Dominica( Central America and Caribbean )

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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.
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
total: 751 sq km
land: 751 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area comparative:
slightly more than four times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
148 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
tropical; moderated by northeast trade winds; heavy rainfall
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: 8%
permanent crops: 24%
other: 68% (2011)
Irrigated land:
Total renewable water resources:
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic or industrial or agricultural):
total: 0.02 cu km/yr
per capita: 244.1 cu m/yr (2004)
Natural hazards:
flash floods are a constant threat; destructive hurricanes can be expected during the late summer months
Environment current issues:
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
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)
English (official), French patois
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)
73,449 (July 2014 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 22.1% (male 8,300/female 7,939)
15-24 years: 16.7% (male 6,311/female 5,946)
25-54 years: 41.5% (male 15,470/female 15,004)
55-64 years: 9.2% (male 3,604/female 3,147)
65 years and over: 10.4% (male 3,386/female 4,342) (2014 est.)
Dependency ratios:
Median age:
total: 32.1 years
male: 31.7 years
female: 32.6 years (2014 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.22% (2014 est.)
Birth rate:
15.53 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
Death rate:
7.94 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
Net migration rate:
-5.39 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
urban population: 67.1% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 0.18% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas population:
ROSEAU (capital) 14,000 (2011)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 11.61 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 15.46 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 7.57 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
Maternal mortality rate:
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 76.59 years
male: 73.63 years
female: 79.7 years (2014 est.)
Total fertility rate:
2.05 children born/woman (2014 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate:
Health expenditures:
5.9% of GDP (2011)
Physicians density:
1.59 physicians/1,000 population (2001)
Hospital bed density:
3.8 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Drinking water source:
improved: urban: 95.7% of population
unimproved: urban: 4.3% of population (2012 est.)
Sanitation facility access:
improved: urban: 79.6% of population
rural: 84.3% of population
total: 81.1% of population
unimproved: urban: 20.4% of population
rural: 15.7% of population
total: 18.9% of population (2007 est.)
HIV or AIDS adult prevalence rate:
HIV or AIDS people living with HIV or AIDS:
HIV or AIDS deaths:
Obesity adult prevalence rate:
24.9% (2008)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
Education expenditures:
3.5% of GDP (2010)
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):
Child labor children ages 5-14:
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
total: 26%
male: 26.2%
female: 25.4% (2001)
Country name:
conventional long form: Commonwealth of Dominica
conventional short form: Dominica
Government type:
parliamentary democracy
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
3 November 1978 (from the UK)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 3 November (1978)
previous 1967 (preindependence); latest presented 25 July 1978, entered into force 3 November 1978; amended several times, last in 1984 (2011)
Legal system:
common law based on the English model
International law organization participation:
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Charles A. SAVARIN (since 2 October 2013)
head of government: Prime Minister Roosevelt SKERRIT (since 8 January 2004)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister
elections: president elected by the House of Assembly for a five-year term; election last held on 30 September 2013 (next to be held in October 2018); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Charles A. SAVARIN elected president by a vote of 19-0 on 30 September 2013
Legislative branch:
unicameral House of Assembly (32 seats; 9 members appointed, 21 elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms, 1 speaker elected from among persons who are not members of the House, responsible for the management and general administration of the House, and one ex-officio Clerk of the House)
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:
highest court(s): The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) is the itinerant superior court of record for the 9-member Organization of Eastern Caribbean States to include Dominica; the ECSC - based on St. Lucia - is headed by the chief justice and is comprised of the Court of Appeal with 3 justices and the High Court with 16 judges; sittings of the Court of Appeal and High Court rotate among the 9 member states; 2 High Court judges reside in Dominica; note - Dominica is a member of the Caribbean Court of Justice
judge selection and term of office: ECSC chief justice appointed by Her Majesty, Queen ELIZABETH II; other justices and judges appointed by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission; Court of Appeal justices appointed for life with mandatory retirement at age 65; High Court judges appointed for life with mandatory retirement at age 62
subordinate courts: Court of Summary Jurisdiction; magistrates' courts
Political parties and leaders:
Dominica Freedom Party or DFP [Judith PESTAINA]
Dominica Labor Party or DLP [Roosevelt SKERRIT]
Dominica United Workers Party or UWP [Hector JOHN]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Dominica Liberation Movement or DLM (a small leftist party)
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Hubert J. CHARLES (since 16 July 2010)
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"
lyrics/music: Wilfred Oscar Morgan POND/Lemuel McPherson CHRISTIAN
note: adopted 1967
Economy overview:
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. Moreover, Dominica has successfully developed an offshore medical education sector. In order to diversify the island's economy, the government is also attempting to develop an offshore financial industry and plans to sign agreements with the private sector 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. In 2009, the economy contracted as a result of the global recession; growth remains anemic. Although public debt levels continue to exceed pre-recession levels, the debt burden declined from 78% of GDP in 2011 to approximately 70% in 2012, one of the lowest levels in the Eastern Caribbean.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$1.015 billion (2013 est.)
$1.004 billion (2012 est.)
$1.021 billion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate):
$495 million (2013 est.)
GDP real growth rate:
1.1% (2013 est.)
-1.7% (2012 est.)
1% (2011 est.)
GDP per capita (PPP):
$14,300 (2013 est.)
$14,200 (2012 est.)
$14,400 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
Gross national saving:
9.2% of GDP (2012 est.)
8.5% of GDP (2011 est.)
7.8% of GDP (2010 est.)
GDP composition, by end use:
household consumption: 65.5%
government consumption: 18.9%
investment in fixed capital: 24.8%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 46.4%
imports of goods and services: -55.6%
(2013 est.)
GDP composition, by sector of origin:
agriculture: 15.7%
industry: 15.6%
services: 68.7% (2013 est.)
Agriculture products:
bananas, citrus, mangos, root crops, coconuts, cocoa
note: forest and fishery potential not exploited
soap, coconut oil, tourism, copra, furniture, cement blocks, shoes
Industrial production growth rate:
-1% (2013 est.)
Labor force:
25,000 (2000 est.)
Labor force by occupation:
agriculture: 40%
industry: 32%
services: 28% (2002 est.)
Unemployment rate:
23% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line:
29% (2009 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Distribution of family income Gini index:
revenues: $148.1 million
expenditures: $185.2 million (2013 est.)
Taxes and other revenues:
29.9% of GDP (2013 est.)
Budget surplus or deficit:
Public debt:
70% of GDP (2012 est.)
78% of GDP (2009 est.)
Fiscal year:
1 July - 30 June
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
1.8% (2013 est.)
1.4% (2012 est.)
Central bank discount rate:
6.5% (31 December 2010 est.)
6.5% (31 December 2009 est.)
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
9.1% (31 December 2013 est.)
9.03% (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of narrow money:
$94.41 million (31 December 2013 est.)
$84.39 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of broad money:
$455.2 million (31 December 2013 est.)
$421.6 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of domestic credit:
$333.3 million (31 December 2013 est.)
$304.1 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
Current account balance:
-$91.5 million (2013 est.)
-$54.9 million (2012 est.)
$40.4 million (2013 est.)
$40.6 million (2012 est.)
Exports commodities:
bananas, soap, bay oil, vegetables, grapefruit, oranges
Exports partners:
Japan 38.8%, Jamaica 8.3%, Antigua and Barbuda 7.7%, Guyana 6.5%, Paraguay 5.6%, Trinidad and Tobago 4.2% (2012)
$219.6 million (2013 est.)
$182.7 million (2012 est.)
Imports commodities:
manufactured goods, machinery and equipment, food, chemicals
Imports partners:
Japan 39.3%, US 15.6%, Trinidad and Tobago 13.5%, China 5.1% (2012)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$90 million (31 December 2013 est.)
$94.56 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Debt external:
$274.9 million (31 December 2013 est.)
$272.1 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment at home:
Stock of direct foreign investment abroad:
Exchange rates:
East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar -
2.7 (2013 est.)
2.7 (2012 est.)
2.7 (2010 est.)
2.7 (2009)
Electricity production:
100.5 million kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity consumption:
93.47 million kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity exports:
0 kWh (2012 est.)
Electricity imports:
0 kWh (2012 est.)
Electricity installed generating capacity:
97,000 kW (2010 est.)
Electricity from fossil fuels:
19.6% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
Electricity from nuclear fuels:
0% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
Electricity from hydroelectric plants:
6.2% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
Electricity from other renewable sources:
74.2% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
Crude oil production:
0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
Crude oil exports:
0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Crude oil imports:
0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Crude oil proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products production:
0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Refined petroleum products consumption:
918 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Refined petroleum products exports:
0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Refined petroleum products imports:
916 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Natural gas production:
0 cu m (2011 est.)
Natural gas consumption:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas exports:
0 cu m (2011 est.)
Natural gas imports:
0 cu m (2011 est.)
Natural gas proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2013 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
141,600 Mt (2011 est.)
Telephones mobile cellular:
109,300 (2012)
Telephone system:
general assessment: fully automatic network
domestic: fixed-line connections continued to decline slowly with the two active operators providing about 20 fixed-line connections per 100 persons; subscribership among the three mobile-cellular providers continued to increase with teledensity reaching 150 per 100 persons
international: country code - 1-767; landing points for the East Caribbean Fiber Optic System (ECFS) and the Global Caribbean Network (GCN) submarine cables providing connectivity to other islands in the eastern Caribbean extending from the British Virgin Islands to Trinidad; microwave radio relay and SHF radiotelephone links to Martinique and Guadeloupe; VHF and UHF radiotelephone links to Saint Lucia (2010)
Telephones main lines in use:
14,600 (2012)
Broadcast media:
no terrestrial TV service available; subscription cable TV provider offers some locally produced programming plus channels from the US, Latin America, and the Caribbean; state-operated radio broadcasts on 6 stations; privately owned radio broadcasts on about 15 stations (2007)
Internet country code:
Internet users:
28,000 (2009)
Internet hosts:
723 (2012)
2 (2013)
Airports with paved runways:
total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)
Airports with unpaved runways:
total: 1,512 km
paved: 762 km
unpaved: 750 km (2010)
Merchant marine:
total: 43
by type: bulk carrier 11, cargo 22, chemical tanker 2, petroleum tanker 4, refrigerated cargo 3, roll on/roll off 1
foreign-owned: 32 (Australia 1, Estonia 6, Germany 5, Greece 4, India 2, Latvia 2, Norway 1, Russia 3, Saudi Arabia 2, Syria 4, Turkey 1, Ukraine 1)
registered in other countries: 1 (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1) (2010)
Ports and terminals:
major seaport(s): Portsmouth, Roseau
Military branches:
no regular military forces; Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force (includes Coast Guard) (2012)
Military service age and obligation:
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 19,075 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 16,035
females age 16-49: 15,499 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 675
female: 636 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures:
Transnational Issues
Disputes international:
Dominica is the only Caribbean state to challenge Venezuela's sovereignty claim over Aves Island and joins the other island nations in challenging whether the feature sustains human habitation, a criterion under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which permits Venezuela to extend its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and continental shelf claims over a large portion of the eastern Caribbean Sea
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
Trafficking in persons: