[Country map of Dominican Republic]

Dominican Republic


Location: Caribbean, eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of Haiti

Map references: Central America and the Caribbean

total area: 48,730 sq km
land area: 48,380 sq km
comparative area: slightly more than twice the size of New Hampshire

Land boundaries: total 275 km, Haiti 275 km

Coastline: 1,288 km

Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 6 nm

International disputes: none

Climate: tropical maritime; little seasonal temperature variation; seasonal variation in rainfall

Terrain: rugged highlands and mountains with fertile valleys interspersed

Natural resources: nickel, bauxite, gold, silver

Land use:
arable land: 23%
permanent crops: 7%
meadows and pastures: 43%
forest and woodland: 13%
other: 14%

Irrigated land: 2,250 sq km (1989)

current issues: water shortages; soil eroding into the sea damages coral reefs; deforestation
natural hazards: occasional hurricanes (July to October)
international agreements: party to - Endangered Species, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection; signed, but not ratified - Biodiversity, Climate Change, Law of the Sea

Note: shares island of Hispaniola with Haiti (eastern two-thirds is the Dominican Republic, western one-third is Haiti)


Population: 7,511,263 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 35% (female 1,288,210; male 1,336,162)
15-64 years: 61% (female 2,246,791; male 2,312,555)
65 years and over: 4% (female 178,388; male 149,157) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.17% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 23.92 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 6.15 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: -6.04 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 49.5 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 68.73 years
male: 66.57 years
female: 70.99 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.72 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Dominican(s)
adjective: Dominican

Ethnic divisions: white 16%, black 11%, mixed 73%

Religions: Roman Catholic 95%

Languages: Spanish

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1990 est.)
total population: 83%
male: 85%
female: 82%

Labor force: 2.3 million to 2.6 million
by occupation: agriculture 49%, services 33%, industry 18% (1986)


conventional long form: Dominican Republic
conventional short form: none
local long form: Republica Dominicana
local short form: none

Digraph: DR

Type: republic

Capital: Santo Domingo

Administrative divisions: 29 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia) and 1 district* (distrito); Azua, Baoruco, Barahona, Dajabon, Distrito Nacional*, Duarte, Elias Pina, El Seibo, 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, Sanchez Ramirez, San Cristobal, San Juan, San Pedro de Macoris, Santiago, Santiago Rodriguez, Valverde

Independence: 27 February 1844 (from Haiti)

National holiday: Independence Day, 27 February (1844)

Constitution: 28 November 1966

Legal system: based on French civil codes

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory or married persons regardless of age
note: members of the armed forces and police cannot vote

Executive branch:
chief of state and head of government: President Joaquin BALAGUER Ricardo (since 16 August 1986, sixth elected term began 16 August 1994); Vice President Jacinto PEYNADO (since 16 August 1994) election last held 16 May 1994 (next to be held May 1996); results - Joaquin BALAGUER (PRSC) 42.6%, Juan BOSCH Gavino (PLD) 13.2%, Jose Francisco PENA Gomez (PRD) 41.9%, Jacobo MAJLUTA (PRI) 2.3%
cabinet: Cabinet; nominated by the president

Legislative branch: bicameral National Congress (Congreso Nacional)
Senate (Senado): elections last held 16 May 1994 (next to be held May 1998); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (30 total) PRSC 15, PLD 1, PRD 14
Chamber of Deputies (Camara de Diputados): elections last held 16 May 1994 (next to be held May 1998); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (120 total) PLD 13, PRSC 50, PRD 57

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (Corte Suprema)

Political parties and leaders:
major parties: Social Christian Reformist Party (PRSC), Joaquin BALAGUER Ricardo; Dominican Liberation Party (PLD), (vacant following retirement of Juan BOSCH Gavino); Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD), Jose Franciso PENA Gomez; Independent Revolutionary Party (PRI), Jacobo MAJLUTA
minor parties: National Veterans and Civilian Party (PNVC), Juan Rene BEAUCHAMPS Javier; Liberal Party of the Dominican Republic (PLRD), Andres Van Der HORST; Democratic Quisqueyan Party (PQD), Elias WESSIN Chavez; National Progressive Force (FNP), Marino VINICIO Castillo; Popular Christian Party (PPC), Rogelio DELGADO Bogaert; Dominican Communist Party (PCD), Narciso ISA Conde; Dominican Workers' Party (PTD), Ivan RODRIGUEZ; Anti-Imperialist Patriotic Union (UPA), Ignacio RODRIGUEZ Chiappini; Alliance for Democracy Party (APD), Maximilano Rabelais PUIG Miller, Nelsida MARMOLEJOS, Vicente BENGOA; Democratic Union (UD), Fernando ALVAREZ Bogaert
note: in 1983 several leftist parties, including the PCD, joined to form the Dominican Leftist Front (FID); however, they still retain individual party structures

Other political or pressure groups: Collective of Popular Organzations (COP), leader NA


Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Jose del Carmen ARIZA Gomez
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, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and San Juan (Puerto Rico)
consulate(s): Charlotte Amalie (Virgin Islands), Detroit, Houston, Jacksonville, Minneapolis, Mobile, and Ponce (Puerto Rico)

US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador Donna Jean HRINAK
embassy: corner of Calle Cesar Nicolas Penson and Calle Leopoldo Navarro, Santo Domingo
mailing address: Unit 5500, Santo Domingo; APO AA 34041
telephone: [1] (809) 541-2171, 8100
FAX: [1] (809) 686-7437

Flag: a centered white cross that extends to the edges, divides the flag into four rectangles - the top ones are blue (hoist side) and red, the bottom ones are red (hoist side) and blue; a small coat of arms is at the center of the cross


Overview: The Dominican economy showed some signs of slippage in 1994, although its overall performance in recent years has been relatively strong. After posting an increase of nearly 8% in 1992, GDP growth fell to 3% in 1993 and 1994 as mining output decreased and erosion of real wages caused private consumption to decline. A pre-election boost in government spending in early 1994 led to the first government deficit in four years and bumped inflation up to 14% for the year. Continued dynamism in construction and the services sector, especially tourism, should keep the economy growing in 1995. Tourism, agriculture, and manufacturing for export remain key sectors of the economy. Domestic industry is based on the processing of agricultural products, oil refining, and chemicals.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $24 billion (1994 est.)

National product real growth rate: 2.9% (1994 est.)

National product per capita: $3,070 (1994 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 14% (1994)

Unemployment rate: 30% (1994 est.)

revenues: $1.8 billion
expenditures: $2.2 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1994 est.)

Exports: $585 million (f.o.b., 1994)
commodities: ferronickel, sugar, gold, coffee, cocoa
partners: US 52%, EC 23%, Puerto Rico 9%, Asia 7% (1992)

Imports: $2.5 billion (c.i.f., 1994 est.)
commodities: foodstuffs, petroleum, cotton and fabrics, chemicals and pharmaceuticals
partners: US 60% (1993)

External debt: $4.3 billion (1994 est.)

Industrial production: growth rate 3.4% (1994); accounts for 14% of GDP

capacity: 1,450,000 kW
production: 5.4 billion kWh
consumption per capita: 651 kWh (1993)

Industries: tourism, sugar processing, ferronickel and gold mining, textiles, cement, tobacco

Agriculture: accounts for 15% of GDP and employs 49% of labor force; commercial crops - sugarcane, coffee, cotton, cocoa, and tobacco; food crops - rice, beans, potatoes, corn, bananas; animal output - cattle, hogs, dairy products, meat, eggs; not self-sufficient in food

Illicit drugs: transshipment point for South American drugs destined for the US and Europe

Economic aid:
recipient: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY85-89), $575 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $655 million

Currency: 1 Dominican peso (RD$) = 100 centavos

Exchange rates: Dominican pesos (RD$) per US$1 - 13.258 (January 1995), 13.160 (1994), 12.679 (1993), 12.774 (1992), 12.692 (1991), 8.525 (1990)

Fiscal year: calendar year


total: 1,655 km (in numerous segments; includes 4 different gauges from 0.558-m narrow gauge to 1.435-m standard gauge)

total: 12,000 km
paved: 5,800 km
unpaved: gravel or improved earth 5,600 km; unimproved earth 600 km

Pipelines: crude oil 96 km; petroleum products 8 km

Ports: Barahona, La Romana, Puerto Plata, San Pedro de Macoris, Santo Domingo

Merchant marine:
total: 1 cargo ship (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,587 GRT/1,165 DWT

total: 36
with paved runways over 3,047 m: 2
with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
with paved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 5
with paved runways under 914 m: 16
with unpaved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
with unpaved runways 1,524 to 2,438 m: 1
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 6


Telephone system: 190,000 telephones; relatively efficient domestic system based on islandwide microwave radio relay network
local: NA
intercity: islandwide microwave radio relay network
international: 1 coaxial submarine cable; 1 INTELSAT (Atlantic Ocean) earth station

broadcast stations: AM 120, FM 0, shortwave 6
radios: NA

broadcast stations: 18
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, National Police

Manpower availability: males age 15-49 2,008,597; males fit for military service 1,266,812; males reach military age (18) annually 79,769 (1995 est.)

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $116 million, 1.4% of GDP (1994)

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