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Dominican Republic

la República Dominicana

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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 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.



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: 48,670 sq km
country comparison to the world: 131
land: 48,320 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:
measured from claimed archipelagic straight baselines
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:
Current Weather
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)

Total renewable water resources:
21 cu km (2000)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 3.39 cu km/yr (32%/2%/66%)
per capita: 381 cu m/yr (2000)

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



Population:
9,794,487 (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 86

Age structure:
0-14 years: 31.1% (male 1,548,360/female 1,493,509)
15-64 years: 62.9% (male 3,145,376/female 3,015,485)
65 years and over: 6% (male 273,614/female 318,143) (2010 est.)

Median age:
total: 25.2 years
male: 25 years
female: 25.3 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:
1.482% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 83

Birth rate:
22.13 births/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 81

Death rate:
5.27 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 179

Net migration rate:
-2.04 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 135

Urbanization:
urban population: 69% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 2.6% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 25.04 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 84
male: 27.05 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 22.95 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 73.99 years
country comparison to the world: 102
male: 72.12 years
female: 75.92 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:
2.73 children born/woman (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 78

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
1.1% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 51

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
62,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 59

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
4,100 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 48

Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria
water contact disease: leptospirosis (2009)

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)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 12 years
male: 12 years
female: 13 years (2004)

Education expenditures:
3.6% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 126



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

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
(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 (eligible for a second consecutive term); election last held on 16 May 2008 (next to be held in May 2012)
election results: Leonel FERNANDEZ reelected president; percent of vote - Leonel FERNANDEZ 53.6%, Miguel VARGAS 41%, Amable ARISTY less than 5%

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 (178 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 2014); House of Representatives - last held on 16 May 2010 (next to be held in May 2014)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PLD 31, PRD 1; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PLD 105, PRD 75, PRSC 3

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

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Roberto B. SALADIN Selin
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 Juan (Puerto Rico), Sun Valley (California)

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Christopher LAMBERT
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 a laurel 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; in the shield a bible is opened to a verse that reads "Y la verdad nos hara libre" (And the truth shall set you free); blue stands for liberty, white for salvation, and red for the blood of heroes



Economy - overview:
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 tourism and free trade zones. The economy is highly dependent upon the US, the destination for nearly 60% of exports. Remittances from the US amount to about a 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. In the middle of 2008, however, the Dominican Republic's economy started slowing after several years of strong GDP growth, as the global recession had a significant negative impact on tourism and remittances. The financial crisis and the US recession caused GDP to dip in 2009, but a rebound is expected in 2010.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$80.53 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 75
$79.1 billion (2008 est.)
$75.12 billion (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):
$45.24 billion (2009 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:
1.8% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 86
5.3% (2008 est.)
8.5% (2007 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$8,300 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 116
$8,300 (2008 est.)
$8,000 (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 11.7%
industry: 21.6%
services: 66.6% (2009 est.)

Labor force:
4.417 million (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 80

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 14.6%
industry: 22.3%
services: 63.1% (2005 est.)

Unemployment rate:
15% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 151
14.1% (2008 est.)

Population below poverty line:
42.2% (2004)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 1.5%
highest 10%: 38.7% (2005)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:
49.9 (2005)
country comparison to the world: 26
47.4 (1998)

Investment (gross fixed):
14.9% of GDP (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 134

Budget:
revenues: $6.315 billion
expenditures: $7.923 billion (2009 est.)

Public debt:
42.4% of GDP (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 61
38.1% of GDP (2008 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
1.4% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 53
10.6% (2008 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
19.95% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 43
15.83% (31 December 2007)

Stock of money:
$3.619 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 78
$4.065 billion (31 December 2007)

Stock of quasi money:
$5.902 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 77
$5.64 billion (31 December 2007)

Stock of domestic credit:
$17.37 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 69
$15.92 billion (31 December 2007)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$NA

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:
-2.5% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 93

Electricity - production:
14.02 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 81

Electricity - consumption:
12.7 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 80

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 181

Oil - consumption:
118,000 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 73

Oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 200

Oil - imports:
116,200 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 62

Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl
country comparison to the world: 186

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 178

Natural gas - consumption:
470 million cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 95

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 64

Natural gas - imports:
470 million cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 60

Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 184

Current account balance:
-$2.327 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 153
-$4.529 billion (2008 est.)

Exports:
$5.463 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 101
$6.748 billion (2008 est.)

Exports - commodities:
ferronickel, sugar, gold, silver, coffee, cocoa, tobacco, meats, consumer goods

Exports - partners:
US 54.08%, Haiti 9.78% (2009)

Imports:
$12.28 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 81
$15.99 billion (2008 est.)

Imports - commodities:
foodstuffs, petroleum, cotton and fabrics, chemicals and pharmaceuticals

Imports - partners:
US 42.79%, Venezuela 7.04%, Mexico 6.17%, Colombia 5.59% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$2.905 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 103
$2.288 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Debt - external:
$11.85 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 79
$11.42 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$17.88 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 67
$15.72 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$59 million (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 80
$59 million (31 December 2008 est.)

Exchange rates:
Dominican pesos (DOP) per US dollar - 36.141 (2009), 34.775 (2008), 33.113 (2007), 33.406 (2006), 30.409 (2005)



Telephones - main lines in use:
985,700 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 82

Telephones - mobile cellular:
7.21 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 71

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 roughly 75 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) (2008)

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

Television broadcast stations:
25 (2003)

Internet country code:
.do

Internet hosts:
280,457 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 56

Internet users:
2.147 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 68



Airports:
35 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 108

Airports - with 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 (2009)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 19
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 17 (2009)

Railways:
total: 1,784 km
country comparison to the world: 77
standard gauge: 375 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 1,409 km 1.076-m, 0.889-m, and 0.762-m gauges
note: 1,226 km operated by sugar companies in 1.076 m, 0.889 m, and 0.762-m gauges (2008)

Roadways:
total: 19,705 km
country comparison to the world: 110
paved: 9,872 km
unpaved: 9,833 km (2002)

Merchant marine:
total: 1
country comparison to the world: 150
by type: cargo 1
registered in other countries: 1 (Panama 1) (2008)

Ports and terminals:
Boca Chica, Caucedo, Puerto Plata, Rio Haina, Santo Domingo



Military branches:
Army, Navy (Marina de Guerra), Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Dominicana, FAD) (2010)

Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for voluntary military service (2007)

Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 2,514,160
females age 16-49: 2,395,804 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 2,090,785
females age 16-49: 1,957,233 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 98,394
female: 94,576 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:
0.7% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 154



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

Trafficking in persons:
current situation: the Dominican Republic is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor; a large number of Dominican women are trafficked into prostitution and sexual exploitation in Western Europe, Australia, Central and South America, and Caribbean destinations; a significant number of women, boys, and girls are trafficked within the country for sexual exploitation and domestic servitude
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - for a second consecutive year, the Dominican Republic is on the Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to show evidence of increasing efforts to combat human trafficking, particularly in terms of not adequately investigating and prosecuting public officials who may be complicit with trafficking activity, and inadequate government efforts to protect trafficking victims; the government has taken measures to reduce demand for commercial sex acts with children through criminal prosecutions (2008)

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)

 

Information from the CIA's "The World Fact Book" 2010

 

 

 

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