Central America and Caribbean :: Dominica
page last updated on August 3, 2010
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: 751 sq km
country comparison to the world: 188
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
Current Weather
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
72,813 (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 200
Age structure:
0-14 years: 23.4% (male 8,707/female 8,329)
15-64 years: 66.4% (male 24,797/female 23,545)
65 years and over: 10.2% (male 3,212/female 4,223) (2010 est.)
Median age:
total: 30.3 years
male: 29.8 years
female: 30.8 years (2010 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.213% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 181
Birth rate:
15.68 births/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 130
Death rate:
8.12 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 104
Net migration rate:
-5.44 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 164
urban population: 74% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 0.2% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 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 (2010 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 13.2 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 132
male: 17.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 8.46 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 75.77 years
country comparison to the world: 76
male: 72.82 years
female: 78.87 years (2010 est.)
Total fertility rate:
2.08 children born/woman (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 122
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)
country comparison to the world: 69
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 the UK)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 3 November (1978)
3 November 1978
Legal system:
based on English common law; accepts compulsory 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
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elections: president elected by the House of Assembly for a five-year term; election last held on 1 October 2003 (next to be held in 2013); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Nicholas LIVERPOOL consented to a second term in 2008 at the request of the prime minister and leader of the opposition
Legislative branch:
unicameral House of Assembly (30 seats; 9 members appointed, 21 elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
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%; seats by party - DLP 18, UWP 3
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: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Judith Ann ROLLE
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
Economy ::Dominica
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. In order to diversify the island's production base, the government also is attempting to develop an offshore financial sector and has signed an agreement with the EU 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. This restructuring paved the way for an economic recovery - real growth for 2006 reached a two-decade high - and helped to reduce the debt burden, which remains at about 85% of GDP. Hurricane Dean struck the island in August 2007 causing damages equivalent to 20% of GDP. In 2009, growth slowed as a result of the global recession and is projected to pick up only slightly in 2010.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$743 million (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 207
$734.9 million (2008 est.)
$712.1 million (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate):
$380.4 million (2009 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
1.1% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 96
3.2% (2008 est.)
1.8% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$10,200 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 106
$10,100 (2008 est.)
$9,800 (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 17.7%
industry: 32.8%
services: 49.5% (2004 est.)
Labor force:
25,000 (2000 est.)
country comparison to the world: 206
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 40%
industry: 32%
services: 28% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate:
23% (2000 est.)
country comparison to the world: 172
Population below poverty line:
30% (2002 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
revenues: $73.9 million
expenditures: $84.4 million (2001)
Public debt:
85% of GDP (2006 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2.7% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 94
Central bank discount rate:
6.5% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 68
6.5% (31 December 2007)
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
9.06% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 99
9.17% (31 December 2007)
Stock of money:
$72.1 million (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 157
$73.71 million (31 December 2007)
Stock of quasi money:
$289.9 million (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 143
$269.1 million (31 December 2007)
Stock of domestic credit:
$213.6 million (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 129
$193.1 million (31 December 2007)
Agriculture - products:
bananas, citrus, mangoes, root crops, coconuts, cocoa
note: forest and fishery potential not exploited
soap, coconut oil, tourism, copra, furniture, cement blocks, shoes
Industrial production growth rate:
Electricity - production:
85 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 193
Electricity - consumption:
79.05 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 194
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2008 est.)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 182
Oil - consumption:
1,000 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 202
Oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 201
Oil - imports:
838 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 190
Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 187
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 179
Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 191
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 65
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 89
Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 185
Current account balance:
-$72 million (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 72
$94 million (2006)
country comparison to the world: 193
Exports - commodities:
bananas, soap, bay oil, vegetables, grapefruit, oranges
Exports - partners:
Japan 28.62%, UK 19.81%, Antigua and Barbuda 7.7%, Guyana 6.52%, Jamaica 5.4%, Trinidad and Tobago 4.2% (2009)
$296 million (2006)
country comparison to the world: 194
Imports - commodities:
manufactured goods, machinery and equipment, food, chemicals
Imports - partners:
Japan 31.29%, US 19.73%, Trinidad and Tobago 11.8%, China 11.58% (2009)
Debt - external:
$213 million (2004)
country comparison to the world: 173
Exchange rates:
East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar - 2.7 (2007), 2.7 (2006), 2.7 (2005), 2.7 (2004), 2.7 (2003)
Communications ::Dominica
Telephones - main lines in use:
17,500 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 197
Telephones - mobile cellular:
100,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 183
Telephone system:
general assessment: fully automatic network
domestic: Fixed-line teledensity is roughly 25 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular teledensity approached 140 per 100 persons in 2008
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
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 4, FM 18, shortwave 0 (2009)
Television broadcast stations:
1 (2004)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
485 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 173
Internet users:
27,500 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 182
Transportation ::Dominica
2 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 209
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2009)
total: 780 km
country comparison to the world: 188
paved: 393 km
unpaved: 387 km (2000)
Merchant marine:
total: 53
country comparison to the world: 69
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)
Ports and terminals:
Portsmouth, Roseau
Military ::Dominica
Military branches:
no regular military forces; Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force (includes Coast Guard) (2010)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 18,975 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 15,963
females age 16-49: 15,426 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 729
female: 688 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures:
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 (2008)

Source: The World Factbook (CIA)