Cabinet nominated by the president
elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms (eligible for a second consecutive term); election last held 16 May 2004 (next to be held in May 2008)
election results: Leonel FERNANDEZ elected president; percent of vote - Leonel FERNANDEZ 57.1%, Rafael Hipolito MEJIA Dominguez 33.7%, Eduardo ESTRELLA 8.7%

Legislative branch

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 House of Representatives or Camara de Diputados (178 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held 16 May 2006 (next to be held in May 2008); House of Representatives - last held 16 May 2006 (next to be held in May 2008)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PLD 22, PRD 6, PRSC 4; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PLD 96, PRD 60, PRSC 22

Judicial branch

Supreme Court or Corte Suprema (judges are appointed by the National Judicial Council comprised of the president, the leaders of both chambers of congress, the president of the Supreme Court, and an additional non-governing party congressional representative)

Political parties and leaders

Dominican Liberation Party or PLD [Leonel FERNANDEZ Reyna]; Dominican Revolutionary Party or PRD [Ramon ALBURQUERQUE]; National Progressive Front [Vincent CASTILLO, Pelegrin CASTILLO]; Social Christian Reformist Party or PRSC [Enrique ANTUN]

Political pressure groups and leaders

Citizen Participation Group (Participacion Ciudadania); Collective of Popular Organizations or COP; Foundation for Institution-Building and Justice (FINJUS)

International organization participation

ACP, Caricom (observer), FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO (suspended), ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, LAIA (observer), MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW (signatory), PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the us

chief of mission: Ambassador Flavio Dario ESPINAL Jacobo
chancery: 1715 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 332-6280
FAX: [1] (202) 265-8057
consulate(s) general: Anchorage, Boston, Chicago, Mayaguez (Puerto Rico), Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, San Juan (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 34041-5500
telephone: [1] (809) 221-2171
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, 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

The Dominican Republic is a Caribbean representative democracy that enjoyed strong GDP growth until 2003. 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 economys largest employer due to growth in tourism and free trade zones. Growth turned negative in 2003 with reduced tourism, a major bank fraud, and limited growth in the US economy (the source of about 80% of export revenues), but recovered in 2004-06. With the help of strict fiscal targets agreed in the 2004 renegotiation of an IMF standby loan, President FERNANDEZ has stabilized the countrys financial situation. Although the economy continues to grow at a respectable rate, high unemployment and inflation remain important challenges. 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. The Dominican Republics development prospects improved with the ratification of the Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) in September 2005.

Gdp purchasing power parity

$77.09 billion (2006 est.)

Gdp official exchange rate

$20.55 billion (2006 est.)

Gdp real growth rate

10.7% (2006 est.)

Gdp per capita ppp

$8,400 (2006 est.)

Gdp composition by sector

agriculture: 11.2%
industry: 30.6%
services: 58.2% (2005 est.)

Labor force

3.896 million (2006 est.)

Labor force by occupation

agriculture: 17%
industry: 24.3%
services: 58.7% (1998 est.)

Unemployment rate

16% (2006 est.)

Population below poverty line

25%

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.1%
highest 10%: 37.9% (1998)

Distribution of family income gini index

47.4 (1998)

Inflation rate consumer prices

8.2% (2006 est.)

Investment gross fixed

15.5% of GDP (2006 est.)

Budget

revenues: $5.852 billion
expenditures: $5.947 billion; including capital expenditures of $1.1 billion (2006 est.)

Public debt

45.6% of GDP (2006 est.)

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

Industrial production growth rate

2% (2001 est.)

Electricity production

15.02 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity consumption

13.96 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity exports

0 kWh (2004)

Electricity imports

0 kWh (2004)

Oil production

12 bbl/day (2004)

Oil consumption

127,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil exports

NA bbl/day

Oil imports

116,700 bbl/day (2004)

Oil proved reserves

0 bbl

Natural gas production

0 cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas consumption

130 million cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas imports

130 million cu m (2004 est.)

Current account balance

-$1.124 billion (2006 est.)

Exports

$6.495 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)

Exports commodities

ferronickel, sugar, gold, silver, coffee, cocoa, tobacco, meats, consumer goods

Exports partners

US 72.8%, UK 3.2%, Belgium 2.4% (2006)

Imports

$11.39 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)

Imports commodities

foodstuffs, petroleum, cotton and fabrics, chemicals and pharmaceuticals

Imports partners

US 48.6%, Colombia 6.5%, Mexico 6.1% (2006)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$2.106 billion (2006 est.)

Debt external

$8.634 billion (2006 est.)

Economic aid recipient

$571.6 million (2004)

Currency code

Dominican peso (DOP)

Exchange rates

Dominican pesos per US dollar - 33.406 (2006), 30.409 (2005), 42.12 (2004), 30.831 (2003), 18.61 (2002)

Communications - Dominican Republic:

Fiscal year

calendar year

Telephones main lines in use

897,000 (2006)

Telephones mobile cellular

4.606 million (2006)

Telephone system

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

AM 120, FM 56, shortwave 4 (1998)

Television broadcast stations

25 (2003)

Internet country code

.do

Internet hosts

91,895 (2006)

Internet users

1.232 million (2006)

Transportation - Dominican Republic:

Airports

33 (2006)

Airports with paved runways

total: 14
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 1 (2006)

Airports with unpaved runways

total: 19
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 10 (2006)

Railways

total: 517 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 (2006)

Roadways

total: 12,600 km
paved: 6,224 km
unpaved: 6,376 km (1999)

Merchant marine

total: 1 ship (1000 GRT or over) 1,587 GRT/1,165 DWT
by type: cargo 1 (2006)

Ports and terminals

Boca Chica, Puerto Plata, Rio Haina, Santo Domingo

Military - Dominican Republic:

Military branches

Army, Navy, Air Force

Military service age and obligation

18 years of age for voluntary military service (2001)

Manpower available for military service

males age 18-49: 2,133,142
females age 18-49: 2,032,840 (2005 est.)

Manpower fit for military service

males age 18-49: 1,671,493
females age 18-49: 1,536,257 (2005 est.)

Manpower reaching military service age annually

males age 18-49: 91,699
females age 18-49: 87,550 (2005 est.)

Military expenditures percent of gdp

0.8% (2006)

Disputes international

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

This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>


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