Dominican Republic Population: 10,219,630

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 Background
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 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 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 since reelected to a second consecutive term.

 Geography
Shares island of Hispaniola with Haiti
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
Area: total: 48,670 sq km land: 48,320 sq km water: 350 sq km

Size comparison: 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: 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
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: 16.44% permanent crops: 9.25% other: 74.32% (2011)
Irrigated land: 3,065 sq km (2009)
Natural hazards: lies in the middle of the hurricane belt and subject to severe storms from June to October; occasional flooding; periodic droughts
Current Environment Issues: water shortages; soil eroding into the sea damages coral reefs; deforestation
International Environment 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
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 People
Nationality: noun: Dominican(s) adjective: Dominican
Ethnic groups: mixed 73%, white 16%, black 11%
Languages: Spanish (official)
Religions: Roman Catholic 95%, other 5%
Population: 10,219,630 (July 2013 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 28.5% (male 1,480,700/female 1,429,848) 15-24 years: 18.5% (male 966,822/female 928,758) 25-54 years: 39.1% (male 2,043,498/female 1,951,187) 55-64 years: 7% (male 360,897/female 356,169) 65 years and over: 6.9% (male 323,995/female 377,756) (2013 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 57.5 % youth dependency ratio: 47.6 % elderly dependency ratio: 9.9 % potential support ratio: 10.1 (2013)
Median age: total: 26.8 years
male: 26.6 years female: 26.9 years (2013 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.28% (2013 est.)
Birth rate: 19.21 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Death rate: 4.46 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Net migration rate: -1.96 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 69% of total population (2010) rate of urbanization: 2.1% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - population: SANTO DOMINGO (capital) 2.191 million (2011)
Sex ratio: 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 (2013 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth: 20.3 (2007 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 150 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Infant mortality rate: total: 20.44 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 22.39 deaths/1,000 live births female: 18.41 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 77.62 years
male: 75.44 years female: 79.88 years (2013 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.39 children born/woman (2013 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 72.9% (2007)
Health expenditures: 6.2% of GDP (2010)
Hospital bed density: 1.6 beds/1,000 population (2010)
Drinking water source: improved: urban: 87% of population rural: 84% of population total: 86% of population unimproved: urban: 13% of population rural: 16% of population total: 14% of population (2010 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved: urban: 87% of population rural: 75% of population total: 83% of population unimproved: urban: 13% of population rural: 25% of population total: 17% of population (2010 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.9% (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 57,000 (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 2,300 (2009 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 21.2% (2008)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 3.4% (2007)
Education expenditures: 2.2% of GDP (2007)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 90.1% male: 90% female: 90.2% (2011 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 12 years
male: 12 years female: 13 years (2004)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 30.3%
male: 21.2% female: 44.5% (2007)
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 Government
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, Bahoruco, 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 and January 2010
Legal system: civil law system based on the French civil code; Criminal Procedures Code modified in 2004 to include important elements of an accusatory system
Suffrage: 18 years of age, universal and compulsory; married persons regardless of age can vote; note - members of the armed forces and national police cannot vote by law
Executive branch: 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 the 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 (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms; election last held on 20 May 2012 (next to be held in 2016) election results: Danilo MEDINA Sanchez elected president; percent of vote - Danilo MEDINA Sanchez 51.2%, Hipolito MEJIA 47%, other 1.8%; Margarita CEDENO DE FERNANDEZ elected vice president
Legislative branch: bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of the Senate or Senado (32 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms) and the House of Representatives or Camara de Diputados (183 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms) elections: Senate - last held on 16 May 2010 (next to be held in May 2016); House of Representatives - last held on 16 May 2010 (next to be held in May 2016); in order to synchronize presidential, legislative, and local elections for 2016, those members elected in 2010 will actually serve six-year terms election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PLD 31, PRSC 1; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PLD 105, PRD 75, PRSC 3
Judicial branch: 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
Political parties and leaders: Dominican Liberation Party or PLD [Leonel FERNANDEZ Reyna] Dominican Revolutionary Party or PRD [Miguel VARGAS Maldonado] National Progressive Front [Vinicio CASTILLO, Pelegrin CASTILLO] Social Christian Reformist Party or PRSC [Carlos MORALES Troncoso]
Political pressure groups and leaders: Citizen Participation Group (Participacion Ciudadania) Collective of Popular Organizations or COP Foundation for Institution-Building and Justice or FINJUS
International organization participation: ACP, AOSIS, BCIE, Caricom (observer), CD, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA (observer), MIGA, NAM, OAS, OIF (observer), OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, Petrocaribe, SICA (associated member), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
National symbol(s): palmchat (bird)
National anthem: 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
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Anibal de Jesus de CASTRO Rodriguez chancery: 1715 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20008 telephone: [1] (202) 332-6280 FAX: [1] (202) 265-8057 consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Glendale (CA), Mayaguez (Puerto Rico), Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Juan (Puerto Rico)
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Raul H. YZAGUIRRE 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
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 Economy
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 telecommunications, tourism, and free trade zones. The economy is highly dependent upon the US, the destination for more than half of exports. Remittances from the US amount to about one-tenth of GDP, equivalent to almost half of exports and three-quarters of tourism receipts. 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 and underemployment remains an important long-term challenge. 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 growth of the Dominican Republic's economy rebounded from the global recession in 2010-12 and remains one of the fastest growing in the region although its fiscal situation is weak; the fiscal deficit climbed from 2.6% in 2011 to approximately 8% in 2012. A tax reform package passed in November 2012 aims to narrow this deficit.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $100.4 billion (2012 est.) $96.61 billion (2011 est.) $92.47 billion (2010 est.) note: data are in 2012 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $59 billion (2012 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 3.9% (2012 est.) 4.5% (2011 est.) 7.8% (2010 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $9,800 (2012 est.) $9,600 (2011 est.) $9,400 (2010 est.) note: data are in 2012 US dollars
GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 84.7% government consumption: 7.9% investment in fixed capital: 16.4% investment in inventories: 0.1% exports of goods and services: 25.3% imports of goods and services: -34.3% (2012 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin: household consumption: 84.7% government consumption: 7.9% investment in fixed capital: 16.4% investment in inventories: 0.1% exports of goods and services: 25.3% imports of goods and services: -34.3% (2012 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: 1.4% (2012 est.)
Labor force: 4.806 million (2012 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 14.6% industry: 22.3% services: 63.1% (2005)
Unemployment rate: 14.7% (2012 est.) 14.6% (2011 est.)
Population below poverty line: 34.4% (2010 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 1.8% highest 10%: 36.4% (2010 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 47.2 (2010 est.) 52 (2000 est.)
Budget: revenues: $8.224 billion expenditures: $12.07 billion (2012 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 13.9% of GDP (2012 est.)
Public debt: 42% of GDP (2012 est.) 38.5% of GDP (2011 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.7% (2012 est.) 8.5% (2011 est.)
Current account balance: -$4.254 billion (2012 est.) -$4.521 billion (2011 est.)
Exports: $9.079 billion (2012 est.) $8.612 billion (2011 est.)
Exports - commodities: ferronickel, sugar, gold, silver, coffee, cocoa, tobacco, meats, consumer goods
Exports - partners: US 46.1%, Haiti 17.4%, China 4.2% (2012)
Imports: $17.76 billion (2012 est.) $17.44 billion (2011 est.)
Imports - commodities: foodstuffs, petroleum, cotton and fabrics, chemicals and pharmaceuticals
Imports - partners: US 42.5%, Venezuela 7.4%, China 6.2%, Mexico 5.2%, Colombia 4.2% (2012)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $3.579 billion (31 December 2012 est.) $4.117 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Debt - external: $16.33 billion (31 December 2012 est.) $15.39 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $24.89 billion (31 December 2012 est.) $21.28 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $59 million (31 December 2012 est.) $59 million (31 December 2011 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $NA
Exchange rates: Dominican pesos (DOP) per US dollar - 39.336 (2012 est.) 38.232 (2011 est.) 37.307 (2010 est.) 36.03 (2009) 34.775 (2008)
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 Energy
Electricity - production: 12.3 billion kWh (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 89
Electricity - consumption: 9.881 billion kWh (2009 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 2.973 million kW (2009 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 83% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 16.6% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 0.3% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 26,150 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 33,800 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 122,300 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 88,480 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 820 million cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 820 million cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2012 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 19.6 million Mt (2010 est.)
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 Communications
Telephones in use: 1.044 million (2011) country comparison to the world: 76
Cellular Phones in use: 8.77 million (2011)
Telephone system: 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 90 per 100 persons international: country code - 1-809; landing point for the Americas Region Caribbean Ring System (ARCOS-1), Antillas 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) (2011)
Broadcast media: 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 (2007)
Internet country code: .do
Internet hosts: 404,500 (2012)
Internet users: 2.701 million (2009)
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 Transportation
Airports: 36 (2013) country comparison to the world: 109
Airports (paved runways): 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)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 20
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 914 to 1,523 m: 1 under 914 m: 18 (2013)
Heliports: 1 (2013)
Pipelines: gas 27 km; oil 103 km (2013)
Railways: total 142 km
standard gauge: 142 km 1.435-m gauge (2008)
Roadways: total 19,705 km
paved: 9,872 km unpaved: 9,833 km (2002)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Puerto Haina, Puerto Plata, Santo Domingo oil/gas terminal(s): Andres LNG terminal (Boca Chica), Punta Nizao oil terminal
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 Military
Military branches: Army (Ejercito Nacional, EN), Navy (Marina de Guerra, MdG; includes naval infantry), Dominican Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Dominicana, FAD) (2013)
Military service age and obligation: 17-21 years of age for voluntary military service; recruits must have completed primary school and be Dominican Republic citizens; women may volunteer (2012)
Manpower available for military service: males age 16-49: 2,580,083 females age 16-49: 2,464,698 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 16-49: 2,188,358 females age 16-49: 2,090,180 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually: male: 100,047 female: 96,302 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures: 0.7% of GDP (2012)
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 Transnational Issues
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
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; substantial money laundering activity in particular by Colombian narcotics traffickers; significant amphetamine consumption (2008)
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Source: CIA - The World Factbook
 

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