Dominican Republic Population: 10,606,865


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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 US led an intervention in the midst of a civil war sparked by an uprising to restore BOSCH. In 1966, Joaquin BALAGUER defeated BOSCH in the presidential election. 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 later reelected to a second consecutive term. In 2012, Danilo MEDINA Sanchez became president; he was reelected in 2016.

Shares island of Hispaniola with Haiti (eastern two-thirds makes up the Dominican Republic, western one-third is 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: 376 km border countries (1): Haiti 376 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 interspersed with fertile valleys
Elevation extremes:
Natural resources: nickel, bauxite, gold, silver, arable land
Land use: agricultural land: 51.5% arable land 16.6%; permanent crops 10.1%; permanent pasture 24.8% forest: 40.8%
other: 7.7% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 3,070 sq km (2012)
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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Nationality: noun: Dominican(s)
adjective: Dominican
Ethnic groups: mixed 73%, white 16%, black 11%
Languages: Spanish (official)
Religions: Roman Catholic 95%, other 5%
Population: 10,606,865 (July 2016 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 27.06% (male 1,460,389/female 1,410,226)
15-24 years: 18.3% (male 989,020/female 952,375)
25-54 years: 39.54% (male 2,146,082/female 2,047,860)
55-64 years: 7.67% (male 409,166/female 403,977)
65 years and over: 7.43% (male 363,791/female 423,979) (2016 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 57.8%
youth dependency ratio: 47.3%
elderly dependency ratio: 10.5%
potential support ratio: 9.5% (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 27.8 years
male: 27.6 years
female: 28 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.21% (2016 est.)
Birth rate: 18.6 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate: 4.6 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate: -1.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 79% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 2.6% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - population: SANTO DOMINGO (capital) 2.945 million (2015)
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 (2016 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth: 21.3 note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2013 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 92 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 18.1 deaths/1,000 live births male: 20 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 16.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 78.1 years male: 75.9 years
female: 80.5 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.31 children born/woman (2016 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 73% (2009/10)
Health expenditures: 4.4% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density: 1.49 physicians/1,000 population (2011)
Hospital bed density: 1.7 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 85.4% of population
rural: 81.9% of population
total: 84.7% of population

urban: 14.6% of population
rural: 18.1% of population
total: 15.3% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 86.2% of population
rural: 75.7% of population
total: 84% of population

urban: 13.8% of population
rural: 24.3% of population
total: 16% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 1.03% (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 67,900 (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 3,100 (2015 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 23% (2014)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 4% (2013)
Education expenditures: 2.1% of GDP (2007)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 91.8%
male: 91.2%
female: 92.3% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 13 years male: 13 years
female: 14 years (2014)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 31.4% male: 22.2%
female: 46.7% (2013 est.)
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Country name: conventional long form: Dominican Republic
conventional short form: The Dominican
local long form: Republica Dominicana
local short form: La Dominicana
etymology: the country name derives from the capital city of Santo Domingo (Saint Dominic)
Government type: presidential 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: 10 regions (regiones, singular - region); Cibao Nordeste, Cibao Noroeste, Cibao Norte, Cibao Sur, El Valle, Enriquillo, Higuamo, Ozama, Valdesia, Yuma
Independence: 27 February 1844 (from Haiti)
National holiday: Independence Day, 27 February (1844)
Constitution: many previous (38 total); latest proclaimed 26 January 2010; note - the Dominican Republic Government has a practice of promulgating a "new" constitution whenever an amendment is ratified (2016)
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 by law cannot vote
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 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 elections/appointments: president and vice president directly elected on the same ballot by absolute vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 4-year term (eligible for consecutive terms); election last held on 15 May 2016 (next to be held in 2020)

election results: Danilo MEDINA Sanchez reelected president; percent of vote - Danilo MEDINA Sanchez (PLD) 61.7%, Luis Rodolfo ABINADER Corona (PRM) 35%, other 3.3%; Margarita CEDENO DE FERNANDEZ (PLD) reelected vice president
Legislative branch: description: bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of the Senate or Senado (32 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 4-year terms) and the House of Representatives or Camara de Diputados (190 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms)

elections: Senate - last held on 15 May 2016 (next to be held in May 2020); House of Representatives - last held on 15 May 2016 (next to be held in May 2020)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PLD 26, 2PRM, 1 BIS, 1 PLRD, 1 PRD, PRSC 1; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PLD 106, PRM 42, PRSC 18, PRD 16, PLRD 3, other 5
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] Institutional Social Democratic Bloc or BIS Liberal Reformist Party or PLRD Modern Revolutionary Party or PRM [Andres BAUTISTA Garcia] 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), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA, MIGA, MINUSMA, NAM, OAS, OIF (observer), OPANAL, OPCW, Pacific Alliance (observer), 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 colors: red, white, blue
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 Jose Tomas PEREZ (since 23 February 2015)
chancery: 1715 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 332-6280
FAX: [1] (202) 265-8057
consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Mayaguez (Puerto Rico), Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Juan (Puerto Rico) consulate(s): San Francisco
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador James Walter BREWSTER, Jr. (since 9 December 2013)
embassy: Av. Republica de Colombia
mailing address: Unit 5500, APO AA 34041-5500
telephone: [1] (809) 567-7775
FAX: [1] (809) 686-7437
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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 construction, tourism, and free trade zones. The mining sector has also played a greater role in the export market since late 2012 with the commencement of the extraction phase of the Pueblo Viejo Gold and Silver mine. 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, a large informal sector, and underemployment remain important long-term challenges. The economy is highly dependent upon the US, the destination for approximately half of exports. Remittances from the US amount to about 7% of GDP, equivalent to about a third of exports and two-thirds of tourism receipts. 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 Dominican Republic's economy rebounded from the global recession in 2010-15, and the fiscal situation is improving. A tax reform package passed in November 2012, a reduction in government spending, and lower energy costs helped to narrow the central government budget deficit from 6.6% of GDP in 2012 to 2.6% in 2015. A liability management operation in January 2015, in which the government paid down over $4 billion of the country’s Petrocaribe debt at a discount of 52% with proceeds from the sale of $2.5 billion in global bonds, reduced the country’s debt load by approximately by 4% of GDP. Analysts project 6% GDP growth in 2016 and inflation within the Central Bank’s target of 4.0% 1.0%, due to low oil prices, increased remittances, and continued expansion in the services sector based on growth in construction.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $160.9 billion (2016 est.) $151.9 billion (2015 est.) $142 billion (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $71.46 billion (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 5.9% (2016 est.) 7% (2015 est.) 7.3% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $15,900 (2016 est.) $15,200 (2015 est.) $14,400 (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 67.4%
government consumption: 10.7%
investment in fixed capital: 24.8%
investment in inventories: -0.1%
exports of goods and services: 24%
imports of goods and services: -26.8% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin: household consumption: 67.4%
government consumption: 10.7%
investment in fixed capital: 24.8%
investment in inventories: -0.1%
exports of goods and services: 24%
imports of goods and services: -26.8% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - products: cocoa, tobacco, sugarcane, coffee, cotton, rice, beans, potatoes, corn, bananas; cattle, pigs, dairy products, beef, eggs
Industries: tourism, sugar processing, gold mining, textiles, cement, tobacco, electrical components, medical devices
Industrial production growth rate: 7% (2016 est.)
Labor force: 5.113 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 14.4%
industry: 20.8%
services: 64.7% (2014 est.)
Unemployment rate: 13.8% (2016 est.) 14% (2015 est.)
Population below poverty line: 41.1% (2013 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 1.9%
highest 10%: 37.4% (2013 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 47.1 (2013 est.) 45.7 (2012 est.)
Budget: revenues: $11.17 billion
expenditures: $13 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 15.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt: 44% of GDP (2016 est.) 44.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.9% (2016 est.) 0.8% (2015 est.)
Current account balance: -$1.709 billion (2016 est.) -$1.307 billion (2015 est.)
Exports: $9.822 billion (2016 est.) $9.523 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commodities: gold, silver, cocoa, sugar, coffee, tobacco, meats, consumer goods
Exports - partners: US 42.5%, Haiti 16.5%, Canada 8.1%, India 4.8% (2015)
Imports: $16.67 billion (2016 est.) $16.86 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commodities: petroleum, foodstuffs, cotton and fabrics, chemicals and pharmaceuticals
Imports - partners: US 42%, China 9.2%, Venezuela 5.6%, Trinidad and Tobago 4.5%, Mexico 4.4% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $5.566 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $5.266 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external: $26.05 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $25.71 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $33.39 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $31.05 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $372 million (31 December 2016 est.) $272 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $NA
Exchange rates: Dominican pesos (DOP) per US dollar - 46.2 (2016 est.) 45.052 (2015 est.) 45.052 (2014 est.) 43.556 (2013 est.) 39.34 (2012 est.)
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Electricity - production: 14 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 15.14 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 3.8 million kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 85.2% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 13.2% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 1.6% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 27,660 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2016 es)
Refined petroleum products - production: 25,390 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 116,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 54,920 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 1.069 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 1.069 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 22 million Mt (2013 est.)
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Cellular Phones in use: total: 8.797 million subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 84 (July 2015 est.)
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 85 per 100 persons

international: country code - 1-809; 1-829; 1-849; landing point for the Americas Region Caribbean Ring System (ARCOS-1), Antillas 1, AMX-1, and the Fibralink submarine cables that provide links to South and Central America, parts of the Caribbean, and US; satellite ear (2015)
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 wi (2015)
Internet country code: .do
Internet users: total: 5.442 million percent of population: 51.9% (July 2015 est.)
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Airports: 36 (2013)
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 496 km
standard gauge: 354 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 142 km 0.762-m gauge (2014)
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 terminal(s): Punta Nizao oil terminal LNG terminal(s) (import): Andres LNG terminal (Boca Chica)
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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)
Military expenditures: 0.61% of GDP (2012) 0.63% of GDP (2011) 0.61% of GDP (2010)
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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
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
stateless persons: 133,770 (2015); note - a September 2013 Constitutional Court ruling revoked the citizenship of those born after 1929 to immigrants without proper documentation, even though the constitution at the time automatically granted citizenship to children born in the Dominican Republic and the 2010 constitution provides that constitutional provisions cannot be applied retroactively; the decision overwhelmingly affected people of Haitian descent whose relatives had come to the Dominican Republic since the 1940s as a cheap source of labor for sugar plantations; a May 2014 law passed by the Dominican Congress will regularize the status of those with birth certificates but will require those without them to prove they were born in the Dominican Republic and to apply for naturalization note: revised estimate includes only individuals born to parents who were both born abroad; it does not include individuals born in the country to one Dominican-born and one foreign-born parent or subsequent generations of individuals of foreign descent; the estimate, as such, does not include all stateless persons (2015)
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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