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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 48,730 square kilometres (slightly more than twice the size of New Hampshire) with 9,507,000 citizens.

Interactive map of Dominican Republic

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 and 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

Dominican Republic Flag Icon

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

SummaryContinent: North America
Neighbours: Haiti
Capital: Santo Domingo
Size48,730 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 18,814 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly more than twice the size of New Hampshire
CurrencyName Peso, Currency Code:DOP
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD).do
Telephone Country Prefix+1-809 and +1-82
Mobile Phone Connections8,630,000
Landline Phone Connections965,400

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 nameValueWorld Rank
Area48,670 (sq km)132

People and Society

Value nameValueWorld Rank
Population10,219,630 85
Population growth rate1.28 (%)91
Birth rate19.21 (births/1,000 population)92
Death rate4.46 (deaths/1,000 population)200
Net migration rate-1.96 (migrant(s)/1,000 population)161
Maternal mortality rate150.00 (deaths/100,000 live births)62
Infant mortality rate20.44 (deaths/1,000 live births)92
Life expectancy at birth77.62 (years)62
Total fertility rate2.39 (children born/woman)88
Health expenditures6.20 (% of GDP)104
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.90 (%)53
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS57,000 57
HIV/AIDS - deaths2,300 53
Obesity - adult prevalence rate21.20 (%)90
Children under the age of 5 years underweight3.40 (%)104
Education expenditures2.20 (% of GDP)162
Unemployment, youth ages 15-2430.30 (%)22


Value nameValueWorld Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity)100,400,000,000 74
GDP - real growth rate3.90 (%)84
GDP - per capita (PPP)9,800 121
Labor force4,806,000 81
Unemployment rate14.70 (%)143
Distribution of family income - Gini index47.20 30
Investment (gross fixed)16.40 (% of GDP)128
Taxes and other revenues14.10 (% of GDP)195
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-8.00 (% of GDP)198
Public debt40.00 (% of GDP)92
Inflation rate (consumer prices)3.70 (%)102
Commercial bank prime lending rate15.55 (%)37
Stock of narrow money4,895,000,000 102
Stock of broad money17,850,000,000 89
Stock of domestic credit22,680,000,000 78
Industrial production growth rate1.50 (%)123
Current account balance-4,254,000,000 160
Exports9,467,000,000 97
Imports18,200,000,000 80
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold4,317,000,000 97
Debt - external16,580,000,000 84
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home24,180,000,000 67
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad59,000,000 87


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Electricity - production12,300,000,000 (kWh)90
Electricity - consumption9,881,000,000 (kWh)91
Electricity - installed generating capacity2,973,000 (kW)89
Electricity - from fossil fuels83.00 (% of total installed capacity)90
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants16.60 (% of total installed capacity)102
Electricity - from other renewable sources0.30 (% of total installed capacity)80
Crude oil - imports26,150 (bbl/day)67
Refined petroleum products - production33,800 (bbl/day)91
Refined petroleum products - consumption122,300 (bbl/day)73
Refined petroleum products - imports88,480 (bbl/day)52
Natural gas - consumption820,000,000 (cu m)92
Natural gas - imports820,000,000 (cu m)62
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy19,600,000 (Mt)84


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Telephones - main lines in use1,044,000 76
Telephones - mobile cellular8,770,000 83
Internet hosts404,500 55
Internet users2,701,000 68


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Airports36 110
Railways142 (km)125
Roadways19,705 (km)108


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Military expenditures0.70 (% 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

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 ...