Country Information Database


Dominica Country Information

Flag of Dominica
Map of Dominica
Introduction Dominica
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 Dominica
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
total: 754 sq km
land: 754 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 Diablatins 1,447 m
Natural resources:
timber, hydropower, arable land
Land use:
arable land: 6.67%
permanent crops: 21.33%
other: 72% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Total renewable water resources:
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:
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 Dominica
72,514 (July 2008 est.)
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.)
Median age:
total: 29.4 years
male: 29 years
female: 29.8 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.196% (2008 est.)
Birth rate:
15.73 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate:
8.32 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate:
-5.46 migrant(s)/1,000 population (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.)
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.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 75.33 years
male: 72.39 years
female: 78.41 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate:
2.1 children born/woman (2008 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
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)
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)
English (official), French patois
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: 14 years (2005)
Education expenditures:
5% of GDP (1999)
Government Dominica
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 UK)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 3 November (1978)
3 November 1978
Legal system:
based on English common law; accepts ICJ jurisdiction
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
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%
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
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:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: 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
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 encircled by 10 green, five-pointed stars edged in yellow; the 10 stars represent the 10 administrative divisions (parishes)
Economy Dominica
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. 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 is researching Dominica's capability to export geothermal energy.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$648 million (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$311 million (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
0.9% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$9,000 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 17.7%
industry: 32.8%
services: 49.5% (2004 est.)
Labor force:
25,000 (2000 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 40%
industry: 32%
services: 28% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate:
23% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line:
30% (2002 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2.7% (2007 est.)
revenues: $73.9 million
expenditures: $84.4 million (2001)
Agriculture - products:
bananas, citrus, mangoes, root crops, coconuts, cocoa; forest and fishery potential not exploited
soap, coconut oil, tourism, copra, furniture, cement blocks, shoes
Industrial production growth rate:
-10% (1997 est.)
Electricity - production:
80 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 47.1%
hydro: 52.9%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
74.4 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2005)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2005)
Oil - consumption:
800 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports:
771.8 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance:
-$72 million (2007 est.)
$94 million f.o.b. (2006)
Exports - commodities:
bananas, soap, bay oil, vegetables, grapefruit, oranges
Exports - partners:
China 23.9%, Jamaica 12.3%, Antigua and Barbuda 9.9%, Guyana 8.3%, UK 8%, Trinidad and Tobago 5.4%, Saint Lucia 4.5% (2007)
$296 million f.o.b. (2006)
Imports - commodities:
manufactured goods, machinery and equipment, food, chemicals
Imports - partners:
US 23.5%, China 20.6%, Trinidad and Tobago 12.9%, Japan 10.8%, South Korea 4.5% (2007)
Economic aid - recipient:
$15.17 million (2005 est.)
Debt - external:
$213 million (2004)
Currency (code):
East Caribbean dollar (XCD)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
East Caribbean dollars per US dollar - 2.7 (2007), 2.7 (2006), 2.7 (2005), 2.7 (2004), 2.7 (2003)
Fiscal year:
1 July - 30 June
Communications Dominica
Telephones - main lines in use:
21,000 (2004)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
41,800 (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
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 2, FM 4, shortwave 0 (2003)
46,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
1 (2004)
6,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
257 (2007)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
16 (2000)
Internet users:
26,500 (2006)
Transportation Dominica
2 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2007)
total: 780 km
paved: 393 km
unpaved: 387 km (2000)
Merchant marine:
total: 54 ships (1000 GRT or over) 871,803 GRT/1,548,335 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 13, cargo 28, chemical tanker 3, petroleum tanker 7, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 1, vehicle carrier 1
foreign-owned: 46 (Australia 2, Estonia 6, Greece 9, India 2, Latvia 2, Lebanon 1, Norway 1, Russia 3, Saudi Arabia 3, Singapore 7, Syria 2, Turkey 4, Ukraine 4) (2008)
Ports and terminals:
Portsmouth, Roseau
Military Dominica
Military branches:
no regular military forces; Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force (includes Coast Guard) (2008)
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.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 756
female: 713 (2008 est.)
Military expenditures:
NA (2006)
Transnational Issues Dominica
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

This page was last updated on 2 October, 2008 Access Time: Tue, 26 Sep 2023 03:35:54 +0000