The World Factbook (1990)/Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic

World Factbook (1990) Dominican Republic.jpg

 See regional map III


Total area: 48,730 km²; land area: 48,380 km²

Comparative area: slightly more than twice the size of New Hampshire

Land boundary 275 km with Haiti

Coastline: 1,288 km

Maritime claims:

Contiguous zone: 24 nm
Continental shelf: outer edge of continental margin or 200 nm
Extended economic zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 6 nm

Climate: tropical maritime; little seasonal temperature variation

Terrain: rugged highlands and mountains with fertile valleys interspersed

Natural resources: nickel, bauxite, gold, silver

Land use: 23% arable land; 7% permanent crops; 43% meadows and pastures; 13% forest and woodland; 14% other; includes 4% irrigated

Environment: subject to occasional hurricanes (July to October); deforestation

Note: shares island of Hispaniola with Haiti (western one-third is Haiti, eastern two-thirds is the Dominican Republic)


Population: 7,240,793 (July 1990), growth rate 2.0% (1990)

Birth rate: 28 births/1,000 population (1990)

Death rate: 7 deaths/1,000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: -1 migrant/1,000 population (1990)

Infant mortality rate: 62 deaths/1,000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 65 years male, 69 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 3.2 children born/woman (1990)

Nationality: noun—Dominican(s); adjective—Dominican

Ethnic divisions: 73% mixed, 16% white, 11% black

Religion: 95% Roman Catholic

Language: Spanish

Literacy: 74%

Labor force: 2,300,000-2,600,000; 49% agriculture, 33% services, 18% industry (1986)

Organized labor: 12% of labor force (1989 est.)


Long-form name: Dominican Republic (no short-form name)

Type: republic

Capital: Santo Domingo

Administrative divisions: 29 provinces (provincias, singular—provincia) and 1 district* (distrito); Azua, Baoruco, Barahona, Dajabón, Distrito Nacional*, Duarte, Elías Piña, El Seibo, Espaillat, Hato Mayor, Independencia, La Altagracia, La Romana, La Vega, María Trinidad Sánchez, Monseñor Nouel, Monte Cristi, Monte Plata, Pedernales, Peravia, Puerto Plata, Salcedo, Samaná, Sánchez Ramirez, San Cristóbal, San Juan, San Pedro De Macorís, Santiago, Santiago Rodríguez, Valverde

Independence: 27 February 1844 (from Haiti)

Constitution: 28 November 1966

Legal system: based on French civil codes

National holiday: Independence Day, 27 February (1844)

Executive branch: president, vice president, Cabinet

Legislative branch: bicameral National Congress (Congreso Nacional) consists of an upper chamber or Senate (Senado) and lower chamber or Chamber of Deputies (Cámara de Diputados)

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (Corte Suprema)

Leaders: Chief of State and Head of Government—President Joaquín BALAGUER Ricardo (since 16 August 1986); Vice President Carlos A. MORALES Troncoso (since 16 August 1986)

Political parties and leaders: Major parties—Social Christian Reformist Party (PRSC), Joaquín Balaguer Ricardo; Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD), which fractured in May 1989 with the understanding that leading rivals Jacobo Majluta and José Francisco Peña Gómez would run separately for president at the head of the Independent Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the Social Democratic Institutional Bloc (BIS), respectively, and try to reconstitute the PRD after the election; Dominican Liberation Party (PLD), Juan Bosch Gaviño;

Minor parties—National Veterans and Civilian Party (PNVC), Juan Rene Beauchanps Javier; The Structure (LE), Andres Van Der Horst; Democratic Quisqueyan Party (PQD), Elías Wessin Chavez; Constitutional Action Party (PAC), Luis Arzeno Rodríguez; National Progressive Force (FNP), Marino Vinicio Castillo; Popular Christian Party (PPC), Rogelio Delgado Bogaert; Dominican Communist Party (PCD), Narciso Isa Conde; Anti-Imperialist Patriotic Union (UPA), Ivan Rodríguez; in 1983 several leftist parties, including the PCD, joined to form the Dominican Leftist Front (FID); however, they still retain individual party structures

Suffrage: universal and compulsory at age 18 or if married; members of the armed forces and police cannot vote

Elections: President—last held 16 May 1986 (next to be held May 1990); results—Joaquin Balaguer (PRSC) 41.8%, Jacobo Majluta (PRO) 39.7%, Juan Bosch Gaviño (PLD) 18.5%;

Senate—last held 16 May 1986 (next to be held May 1990); results—percent of vote by party NA; seats—(30 total) PRSC 21, PRD 7, PLD 2;

Chamber of Deputies—last held 16 May 1986 (next to be held May 1990); results—PRSC 40.6%, PRO 33.5%, PLD 18.3%, LE 5.3%, other 2.3%; seats—(120 total) PRSC 56, PRD 48, PLD 16

Communists: an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 members in several legal and illegal factions; effectiveness limited by ideological differences and organizational inadequacies


Diplomatic representation: Ambassador Carlos A. MORALES Troncoso (serves concurrently as Vice President); Chancery at 1715 22nd Street NW, Washington DC 20008; telephone (202) 332-6280; there are Dominican Consulates General in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Mayaguez (Puerto Rico), Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, San Juan (Puerto Rico), and Consulates in Charlotte Amalie (Virgin Islands), Detroit, Houston, Jacksonville, Minneapolis, Mobile, Ponce (Puerto Rico), and San Francisco; US—Ambassador Paul D. TAYLOR; Embassy at the corner of Calle César Nicolás Penson and Calle Leopoldo Navarro, Santo Domingo (mailing address is APO Miami 34041-0008); telephone [809] 541-2171

Flag: a centered white cross that extends to the edges, divides the flag into four rectangles—the top ones are blue (hoist side) and red, the bottom ones are red (hoist side) and blue; a small coat of arms is at the center of the cross


Overview: The economy is largely dependent on the agricultural sector, which employs 50% of the labor force and provides about half of export revenues. The principal commercial crop is sugarcane, followed by coffee, cocoa, and tobacco. Industry is based on the processing of agricultural products, durable consumer goods, minerals, and chemicals. Rapid growth of free trade zones has established a significant expansion of manufacturing for export, especially wearing apparel. Over the past decade tourism has also increased in importance and is a significant earner of foreign exchange and a source of new jobs. Unemployment is officially reported at about 25%, but underemployment may be much higher.

GDP: $5.1 billion, per capita $790; real growth rate 0.5% (1988)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 57.6% (1988)

Unemployment rate: 25% (1988)

Budget: revenues $413 million; expenditures $522 million, including capital expenditures of $218 million (1988)

Exports: $711 million (f.o.b., 1988); commodities—sugar, coffee, cocoa, gold, ferronickel; partners—US, including Puerto Rico, 74%

Imports: $1.8 billion (c.i.f., 1988); commodities—foodstuffs, petroleum, cotton and fabrics, chemicals and pharmaceuticals; partners—US, including Puerto Rico, 37% (1985)

External debt: $3.6 billion (1989) est.

Industrial production: growth rate 30% (1987 est.)

Electricity: 1,376,000 kW capacity; 4,000 million kWh produced, 560 kWh per capita (1989)

Industries: tourism, sugar processing, ferronickel and gold mining, textiles, cement, tobacco

Agriculture: accounts for 18% of GDP and employs 49% of labor force; sugarcane most important commercial crop, followed by coffee, cotton, and cocoa; food crops—rice, beans, potatoes, corn, bananas; animal output—cattle, hogs, dairy products, meat, eggs; not self-sufficient in food

Aid: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-88), $1.1 billion; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-87), $529 million

Currency: Dominican peso (plural—pesos); 1 Dominican peso (RD$) = 100 centavos

Exchange rates: Dominican pesos per US$1—6.3400 (January 1990), 6.3400 (1989), 6.1125 (1988), 3.8448 (1987), 2.9043 (1986), 3.1126 (1985)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Railroads: 1,655 km total in numerous segments; 4 different gauges from 0.558 m to 1.435 m

Highways: 12,000 km total; 5,800 km paved, 5,600 km gravel and improved earth, 600 km unimproved

Pipelines: crude oil, 96 km; refined products, 8 km

Ports: Santo Domingo, Haina, San Pedro de Macoris, Puerto Plata

Merchant marine: 4 cargo ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 23,335 GRT/40,297 DWT

Civil air: 14 major transport aircraft

Airports: 44 total, 30 usable; 14 with permanent-surface runways; none with runways over 3,659 m; 3 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 9 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: relatively efficient domestic system based on islandwide radio relay network; 190,000 telephones; stations—120 AM, no FM, 18 TV, 6 shortwave; 1 coaxial submarine cable; 1 Atlantic Ocean INTELSAT earth station

Defense Forces

Branches: Army, Navy, Air Force

Military manpower: males 15-49, 1,912,101; 1,210,172 fit for military service; 80,290 reach military age (18) annually

Defense expenditures: 1.2% of GDP, or $61 million (1989 est.)