About the Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is the second largest nation in the Caribbean, it occupies the eastern two thirds of the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles. With an area of 48,484 square kilometers (18,700 sq. Miles) is the size of Vermont and New Hampshire combined. Situated between North and South America, the country is bathed by the Caribbean Sea on the south coast and the Atlantic Ocean to the North. Puerto Rico is East beyond the Mona Passage and the Republic of Haiti, with which it shares the island , to the West.
According to the 1993 census, population is estimated at 7.1 million inhabitants,
more than 55% of whom leave in the urban areas of the country, with more than 2 million residing in Santo Domingo. The Dominican people are a mixture of cultures and races of Spanish predominance : Caucasian 16%, Black 11%, Mixed 73%. Annual Growth Rate is 2.4% (1983-1992).
The capital city is Santo Domingo, the first settlement in the new world; Santiago de los Caballeros is second with an estimated population of 500,000; La Romana 148,108; Puerto Plata 96,831; Higuey 83,135; Samana 49,537; Sosua 19,159.
A pleasent tropical climate with and annual average temperature of 77 degrees Fahrenheit, August is the warmest month and January the coolest.
The nation’s government is a representative democracy governed by a President and a Congress formed by the House of Representatives and the Senate. There is one Senator for each of the 30 provinces and the 120 Deputies are allotted depending on population. The 1966 Constitution is very similar to the Constitution of the United States. Free elections are held every four years on May 16, inauguration is on August 16. President Joaquin Balaguer and Vice President Jacinto Peynado were elected in May 1994.
Some of the political parties are: Reformist Social Christian Party (PRSC), Dominican Liberation Party (PLD), Independent Revolutionary Party (PRI) and Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD).
Roman Catholic, 90%. There are Catholic, Evangelical and Adventist churches and synagogues.
The official language is Spanish, but English is also spoken throughout the country.
Eight years compulsory. Adult literacy rate is 74% with 90% Primary School enrollment .
Infant morality rate is 56 per 1,000.
Life expectancy is 65 years for men and 69 for women.
|Gross Domestic Product: ||US$10,870 million|
|Real GDP Growth:||4.3%|
|GDP per capita:||US$1,532|
|Natural Resources: ||Nickel, Gold, Silver, Beaches|
|Agricultural Products:||Sugar Cane, Coffee, Cocoa, Tobacco, Beef, Fruits and Vegetables.|
|Type of Industry:||Sugar and Petroleum refining, rum and beer, textiles, pharmaceutical, cement, light manufacturing, food processing, metallurgy.|
|Principal Goods Exports||Ferronickel, Gold, Sugar, Silver, Coffee, Cocoa, Tobacco, Meats, Fruits and Vegetables (US$644 million).|
|Principal Service Exports||Tourism and Industrial Free Zones (US$1,957.5 million).|
|Principal Imports ||Foodstuffs, Petroleum, Industrial Raw Materials, Capital Goods (US$ 2,276)
The banking system is governed by the country’s Central Bank, which is controlled by the Monetary Board and supervised by the Superintendent of Banks. The Central Bank regulates the country’s credit, money supply and foreign exchange rate. Private banking is conducted by many commercial banks.
Links to banks in Dominican Republic.
The official currency is the Dominican peso. The exchange rate fluctuates and it is approximately 13.55 to one US dollar.
News From Home
Visit the exhibit "1492: An Ongoing Voyage"