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Dominican Republic (2008)

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 Dominican Republic
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
Age structure 0-14 years: 32.1% (male 1,532,813/female 1,477,033)

15-64 years: 62.2% (male 2,971,620/female 2,851,207)

65 years and over: 5.7% (male 247,738/female 285,407) (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products sugarcane, coffee, cotton, cocoa, tobacco, rice, beans, potatoes, corn, bananas; cattle, pigs, dairy products, beef, eggs
Airports 34 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways total: 15

over 3,047 m: 3

2,438 to 3,047 m: 4

1,524 to 2,437 m: 4

914 to 1,523 m: 3

under 914 m: 1 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 19

1,524 to 2,437 m: 3

914 to 1,523 m: 5

under 914 m: 11 (2007)
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 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 second term in 2004 following a constitutional amendment allowing presidents to serve more than one term.
Birth rate 22.91 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Budget revenues: $7.014 billion

expenditures: $6.985 billion (2007 est.)
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)
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
Death rate 5.32 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Debt - external $8.842 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador P. Robert FANNIN

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 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: Anchorage, Boston, Chicago, Mayaguez (Puerto Rico), Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico)
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
Economic aid - recipient $76.99 million (2005)
Economy - overview The Dominican Republic has enjoyed strong GDP growth since 2005, with double digit growth in 2006. In 2007, exports were bolstered by the nearly 50% increase in nickel prices; however, prices are expected to fall in 2008, contributing to a slowdown in GDP growth for the year. 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 economy is highly dependent upon the US, the source of nearly 80% of exports, and remittances represent about a tenth of GDP, equivalent to almost half of exports and three-quarters of tourism receipts. With the help of strict fiscal targets agreed to in the 2004 renegotiation of an IMF standby loan, President FERNANDEZ has stabilized the country's financial situation, lowereing inflation to less than 6%. A fiscal expansion is expected for 2008 prior to the elections in May and for Tropical Storm Noel reconstruction. Although the economy is growing at a respectable rate, high unemployment and underemployment remains an important challenge. 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. The Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) came into force in March 2007, which should boost investment and exports and diminishes losses to the Asian garment industry.
Electricity - consumption 8.791 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - production 12.22 billion kWh (2005)
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, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Ethnic groups mixed 73%, white 16%, black 11%
Exchange rates Dominican pesos per US dollar - 33.113 (2007), 33.406 (2006), 30.409 (2005), 42.12 (2004), 30.831 (2003)
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

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 16 May 2004 (next to be held in May 2008)

election results: Leonel FERNANDEZ elected president; percent of vote - Leonel FERNANDEZ 57.1%, Rafael Hipolito MEJIA Dominguez 33.7%, Eduardo ESTRELLA 8.7%
Exports 0 kWh (2005)
Exports $6.881 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Exports 0 bbl/day (2004)
Exports - commodities ferronickel, sugar, gold, silver, coffee, cocoa, tobacco, meats, consumer goods
Exports - partners US 72.7%, UK 3.2%, Belgium 2.4% (2006)
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 - composition by sector agriculture: 11.5%

industry: 28.3%

services: 60.2% (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 7.2% (2007 est.)
Geographic coordinates 19 00 N, 70 40 W
Geography - note shares island of Hispaniola with Haiti
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: 1.4%

highest 10%: 41.1% (2004)
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; significant amphetamine consumption
Imports 0 kWh (2005)
Imports $12.89 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports 239.8 million cu m (2005)
Imports 116,700 bbl/day (2004)
Imports - commodities foodstuffs, petroleum, cotton and fabrics, chemicals and pharmaceuticals
Imports - partners US 46.9%, Venezuela 8.4%, Colombia 6.3%, Mexico 5.7% (2006)
Independence 27 February 1844 (from Haiti)
Industrial production growth rate 5.5% (2007 est.)
Industries tourism, sugar processing, ferronickel and gold mining, textiles, cement, tobacco
Infant mortality rate total: 27.94 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 30.05 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 25.75 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 5.8% (2007 est.)
International organization participation ACP, Caricom (observer), FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO (suspended), ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, LAIA (observer), MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW (signatory), PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Irrigated land 2,750 sq km (2003)
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)
Labor force 3.986 million (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture: 17%

industry: 24.3%

services: 58.7% (1998 est.)
Land boundaries total: 360 km

border countries: Haiti 360 km
Land use arable land: 22.49%

permanent crops: 10.26%

other: 67.25% (2005)
Languages Spanish
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
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 House of Representatives or Camara de Diputados (178 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)

elections: Senate - last held 16 May 2006 (next to be held in May 2008); House of Representatives - last held 16 May 2006 (next to be held in May 2008)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PLD 22, PRD 6, PRSC 4; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PLD 96, PRD 60, PRSC 22
Life expectancy at birth total population: 73.07 years

male: 71.34 years

female: 74.87 years (2007 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 87%

male: 86.8%

female: 87.2% (2002 census)
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 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
Merchant marine total: 1 ship (1000 GRT or over) 1,587 GRT/1,165 DWT

by type: cargo 1

registered in other countries: 1 (Panama 1) (2007)
Military branches Army, Navy, Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Dominicana, FAD) (2007)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 0.8% (2006)
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 -2.59 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
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)
Population 9,365,818 (July 2007 est.)
Population below poverty line 42.2% (2004)
Population growth rate 1.5% (2007 est.)
Radio broadcast stations AM 120, FM 56, shortwave 4 (1998)
Railways total: 517 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 (2006)
Religions Roman Catholic 95%, other 5%
Sex ratio at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.038 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.042 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.868 male(s)/female

total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2007 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: relatively efficient system based on island-wide microwave radio relay network

domestic: fixed telephone line density is about 10 per 100 persons; multiple providers of mobile cellular service with a subscribership of roughly 50 per 100 persons

international: country code - 1-809; landing point for the Americas Region Caribbean Ring System (ARCOS-1) fiber-optic telecommunications submarine cable that provides links to South and Central America, parts of the Caribbean, and US; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Telephones - main lines in use 897,000 (2006)
Telephones - mobile cellular 4.606 million (2006)
Television broadcast stations 25 (2003)
Terrain rugged highlands and mountains with fertile valleys interspersed
Total fertility rate 2.81 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Unemployment rate 15.5% (2007 est.)
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