Dominican Dominican Republic


Location: Caribbean, in the northern Caribbean Sea, about halfway between Cuba and Puerto Rico

Map references: Central America and the Caribbean, Standard Time Zones of the World

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 the outer edge of 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 subject to 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: 7,826,075 (July 1994 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.8% (1994 est.)

Birth rate: 24.87 births/1,000 population (1994 est.)

Death rate: 6.2 deaths/1,000 population (1994 est.)

Net migration rate: -0.63 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1994 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 51.5 deaths/1,000 live births (1994 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population 68.35 years
male 66.22 years
female 70.6 years (1994 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.8 children born/woman (1994 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, fifth elected term began 16 August 1990); Vice President Carlos A. MORALES Troncoso (since 16 August 1986); election last held 16 May 1990 (next to be held May 1994); results - Joaquin BALAGUER (PRSC) 35.7%, Juan BOSCH Gavino (PLD) 34.4%, Jose Francisco PENA Gomez (PRD) 22.9%
cabinet Cabinet; nominated by the president

Legislative branch: bicameral National Congress (Congreso Nacional)
Senate (Senado) elections last held 16 May 1990 (next to be held May 1994); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (30 total) PRSC 16, PLD 12, PRD 2
Chamber of Deputies (Camara de Diputados) elections last held 16 May 1990 (next to be held May 1994); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (120 total) PLD 44, PRSC 41, PRD 33, PRI 2

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (Corte Suprema)

Political parties and leaders:
Major parties Social Christian Reformist Party (PRSC), Joaquin BALAGUER Ricardo; Dominican Liberation Party (PLD), 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
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 (202) 332-6280
FAX (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, Ponce (Puerto Rico), and San Francisco

US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission Ambassador Robert S. PASTORINO
embassy corner of Calle Cesar Nicolas Penson and Calle Leopoldo Navarro, Santo Domingo
mailing address Unit 5500, Santo Domingo; APO AA 34041-0008
telephone (809) 541-2171 and 541-8100
FAX (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: Rapid growth of free trade zones has led to a substantial expansion of manufacturing for export, especially of wearing apparel. Over the past decade, tourism has also increased in importance and is a major earner of foreign exchange and a source of new jobs. Agriculture remains a key sector of the economy. The principal commercial crop is sugarcane, followed by coffee, cotton, cocoa, and tobacco. Domestic industry is based on the processing of agricultural products, oil refining, minerals, and chemicals. Unemployment is officially reported at about 30%, but there is considerable underemployment. Growth fell to a moderate 3% in 1993 because of power shortages in industry and political uncertainty which slowed down foreign investment.

National product: GDP - purchasing power equivalent - $23 billion (1993 est.)

National product real growth rate: 3% (1993 est.)

National product per capita: $3,000 (1993 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 8% (1993 est.)

Unemployment rate: 30% (1993 est.)

revenues $1.4 billion
expenditures $1.8 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1993 est.)

Exports: $769 million (f.o.b., 1993)
commodities ferronickel, sugar, gold, coffee, cocoa
partners US 56%, EC 22%, Puerto Rico 8% (1991)

Imports: $2.2 billion (c.i.f., 1993 est.)
commodities foodstuffs, petroleum, cotton and fabrics, chemicals and pharmaceuticals
partners US 50%

External debt: $4.7 billion (1993 est.)

Industrial production: growth rate -0.1% (1991); accounts for 14% of GDP

capacity 2,283,000 kW
production 5 billion kWh
consumption per capita 660 kWh (1992)

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

Agriculture: accounts for 18% of GDP and employs 49% of labor force; sugarcane is the most important commercial crop, followed by 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 - 12.841 (January 1994), 12.679 (1993), 12.774 (1992), 12.692 (1991), 8.525 (1990), 6.340 (1989)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Railroads: 1,655 km total in numerous segments; 4 different gauges from 0.558 m to 1.435 m

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: Santo Domingo, Haina, San Pedro de Macoris, Puerto Plata

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

total 36
usable 31
with permanent-surface runways 12
with runways over 3,659 m 0
with runways 2,440-3,659 m 4
with runways 1,220-2,439 m 8

Telecommunications: relatively efficient domestic system based on islandwide microwave relay network; 190,000 telephones; broadcast stations - 120 AM, no FM, 18 TV, 6 shortwave; 1 coaxial submarine cable; 1 Atlantic Ocean INTELSAT earth station

Defense Forces

Branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, National Police

Manpower availability: males age 15-49 2,114,606; fit for military service 1,333,049; reach military age (18) annually 81,919 (1994 est.)

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $110 million, 0.7% of GDP (1993 est.)