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  Introduction Back To Top

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.

  Geography Back To Top

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 0.02 cu km/yr
per capita: 213 cu m/yr (1996)

Total renewable water resources:

Land boundaries:
0 km

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

tropical; moderated by northeast trade winds; heavy rainfall

Map references:
Central America and the Caribbean

Geographic coordinates:
15 25 N, 61 20 W

Natural resources:
timber, hydropower, arable land

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Morne Diablatins 1,447 m

rugged mountains of volcanic origin

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

total: 754 sq km
land: 754 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, about half way between Puerto Rico and Trinidad and Tobago

148 km

Area - comparative:
slightly more than four times the size of Washington, DC

Irrigated land:

Environment - current issues:

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

Natural hazards:
flash floods are a constant threat; destructive hurricanes can be expected during the late summer months

Land use:
arable land: 6.67%
permanent crops: 21.33%
other: 72% (2005)

  People Back To Top

Total fertility rate:
2.1 children born/woman (2008 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 75.33 years
male: 72.39 years
female: 78.41 years (2008 est.)

definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 94%
male: 94%
female: 94% (2003 est.)

Net migration rate:
-5.46 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Ethnic groups:
black 86.8%, mixed 8.9%, Carib Amerindian 2.9%, white 0.8%, other 0.7% (2001 census)

Median age:
total: 29.4 years
male: 29 years
female: 29.8 years (2008 est.)

72,514 (July 2008 est.)

Education expenditures:
5% of GDP (1999)

Population growth rate:
0.196% (2008 est.)

English (official), French patois

Death rate:
8.32 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 14.12 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 19 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 9.01 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 13 years
male: 13 years
female: 14 years (2005)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 24.7% (male 9,175/female 8,762)
15-64 years: 65.1% (male 24,192/female 22,995)
65 years and over: 10.2% (male 3,178/female 4,212) (2008 est.)

Birth rate:
15.73 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Roman Catholic 61.4%, 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)

noun: Dominican(s)
adjective: Dominican

  Government Back To Top

Diplomatic representation from the US:
the US does not have an embassy in Dominica; the US Ambassador to Barbados is accredited to Dominica

National holiday:
Independence Day, 3 November (1978)

18 years of age; universal

Government type:
parliamentary democracy

Political pressure groups and leaders:
Dominica Liberation Movement or DLM (a small leftist party)

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); note - Judith Ann ROLLE (Charge d'Affaires)
chancery: 3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
telephone: [1] (202) 364-6781
FAX: [1] (202) 364-6791
consulate(s) general: New York

International organization participation:

Legislative branch:
unicameral House of Assembly (30 seats; 9 members appointed, 21 elected by popular vote; to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 5 May 2005 (next to be held by 5 August 2010); 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 52.1%, UWP 43.6%, DFP 3.2%, other 1.1%; seats by party - DLP 12, UWP 8, independent 1

Legal system:
based on English common law; accepts ICJ jurisdiction

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 encircled by 10 green, five-pointed stars edged in yellow; the 10 stars represent the 10 administrative divisions (parishes)

3 November 1978 (from UK)

Country name (Goverment):
conventional long form: Commonwealth of Dominica
conventional short form: Dominica

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]

name: Roseau
geographic coordinates: 15 18 N, 61 24 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

3 November 1978

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
elections: president elected by the House of Assembly for a five-year term; election last held 1 October 2003 (next to be held in October 2008); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Nicholas LIVERPOOL elected president; percent of legislative vote - NA%

Administrative divisions:
10 parishes; Saint Andrew, Saint David, Saint George, Saint John, Saint Joseph, Saint Luke, Saint Mark, Saint Patrick, Saint Paul, Saint Peter

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)

  Economy Back To Top

Exports - partners:
China 24.4%, Jamaica 10.3%, Antigua and Barbuda 10.1%, Guyana 8.5%, UK 8.2%, Trinidad and Tobago 5.5%, Saint Lucia 4.6%, Saint Kitts & Nevis 4% (2007)

Electricity - consumption:
83.7 million kWh (2006 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
6.5% (31 December 2007)

Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2007 est.)

Current account balance:
-$72 million (2007 est.)

Debt - external:
$213 million (2004)

Unemployment rate:
23% (2000 est.)

Oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2005)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$9,500 (2008 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$193.1 million (31 December 2007)

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$688.7 million (2008 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):
$365 million (2008 est.)

Exchange rates:
East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar - 2.7 (2007), 2.7 (2006), 2.7 (2005), 2.7 (2004), 2.7 (2003)

GDP - real growth rate:
2.6% (2008 est.)

Stock of money:
$73.71 million (31 December 2007)

Labor force:
25,000 (2000 est.)

Imports - partners:
US 24.1%, China 21.2%, Trinidad and Tobago 13.2%, Japan 11.1% (2007)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2.7% (2007 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 17.7%
industry: 32.8%
services: 49.5% (2004 est.)

Oil - imports:
669.6 bbl/day (2005)

$94 million f.o.b. (2006)

Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Currency (code):
East Caribbean dollar (XCD)

Economy - overview:
The Dominican economy depends on agriculture, primarily bananas, and remains highly vulnerable to climatic conditions and international economic developments. Tourism has increased as the government seeks to promote Dominica as an "ecotourism" destination and has developed a new tourism development plan with assistance from the EU. Hurricane Dean struck the island in August 2007 causing damages equivalent to 20 % of GDP. 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 Dominica's economic and financial crisis of 2001-02 and to meet IMF targets. This restructuring paved the way for the current economic recovery - real growth for 2006 reached a two-decade high - and will help to reduce the debt burden, which remains at about 100% of GDP. In order to diversify the island's production base, the government is attempting to develop an offshore financial sector and has signed an agreement with the EU to develop geothermal energy resources.

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Imports - commodities:
manufactured goods, machinery and equipment, food, chemicals

soap, coconut oil, tourism, copra, furniture, cement blocks, shoes

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2007 est.)

Population below poverty line:
30% (2002 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
9.17% (31 December 2007)

Stock of quasi money:
$269.1 million (31 December 2007)

Electricity - production:
90 million kWh (2006 est.)

$296 million f.o.b. (2006)

Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 40%
industry: 32%
services: 28% (2000 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)

Oil - consumption:
850.5 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Currency code:

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Exports - commodities:
bananas, soap, bay oil, vegetables, grapefruit, oranges

Economic aid - recipient:
$15.17 million (2005 est.)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 47.1%
hydro: 52.9%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

revenues: $73.9 million
expenditures: $84.4 million (2001)

Fiscal year:
1 July - 30 June

Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2007 est.)

  Communications Back To Top

Internet users:
26,500 (2006)

Telephones - main lines in use:
21,000 (2004)

6,000 (1997)

Internet country code:

Radio broadcast stations:
AM 2, FM 4, shortwave 0 (2003)

46,000 (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular:
41,800 (2004)

Television broadcast stations:
1 (2004)

Telephone system:
general assessment: NA
domestic: fully automatic network
international: country code - 1-767; landing point for the East Caribbean Fiber Optic System (ECFS) submarine cable with links to 13 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

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
16 (2000)

Internet hosts:
29 (2008)

  Transportation Back To Top

Ports and terminals:
Portsmouth, Roseau

Merchant marine:
total: 53
by type: bulk carrier 14, cargo 27, chemical tanker 3, petroleum tanker 5, refrigerated cargo 2, roll on/roll off 1, vehicle carrier 1
foreign-owned: 47 (Australia 2, Estonia 7, Greece 10, India 2, Latvia 1, Norway 1, Russia 3, Saudi Arabia 2, Singapore 7, Syria 2, Turkey 5, Ukraine 4, UAE 1) (2008)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2007)

total: 780 km
paved: 393 km
unpaved: 387 km (2000)

2 (2007)

  Military Back To Top

Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 18,584 (2008 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 15,648 (2008 est.)

Military branches:
no regular military forces; Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force (includes Coast Guard) (2008)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 756
female: 713 (2008 est.)

Military expenditures:
NA (2006)

  Transnational Issues Back To Top

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

Illicit drugs:
transshipment point for narcotics bound for the US and Europe; minor cannabis producer; anti-money-laundering enforcement is weak, making the country particularly vulnerable to money laundering

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