Quick Facts

  • Gained independence from Spain on December 1, 1821, from Haiti on February 27, 1844 and independence again from Spain on August 16, 1865
  • Short name:  Dominican
  • Location:  Caribbean, eastern 2/3 of the island of Hispaniola, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of Haiti
  • Area:  18,704 sq. miles; slightly more than twice the size of the state of New Hampshire
  • Population:  approximately 10 million
  • Capital and largest city:  Santo Domingo  2.1 million
  • Climate:  tropical maritime; little seasonal temperature variation; seasonal variation in rainfall
  • Terrain:  rugged highlands and mountains with fertile valleys interspersed
  • Ethnic groups:  mixed 73%, white 16%, 11% black
  • Language:  Spanish (official)
  • Religions:  Roman Catholic 95%
  • Literacy:  87% of those over the age of 15 can read and write
  • Economy:  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 telecommunications, tourism and free trade zones.  The Dominican is dependent on the U.S. for over half the exports and 3/4 of the tourism receipts.  42% live below the poverty line
  • Natural hazards:  lies in the middle of the hurricane belt.
  • Current weather conditions –  www.weather.com
  • Tips for Travel in country – www.travel.state.gov
  • Currency exchange rates –  www.xe.com


Government in Power

  • The Dominican is a democratic republic
  • Chief of State and Head of Government:  President Leonel Fernandez – elected by popular vote for 4 year term

Healthcare Statistics

  • Life expectancy:  77.44 years
  • Health expenditures:  6.1% of GDP
  • Hospital bed density:  1 bed/1,000 population
  • Infant mortality rate – 33.28/1000 births
  • Maternal mortality rate – 230/100,000 births
  • HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate:  0.9%
  • Major infectious diseases – degree of risk- high
  • Food or waterborne diseases:  bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A and typhoid fever
  • Vectorborne diseases:  dengue fever and malaria
  • Water contact diseases: leptospirosis
  • Children under the age of 5 underweight:  3.4%
  • Infectious disease updates:  http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list.htm

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