Facts about Dominica

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DominicaDominica 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 of Dominica

Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, about one-half of the way from Puerto Rico to Trinidad and Tobago
15 25 N, 61 20 W
total: 754 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 754 sq km
Area comparative:
slightly more than four times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
148 km
Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 NM
territorial sea: 12 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
Natural hazards:
flash floods are a constant threat; destructive hurricanes can be expected during the late summer months
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

Population of Dominica

72,514 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 26.1% (male 9,084/female 8,885)
15-64 years: 66% (male 23,419/female 22,079)
65 years and over: 7.9% (male 2,186/female 3,257)
Median age:
30.1 years
Growth rate:
Infant mortality:
13.71 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 74.87 years
male: 71.95 years
female: 77.93 years
Fertility rate:
1.94 children born/woman
noun: Dominican(s)
adjective: Dominican
Ethnic groups:
black, mixed black and European, European, Syrian, Carib Amerindian
Roman Catholic 77%, Protestant 15% (Methodist 5%, Pentecostal 3%, Seventh-Day Adventist 3%, Baptist 2%, other 2%), none 2%, other 6%
English (official), French patois
definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total : 94%
male: 94%
female: 94%


Country name:
conventional long form: Commonwealth of Dominica
Government type:
parliamentary democracy; republic within the Commonwealth
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
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
Legislative branch:
unicameral House of Assembly (30 seats, 9 appointed senators, 21 elected by popular vote; members serve five-year terms)
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)


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.

$648 million (2007 est.)
GDP growth rate:
GDP per capita:
GDP composition by sector:
agriculture: 18%
industry: 24%
services: 58% 
Inflation rate:
Labor force:
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture 40%, industry and commerce 32%, services 28%
revenues: $73.9 million
expenditures: $84.4 million, including capital expenditures of $NA 
Electricity production by source:
fossil fuel: 47.1%
hydro: 52.9%
other: 0% 
nuclear: 0%
soap, coconut oil, tourism, copra, furniture, cement blocks, shoes
bananas, citrus, mangoes, root crops, coconuts, cocoa; forest and fishery potential not exploited
bananas, soap, bay oil, vegetables, grapefruit, oranges
Export partners:
UK 25.9%, Jamaica 14.8%, Antigua and Barbuda 8.8%, Guyana 7.5%, Trinidad and Tobago 4.8%, Saint Lucia 4% 
manufactured goods, machinery and equipment, food, chemicals
Import partners:
US 24.2%, China 19.4%, Trinidad and Tobago 12.3%, UK 4.7%, South Korea 4.6%, Japan 4.4% 
East Caribbean dollar (XCD)

SOURCES: The CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State, Area Handbook of the US Library of Congress

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