Dominica Facts

Dominica was the last of the Caribbean islands to be colonized by Europeans due chiefly to the fierce resistance of the native Caribs.

France ceded possession to Great Britain in 1763, which made the island a colony in 1805. In 1980, two years after independence, Dominica’s fortunes improved when a corrupt and tyrannical administration was replaced by that of Mary Eugenia CHARLES, the first female prime minister in the Caribbean, who remained in office for 15 years. Some 3,000 Carib Indians still living on Dominica are the only pre-Columbian population remaining in the eastern Caribbean.

 

Location:
Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, about half way between Puerto Rico and Trinidad and Tobago
Geographic coordinates:
15 25 N, 61 20 W
Map references:
Central America and the Caribbean
Area:
total: 751 sq km
country comparison to the world: 189
land: 751 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area – comparative:
slightly more than four times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
Coastline:
148 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate:
tropical; moderated by northeast trade winds; heavy rainfall
Terrain:
rugged mountains of volcanic origin
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Morne Diablotins 1,447 m
Natural resources:
timber, hydropower, arable land
Land use:
arable land: 6.67%
permanent crops: 21.33%
other: 72% (2005)
Irrigated land:
NA
Total renewable water resources:
NA
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 0.02 cu km/yr
per capita: 213 cu m/yr (1996)
Natural hazards:
flash floods are a constant threat; destructive hurricanes can be expected during the late summer months
Environment – current issues:
NA
Environment – international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography – note:
known as “The Nature Island of the Caribbean” due to its spectacular, lush, and varied flora and fauna, which are protected by an extensive natural park system; the most mountainous of the Lesser Antilles, its volcanic peaks are cones of lava craters and include Boiling Lake, the second-largest, thermally active lake in the world

PEOPLE AND SOCIETY

Nationality:
noun: Dominican(s)
adjective: Dominican
Ethnic groups:
black 86.8%, mixed 8.9%, Carib Amerindian 2.9%, white 0.8%, other 0.7% (2001 census)
Languages:
English (official), French patois
Religions:
Roman Catholic 61.4%, Protestant 20.6% (Seventh-Day Adventist 6%, Pentecostal 5.6%, Baptist 4.1%, Methodist 3.7%, Church of God 1.2%), Jehovah’s Witnesses 1.2%, other Christian 7.7%, Rastafarian 1.3%, other or unspecified 1.6%, none 6.1% (2001 census)
Population:
73,126 (July 2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 200
Age structure:
0-14 years: 22.9% (male 8,551/female 8,188)
15-64 years: 66.8% (male 25,007/female 23,730)
65 years and over: 10.3% (male 3,246/female 4,247) (2011 est.)
Median age:
total: 30.8 years
male: 30.4 years
female: 31.3 years (2011 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.216% (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 174
Birth rate:
15.6 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 130
Death rate:
8.03 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 100
Net migration rate:
-5.42 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 194
Urbanization:
urban population: 67% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 0.3% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major cities – population:
ROSEAU (capital) 14,000 (2009)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2012 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 12.38 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 131
male: 16.54 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 8.01 deaths/1,000 live births (2012 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 76.18 years
country comparison to the world: 78
male: 73.23 years
female: 79.29 years (2012 est.)
Total fertility rate:
2.06 children born/woman (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 120
Health expenditures:
5.9% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 110
Physicians density:
0.5 physicians/1,000 population (1997)
Hospital bed density:
3.8 beds/1,000 population (2009)
Drinking water source:
improved:
urban: 96% of population
rural: 92% of population
total: 95% of population
unimproved:
urban: 4% of population
rural: 8% of population
total: 5% of population (2000)
Sanitation facility access:
improved:
urban: 80% of population
rural: 84% of population
total: 81% of population
unimproved:
urban: 20% of population
rural: 16% of population
total: 19% of population (2000)
HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate:
NA
HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS:
NA
HIV/AIDS – deaths:
NA
Education expenditures:
4.7% of GDP (2008)
country comparison to the world: 72
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 94%
male: 94%
female: 94% (2003 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 13 years
male: 13 years
female: 13 years (2008)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
total: 26%
country comparison to the world: 24
male: 26.2%
female: 25.4% (2001)

GOVERNMENT:

Country name:
conventional long form: Commonwealth of Dominica
conventional short form: Dominica
Government type:
parliamentary democracy
Capital:
name: Roseau
geographic coordinates: 15 18 N, 61 24 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:
10 parishes; Saint Andrew, Saint David, Saint George, Saint John, Saint Joseph, Saint Luke, Saint Mark, Saint Patrick, Saint Paul, Saint Peter
Independence:
3 November 1978 (from the UK)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 3 November (1978)
Constitution:
3 November 1978
Legal system:
common law based on the English model
International law organization participation:
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Nicholas J. O. LIVERPOOL (since October 2003)
head of government: Prime Minister Roosevelt SKERRIT (since 8 January 2004)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister
(For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
elections: president elected by the House of Assembly for a five-year term; election last held on 1 October 2003 (next to be held in 2013); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: in the absence of an opposition candidate, Nicholas LIVERPOOL consented to a second term in 2008 at the request of the prime minister and leader of the opposition and no formal election was held in 2008
Legislative branch:
unicameral House of Assembly (30 seats; 9 members appointed, 21 elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) and make Caribbean news.
elections: last held on 18 December 2009 (next to be held in 2015); note – tradition dictates that the election will be held within five years of the last election, but technically it is five years from the first seating of parliament (12 May 2005) plus a 90-day grace period
election results: percent of vote by party – DLP 61.2%, UWP 34.9%, other 3.9%; seats by party – DLP 18, UWP 3
Judicial branch:
Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, consisting of the Court of Appeal and the High Court (located in Saint Lucia; one of the six judges must reside in Dominica and preside over the Court of Summary Jurisdiction)
Political parties and leaders:
Dominica Freedom Party or DFP [Charles SAVARIN]; Dominica Labor Party or DLP [Roosevelt SKERRIT]; Dominica United Workers Party or UWP [Earl WILLIAMS]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Dominica Liberation Movement or DLM (a small leftist party)
International organization participation:
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
ACP, AOSIS, C, Caricom, CDB, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO (subscriber), ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OECS, OIF, OPANAL, OPCW, Petrocaribe, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Hubert J. CHARLES
chancery: 3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
telephone: [1] (202) 364-6781
FAX: [1] (202) 364-6791
consulate(s) general: New York
Diplomatic representation from the US:
the US does not have an embassy in Dominica; the US Ambassador to Barbados is accredited to Dominica
Flag description:
green, with a centered cross of three equal bands – the vertical part is yellow (hoist side), black, and white and the horizontal part is yellow (top), black, and white; superimposed in the center of the cross is a red disk bearing a Sisserou parrot, unique to Dominica, encircled by 10 green, five-pointed stars edged in yellow; the 10 stars represent the 10 administrative divisions (parishes); green symbolizes the island’s lush vegetation; the triple-colored cross represents the Christian Trinity; the yellow color denotes sunshine, the main agricultural products (citrus and bananas), and the native Carib Indians; black is for the rich soil and the African heritage of most citizens; white signifies rivers, waterfalls, and the purity of aspirations; the red disc stands for social justice
National symbol(s):
Sisserou parrot
National anthem:
name: “Isle of Beauty, Isle of Splendor”
lyrics/music: Wilfred Oscar Morgan POND/Lemuel McPherson CHRISTIAN
note: adopted 1967

ECONOMY:

The Dominican economy has been dependent on agriculture – primarily bananas – in years past, but increasingly has been driven by tourism as the government seeks to promote Dominica as an “ecotourism” destination.

In order to diversify the island’s production base, the government also is attempting to develop an offshore financial sector and has signed an agreement with the EU to develop geothermal energy resources.

In 2003, the government began a comprehensive restructuring of the economy – including elimination of price controls, privatization of the state banana company, and tax increases – to address an economic and financial crisis and to meet IMF requirements.

This restructuring paved the way for an economic recovery and helped to reduce the debt burden, which remains at about 80% of GDP. Hurricane Dean struck the island in August 2007 causing damages equivalent to 20% of GDP. In 2009, growth slowed as a result of the global recession; it picked up only slightly in 2010-11.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$1.02 billion (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 201
$1.02 billion (2010 est.)
$918 million (2009 est.)
note: data are in 2011 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate):
$500 million (2011 est.)
GDP – real growth rate:
0.9% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 189
0.3% (2010 est.)
-0.7% (2009 est.)
GDP – per capita (PPP):
$13,600 (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 89
$13,500 (2010 est.)
$13,500 (2009 est.)
note: data are in 2011 US dollars
GDP – composition by sector:
agriculture: 21.4%
industry: 22.4%
services: 56.3% (2011 est.)
Labor force:
25,000 (2000 est.)
country comparison to the world: 206
Labor force – by occupation:
agriculture: 40%
industry: 32%
services: 28% (2002 est.)
Unemployment rate:
23% (2000 est.)
country comparison to the world: 170
Population below poverty line:
29% (2009 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Investment (gross fixed):
26.4% of GDP (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 54
Budget:
revenues: $148.1 million
expenditures: $111.1 million (2011 est.)
Taxes and other revenues:
29.6% of GDP (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 89
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
7.4% of GDP (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 14
Public debt:
78% of GDP (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 26
85% of GDP (2006 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
3.5% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 81
3.2% (2010 est.)
Central bank discount rate:
6.5% (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 50
6.5% (31 December 2009 est.)
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
10% (31 December 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 106
9.475% (31 December 2010 est.)
Stock of narrow money:
$83 million (31 December 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 187
$80.96 million (31 December 2010 est.)
Stock of broad money:
$472.2 million (31 December 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 179
$433 million (31 December 2010 est.)
Stock of domestic credit:
$333.3 million (31 December 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 177
$296.3 million (31 December 2010 est.)
Agriculture – products:
bananas, citrus, mangos, root crops, coconuts, cocoa
note: forest and fishery potential not exploited
Industries:
soap, coconut oil, tourism, copra, furniture, cement blocks, shoes
Industrial production growth rate:
NA%
Electricity – production:
87 million kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 197
Electricity – consumption:
80.91 million kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 197
Electricity – exports:
0 kWh (2009 est.)
Electricity – imports:
0 kWh (2009 est.)
Oil – production:
0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 167
Oil – consumption:
1,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 200
Oil – exports:
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 167
Oil – imports:
858.6 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 195
Oil – proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 123
Natural gas – production:
0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 175
Natural gas – consumption:
0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 172
Natural gas – exports:
0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 88
Natural gas – imports:
0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 183
Natural gas – proved reserves:
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 130
Current account balance:
-$120.1 million (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76
-$134 million (2010 est.)
Exports:
$47.8 million (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 198
$42.8 million (2010 est.)
Exports – commodities:
bananas, soap, bay oil, vegetables, grapefruit, oranges
Exports – partners:
Japan 35.5%, Egypt 12.4%, Antigua and Barbuda 8%, Jamaica 7%, Guyana 6.7%, Trinidad and Tobago 4.3% (2010)
Imports:
$207.1 million (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 202
$225.3 million (2010 est.)
Imports – commodities:
manufactured goods, machinery and equipment, food, chemicals
Imports – partners:
Japan 44.8%, US 13.4%, Trinidad and Tobago 10.7%, China 7.5% (2010)
Debt – external:
$303 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 176
$213 million (2004)
Exchange rates:
East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar –
2.7 (2011 est.)
2.7 (2010 est.)
2.7 (2009)
Fiscal year:
1 July – 30 June