Dominican Republic Flag Icon

Dominican Republic Country Guide

Explore Dominican Republic in North America

Dominican Republic with the capital city Santo Domingo is located in North America (Caribbean, eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola). It covers some 48,731 square kilometres (slightly more than twice the size of New Hampshire) with 9,507,000 citizens.

Map of the area of  in

The terrain features rugged highlands and mountains with fertile valleys interspersed. The average density of population is approximately 195 per km². The notable climate conditions in Dominican Republic can be described as tropical maritime with little seasonal temperature variation, seasonal variation in rainfall. Potential natural disasters are lies in the middle of the hurricane belt and subject to severe storms from June to October or occasional flooding or periodic droughts.

To reach someone in Dominican Republic dial +1-809 and +1-82 prior to a number. There are 965,400 installed telephones. And there are 8,630,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of 1800, 1900 Mhz. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".do". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of 110V - 60Hz.

About the flag and history of Dominican Republic

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 a laurel 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; in the shield a bible is opened to a verse that reads "Y la verdad nos hara libre" (And the truth shall set you free); blue stands for liberty, white for salvation, and red for the blood of heroes.

The Taino - indigenous inhabitants of Hispaniola prior to the arrival of the Europeans - divided the island into five chiefdoms and territories. Christopher COLUMBUS explored and claimed the island on his first voyage in 1492; it 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 to 1961. 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 Leonel FERNANDEZ Reyna (first term 1996-2000) won election to a new term in 2004 following a constitutional amendment allowing presidents to serve more than one term, and was since reelected to a second consecutive term.

Geography Quick-Facts

Summary Continent: North America
Neighbours: Haiti
Capital: Santo Domingo
Size 48,730 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 18,815 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly more than twice the size of New Hampshire
Population 9,507,000
Currency Name: Peso, Currency Code: DOP
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD) .do
Telephone Country Prefix +1-809 and +1-82
Mobile Phone Connections 8,630,000
Landline Phone Connections 965,400

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).


Value name Value World Rank
Area 48,670 (sq km) 132

People and Society

Value name Value World Rank
Population 10,219,630 85
Population growth rate 1.28 (%) 91
Birth rate 19.21 (births/1,000 population) 92
Death rate 4.46 (deaths/1,000 population) 200
Net migration rate -1.96 (migrant(s)/1,000 population) 161
Maternal mortality rate 150.00 (deaths/100,000 live births) 62
Infant mortality rate 20.44 (deaths/1,000 live births) 92
Life expectancy at birth 77.62 (years) 62
Total fertility rate 2.39 (children born/woman) 88
Health expenditures 6.20 (% of GDP) 104
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 0.90 (%) 53
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 57,000 57
HIV/AIDS - deaths 2,300 53
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 21.20 (%) 90
Children under the age of 5 years underweight 3.40 (%) 104
Education expenditures 2.20 (% of GDP) 162
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 30.3 (%) 22


Value name Value World Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity) 100,400,000,000 74
GDP - real growth rate 3.90 (%) 84
GDP - per capita (PPP) 9,800 121
Labor force 4,806,000 81
Unemployment rate 14.70 (%) 143
Distribution of family income - Gini index 47 30
Investment (gross fixed) 16.40 (% of GDP) 128
Taxes and other revenues 14.1 (% of GDP) 195
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) -8.00 (% of GDP) 198
Public debt 40.00 (% of GDP) 92
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 3.70 (%) 102
Commercial bank prime lending rate 15.55 (%) 37
Stock of narrow money 4,895,000,000 102
Stock of broad money 17,850,000,000 89
Stock of domestic credit 22,680,000,000 78
Industrial production growth rate 1.50 (%) 123
Current account balance -4,254,000,000 160
Exports 9,467,000,000 97
Imports 18,200,000,000 80
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 4,317,000,000 97
Debt - external 16,580,000,000 84
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home 24,180,000,000 67
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad 59,000,000 87


Value name Value World Rank
Electricity - production 12,300,000,000 (kWh) 90
Electricity - consumption 9,881,000,000 (kWh) 91
Electricity - installed generating capacity 2973000 (kW) 89
Electricity - from fossil fuels 83.0 (% of total installed capacity) 90
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 16.6 (% of total installed capacity) 102
Electricity - from other renewable sources 0.3 (% of total installed capacity) 80
Crude oil - imports 26,150 (bbl/day) 67
Refined petroleum products - production 33,800 (bbl/day) 91
Refined petroleum products - consumption 122,300 (bbl/day) 73
Refined petroleum products - imports 88,480 (bbl/day) 52
Natural gas - consumption 820,000,000 (cu m) 92
Natural gas - imports 820,000,000 (cu m) 62
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 19,600,000 (Mt) 84


Value name Value World Rank
Telephones - main lines in use 1,044,000 76
Telephones - mobile cellular 8,770,000 83
Internet hosts 404,500 55
Internet users 2,701,000 68


Value name Value World Rank
Airports 36 110
Railways 142 (km) 125
Roadways 19,705 (km) 108


Value name Value World Rank
Military expenditures 0.70 (% of GDP) 152

Data based on CIA facts book 2010 & 2013, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases

List of current world heritage sites

Name Since
Colonial City of Santo Domingo
After Christopher Columbus's arrival on the island in 1492, Santo Domingo became the site of the first cathedral, hospital, customs house and university in the Americas. This colonial town, founded in 1498, was laid out on a grid pattern that became ...