Dominican Republic

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Introduction - Dominican Republic:
CountryDominican Republic
BackgroundExplored 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:
LocationCaribbean, eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of Haiti
Geographic coordinates19 00 N, 70 40 W
Map referencesCentral America and the Caribbean
Areatotal: 48,730 sq km
land: 48,380 sq km
water: 350 sq km
Area comparativeslightly more than twice the size of New Hampshire
Land boundariestotal: 360 km
border countries: Haiti 360 km
Coastline1,288 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 6 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climatetropical maritime; little seasonal temperature variation; seasonal variation in rainfall
Terrainrugged highlands and mountains with fertile valleys interspersed
Elevation extremeslowest point: Lago Enriquillo -46 m
highest point: Pico Duarte 3,175 m
Natural resourcesnickel, bauxite, gold, silver
Land usearable land: 22.49%
permanent crops: 10.26%
other: 67.25% (2005)
Irrigated land2,750 sq km (2003)
Natural hazardslies in the middle of the hurricane belt and subject to severe storms from June to October; occasional flooding; periodic droughts
Environment current issueswater shortages; soil eroding into the sea damages coral reefs; deforestation
Environment international agreementsparty 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 noteshares island of Hispaniola with Haiti
People - Dominican Republic:
Population9,365,818 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure0-14 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 agetotal: 24.5 years
male: 24.3 years
female: 24.6 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate1.5% (2007 est.)
Birth rate22.91 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate5.32 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate-2.59 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratioat 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 ratetotal: 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 birthtotal population: 73.07 years
male: 71.34 years
female: 74.87 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate2.81 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Hiv aids adult prevalence rate1.7% (2003 est.)
Hiv aids people living with hiv aids88,000 (2003 est.)
Hiv aids deaths7,900 (2003 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Dominican(s)
adjective: Dominican
Ethnic groupsmixed 73%, white 16%, black 11%
ReligionsRoman Catholic 95%, other 5%
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 87%
male: 86.8%
female: 87.2% (2002 census)
Government - Dominican Republic:
Country nameconventional long form: Dominican Republic
conventional short form: The Dominican
local long form: Republica Dominicana
local short form: La Dominicana
Government typedemocratic republic
Capitalname: Santo Domingo
geographic coordinates: 18 28 N, 69 54 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions31 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
Independence27 February 1844 (from Haiti)
National holidayIndependence Day, 27 February (1844)
Constitution28 November 1966; amended 25 July 2002
Legal systembased on French civil codes; Criminal Procedures Code modified in 2004 to include important elements of an accusatory system; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage18 years of age, universal and compulsory; married persons regardless of age; note - members of the armed forces and national police cannot vote
Executive branchchief 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 branchbicameral 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 branchSupreme 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 leadersDominican 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 leadersCitizen Participation Group (Participacion Ciudadania); Collective of Popular Organizations or COP; Foundation for Institution-Building and Justice (FINJUS)
International organization participationACP, 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 uschief 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 uschief 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 descriptiona 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 overviewThe 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 rate10.7% (2006 est.)
Gdp per capita ppp $8,400 (2006 est.)
Gdp composition by sectoragriculture: 11.2%
industry: 30.6%
services: 58.2% (2005 est.)
Labor force3.896 million (2006 est.)
Labor force by occupationagriculture: 17%
industry: 24.3%
services: 58.7% (1998 est.)
Unemployment rate16% (2006 est.)
Population below poverty line25%
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2.1%
highest 10%: 37.9% (1998)
Distribution of family income gini index47.4 (1998)
Inflation rate consumer prices 8.2% (2006 est.)
Investment gross fixed 15.5% of GDP (2006 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $5.852 billion
expenditures: $5.947 billion; including capital expenditures of $1.1 billion (2006 est.)
Public debt45.6% of GDP (2006 est.)
Agriculture productssugarcane, coffee, cotton, cocoa, tobacco, rice, beans, potatoes, corn, bananas; cattle, pigs, dairy products, beef, eggs
Industriestourism, sugar processing, ferronickel and gold mining, textiles, cement, tobacco
Industrial production growth rate2% (2001 est.)
Electricity production15.02 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity consumption13.96 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity exports0 kWh (2004)
Electricity imports0 kWh (2004)
Oil production12 bbl/day (2004)
Oil consumption127,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil exportsNA bbl/day
Oil imports116,700 bbl/day (2004)
Oil proved reserves0 bbl
Natural gas production0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas consumption130 million cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas imports130 million cu m (2004 est.)
Current account balance-$1.124 billion (2006 est.)
Exports$6.495 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports commoditiesferronickel, sugar, gold, silver, coffee, cocoa, tobacco, meats, consumer goods
Exports partnersUS 72.8%, UK 3.2%, Belgium 2.4% (2006)
Imports$11.39 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports commoditiesfoodstuffs, petroleum, cotton and fabrics, chemicals and pharmaceuticals
Imports partnersUS 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 ratesDominican pesos per US dollar - 33.406 (2006), 30.409 (2005), 42.12 (2004), 30.831 (2003), 18.61 (2002)
Communications - Dominican Republic:
Fiscal yearcalendar year
Telephones main lines in use897,000 (2006)
Telephones mobile cellular4.606 million (2006)
Telephone systemgeneral 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 stationsAM 120, FM 56, shortwave 4 (1998)
Television broadcast stations25 (2003)
Internet country
Internet hosts91,895 (2006)
Internet users1.232 million (2006)
Transportation - Dominican Republic:
Airports33 (2006)
Airports with paved runwaystotal: 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 runwaystotal: 19
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 10 (2006)
Railwaystotal: 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)
Roadwaystotal: 12,600 km
paved: 6,224 km
unpaved: 6,376 km (1999)
Merchant marinetotal: 1 ship (1000 GRT or over) 1,587 GRT/1,165 DWT
by type: cargo 1 (2006)
Ports and terminalsBoca Chica, Puerto Plata, Rio Haina, Santo Domingo
Military - Dominican Republic:
Military branchesArmy, Navy, Air Force
Military service age and obligation18 years of age for voluntary military service (2001)
Manpower available for military servicemales age 18-49: 2,133,142
females age 18-49: 2,032,840 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military servicemales age 18-49: 1,671,493
females age 18-49: 1,536,257 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annuallymales age 18-49: 91,699
females age 18-49: 87,550 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures percent of gdp0.8% (2006)
Disputes internationalHaitian 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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