Facts about Dominican-Republic
|Population||9,507,133 (July 2008 est.|
|Time zone||UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)|
Caribbean, eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of Haiti
General info about Dominican-Republic
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.
degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid
What about 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
mixed 73%, white 16%, black 11%
HIV/AIDS prevalence rate
1.7% (2003 est.)
tropical maritime; little seasonal temperature variation; seasonal variation in rainfall
nickel, bauxite, gold, silver
The Dominican Republic has enjoyed strong GDP growth since 2005, and continued to post sound gains through mid-2008. The global recession, however, had a significant impact on GDP growth in the latter half of the year as tourism and remittances, two of the Dominican Republic's most important economic contributors, showed signs of slowing. The economy is highly dependent upon the US, the source of nearly three-fourths of exports, and remittances represent about a tenth of GDP, equivalent to almost half of exports and three-quarters of tourism receipts. The country has long been viewed primarily as an exporter of sugar, coffee, and tobacco, but in recent years the service sector has overtaken agriculture as the economy's largest employer due to growth in tourism and free trade zones. Although 2007 saw inflation rates averaging around 6%, inflation rates in 2008 grew to over 11% on average for the first 3 quarters. High food prices, driven by the effects of consecutive tropical storms on agricultural products, and education prices were significant contributors to the jump. The effects of the global financial crisis and the US recession are projected to negatively affect GDP growth in 2009, with a rebound expected in 2010. 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 reduce losses to the Asian garment industry.
water shortages; soil eroding into the sea damages coral reefs; deforestation
Cities in Dominican-Republic