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Dominican Republic (2004)

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 Dominican Republic
Administrative divisions 31 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 Jose de Ocoa, San Juan, San Pedro de Macoris, Santiago, Santiago Rodriguez, Santo Domingo, Valverde
Age structure 0-14 years: 33.3% (male 1,502,062; female 1,435,135)

15-64 years: 61.4% (male 2,767,880; female 2,658,861)

65 years and over: 5.3% (male 219,230; female 250,466) (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products sugarcane, coffee, cotton, cocoa, tobacco, rice, beans, potatoes, corn, bananas; cattle, pigs, dairy products, beef, eggs
Airports 31 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways total: 13

over 3,047 m: 3

2,438 to 3,047 m: 3

1,524 to 2,437 m: 3

914 to 1,523 m: 3

under 914 m: 1 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 18

1,524 to 2,437 m: 3

914 to 1,523 m: 5

under 914 m: 10 (2004 est.)
Area total: 48,730 sq km

land: 48,380 sq km

water: 350 sq km
Area - comparative slightly more than twice the size of New Hampshire
Background Explored and claimed by 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 for much of its subsequent history was brought to an end in 1966 when Joaquin BALAGUER became president. He 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. The Dominican economy has had one of the fastest growth rates in the hemisphere over the past decade.
Birth rate 23.6 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Budget revenues: $2.601 billion

expenditures: $3.353 billion, including capital expenditures of $1.1 billion (2003 est.)
Capital Santo Domingo
Climate tropical maritime; little seasonal temperature variation; seasonal variation in rainfall
Coastline 1,288 km
Constitution 28 November 1966, amended 25 July 2002
Country name conventional long form: Dominican Republic

conventional short form: The Dominican

local long form: Republica Dominicana

local short form: La Dominicana
Currency Dominican peso (DOP)
Death rate 7.1 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Debt - external $6.567 billion (2003 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief 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
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission: Ambassador-designate 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: Chicago, Mayaguez (Puerto Rico), Miami, New Orleans, New York, and San Juan (Puerto Rico)

consulate(s): Mobile
Disputes - international despite efforts to control illegal migration, destitute Haitians fleeing poverty and violence continue to cross into the Dominican Republic; illegal migration of Dominicans and other nationals across the Mona Passage to Puerto Rico has increased in the last year
Economic aid - recipient $239.6 million (1995)
Economy - overview The Dominican Republic is a Caribbean representative democracy which enjoyed GDP growth of more than 7% in 1998-2000. Growth subsequently plummeted as part of the global economic slowdown. 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 economy's largest employer, due to growth in tourism and free trade zones. 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. Growth turned negative in 2003 with reduced tourism, a major bank fraud, and limited growth in the US economy, the source of 87% of export revenues. Resumption of a badly needed IMF loan was slowed due to government repurchase of electrical power plants.
Electricity - consumption 8.543 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - production 9.186 billion kWh (2001)
Elevation extremes lowest point: Lago Enriquillo -46 m

highest point: Pico Duarte 3,175 m
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

signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Ethnic groups white 16%, black 11%, mixed 73%
Exchange rates Dominican pesos per US dollar - 30.8307 (2003), 18.6098 (2002), 16.9516 (2001), 16.415 (2000), 16.0331 (1999)
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); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

cabinet: Cabinet nominated by the president

elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms; election last held 16 May 2004 (next to be held in May 2008)

election results: Leonel FERNANDEZ elected president; percent of vote - Leonel FERNANDEZ (PLD) 57.1%, Rafael Hipolito MEJIA Dominguez (PRD) 33.7%, Eduardo ESTRELLA (PRSC) 8.7%
Exports 0 kWh (2001)
Exports $5.524 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Exports NA (2001)
Exports - commodities ferronickel, sugar, gold, silver, coffee, cocoa, tobacco, meats, consumer goods
Exports - partners US 83.8%, Canada 1.5%, Haiti 1.5% (2003)
Fiscal year calendar year
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 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
GDP purchasing power parity - $52.71 billion (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 10.7%

industry: 31.5%

services: 57.8% (2003)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $6,000 (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate -0.7% (2003 est.)
Geographic coordinates 19 00 N, 70 40 W
Geography - note shares island of Hispaniola with Haiti
Highways total: 12,600 km

paved: 6,224 km

unpaved: 6,376 km (1999)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: 2.1%

highest 10%: 37.9% (1998)
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; Colombian narcotics traffickers favor the Dominican Republic for illicit financial transactions
Imports 0 kWh (2001)
Imports $7.911 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Imports NA (2001)
Imports - commodities foodstuffs, petroleum, cotton and fabrics, chemicals and pharmaceuticals
Imports - partners US 52.1%, Venezuela 11.9%, Mexico 4.7%, Colombia 4.2% (2003)
Independence 27 February 1844 (from Haiti)
Industrial production growth rate 2% (2001 est.)
Industries tourism, sugar processing, ferronickel and gold mining, textiles, cement, tobacco
Infant mortality rate total: 33.28 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 35.75 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 30.68 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 27.5% (2003 est.)
International organization participation ACP, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (subscriber), ITU, LAES, LAIA (observer), MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW (signatory), PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNOCI, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO
Irrigated land 2,590 sq km (1998 est.)
Judicial branch Supreme Court or Corte Suprema (judges are appointed by a the National Judicial Council comprised of the President, the leaders of both chambers of congress, the President of the Supreme Court, and an opposition or non-governing party member)
Labor force 2.3 million - 2.6 million (2000 est.)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture 17%, industry 24.3%, services and government 58.7% (1998 est.)
Land boundaries total: 360 km

border countries: Haiti 360 km
Land use arable land: 22.65%

permanent crops: 10.33%

other: 67.02% (2001)
Languages Spanish
Legal system based on French civil codes; undergoing modification in 2004 towards an accusatory system
Legislative branch bicameral 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 Chamber of Deputies or Camara de Diputados (150 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)

elections: Senate - last held 16 May 2002 (next to be held NA May 2006); Chamber of Deputies - last held 16 May 2002 (next to be held NA May 2006)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PRD 29, PLD 2, PRSC 1; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PRD 73, PLD 41, PRSC 36
Life expectancy at birth total population: 67.63 years

male: 65.98 years

female: 69.35 years (2004 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 84.7%

male: 84.6%

female: 84.8% (2003 est.)
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
Maritime claims 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
Merchant marine total: 3 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 11,230 GRT/17,011 DWT

by type: cargo 1, petroleum tanker 2

foreign-owned: Pakistan 1, Singapore 1

registered in other countries: 1 (2004 est.)
Military branches Army, Navy, Air Force
Military expenditures - dollar figure $180 million (1998)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 1.1% (1998)
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49: 2,354,800 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49: 1,474,978 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually males: 90,434 (2004 est.)
National holiday Independence Day, 27 February (1844)
Nationality noun: Dominican(s)

adjective: Dominican
Natural hazards lies in the middle of the hurricane belt and subject to severe storms from June to October; occasional flooding; periodic droughts
Natural resources nickel, bauxite, gold, silver
Net migration rate -3.22 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Political parties and leaders Dominican Liberation Party or PLD [Leonel FERNANDEZ Reyna]; Dominican Revolutionary Party or PRD [Vicente Sanchez BARET]; Social Christian Reformist Party or PRSC [Enrique ATUN]
Political pressure groups and leaders Collective of Popular Organizations or COP; Citizen Participation Group (Participacion Ciudadania); Foundation for Institution-Building (FINJUS)
Population 8,833,634 (July 2004 est.)
Population below poverty line 25%
Population growth rate 1.33% (2004 est.)
Ports and harbors Barahona, La Romana, Manzanillo, Puerto Plata, San Pedro de Macoris, Santo Domingo
Radio broadcast stations AM 120, FM 56, shortwave 4 (1998)
Railways total: 1,743 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 (2003)
Religions Roman Catholic 95%
Sex ratio at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.88 male(s)/female

total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age, universal and compulsory; married persons regardless of age

note: members of the armed forces and national police cannot vote
Telephone system general 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)
Telephones - main lines in use 901,800 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular 2,120,400 (2003)
Television broadcast stations 25 (2003)
Terrain rugged highlands and mountains with fertile valleys interspersed
Total fertility rate 2.89 children born/woman (2004 est.)
Unemployment rate 16.5% (2003 est.)
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