Dominican Republic Travel Information

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Ecotourism

Facts About the Dominican Republic

Background: A legacy of unsettled, mostly non-representative, rule for much of the 20th century was brought to an end in 1996 when free and open elections ushered in a new government.
Government type: representative democracy
Capital: Santo Domingo
Currency: 1 Dominican peso (RD$) = 100 centavos

Geography of the Dominican Republic

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: 48,730 sq km
land: 48,380 sq km
water: 350 sq km
Land boundaries:
total: 275 km
border countries: 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
Climate: tropical maritime; little seasonal temperature variation; seasonal variation in rainfall
Terrain: rugged highlands and mountains with fertile valleys interspersed
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Lago Enriquillo -46 m
highest point: Pico Duarte 3,175 m
Natural resources: nickel, bauxite, gold, silver
Land use:
arable land: 21%
permanent crops: 9%
permanent pastures: 43%
forests and woodland: 12%
other: 15% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: 2,300 sq km (1993 est.)
Natural hazards: lies in the middle of the hurricane belt and subject to severe storms from June to October; occasional flooding; periodic droughts
Environment - current issues: water shortages; soil eroding into the sea damages coral reefs; deforestation; Hurricane Georges damage.
Environment - international agreements:
party to:  Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Geography - note: shares island of Hispaniola with Haiti (eastern two-thirds is the Dominican Republic, western one-third is Haiti)

People of the Dominican Republic

About half of Dominicans live in rural areas; many are small landholders. Haitians form the largest foreign minority group. All religions are tolerated; the state religion is Roman Catholicism.

Population: 8,581,477 (July 2001 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years:  34.11%
15-64 years:  60.99% 
65 years and over:  4.9% 
Population growth rate: 1.63% 
Birth rate: 24.77 births/1,000 population 
Death rate: 4.7 deaths/1,000 population 
Net migration rate: -3.81 migrant(s)/1,000 population 
Infant mortality rate: 34.67 deaths/1,000 live births 
Life expectancy at birth:
total population:  73.44 years
male:  71.34 years
female:  75.64 years 
Total fertility rate: 2.97 children born/woman 
Nationality:
noun: Dominican(s)
adjective: Dominican
Ethnic groups: white 16%, black 11%, mixed 73%
Religions: Roman Catholic 95%
Languages: Spanish
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 82.1%
male: 82%
female: 82.2% (1995 est.)

SOURCES: The World Factbook, U.S. Department of State

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Dominican Republic > Map Economy History