Dominica

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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 colonized the island 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

Location

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

Geographic coordinates

15.25° N, 61.20° W

Area 189/257

total: 751 sq km

land: 751 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative

slightly more than four times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries

0 km

Coastline

148 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

Climate

tropical; moderated by northeast trade winds; heavy rainfall

Terrain

rugged mountains of volcanic origin

Elevation

mean elevation:

elevation extremes:

lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m

highest point: Morne Diablotins 1,447 m

Natural resources

timber, hydropower, arable land

Land use

agricultural land: 34.7%

arable land 8%; permanent crops 24%; permanent pasture 2.7%

forest: 59.2%

other: 6.1% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

NA

Total renewable water resources

NA

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)

total: 0.02 cu km/yr

per capita: 244.1 cu m/yr (2004)

Natural hazards

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

Environment - current issues

NA

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 and Society

Nationality

noun: Dominican(s)

adjective: Dominican

Ethnic groups

black 86.6%, mixed 9.1%, indigenous 2.9%, other 1.3%, unspecified 0.2% (2001 est.)

Languages

English (official), French patois

Religions

Roman Catholic 61.4%, Protestant 20.6% (inclues Evangelical 6.7%, Seventh Day Adventist 6.1%, Pentecostal 5.6%, Baptist 4.1%, Methodist 3.7%, Church of God 1.2%, other 1.3%), Rastafarian 1.3%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.2%, other 0.3%, none 6.1%, unspecified 1.1% (2001 est.)

Population 202/238

73,607 (July 2015 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 21.96% (male 8,265/female 7,902)

15-24 years: 16.14% (male 6,117/female 5,762)

25-54 years: 41.83% (male 15,617/female 15,170)

55-64 years: 9.39% (male 3,696/female 3,213)

65 years and over: 10.69% (male 3,463/female 4,402) (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 32.6 years

male: 32.1 years

female: 33 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 183/233

0.21% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 129/224

15.41 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate 102/225

7.91 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate 195/222

-5.38 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 69.5% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: 0.84% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

ROSEAU (capital) 15,000 (2014)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 1.15 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female

total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 128/224

total: 11.25 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 14.94 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 7.36 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth 78/224

total population: 76.79 years

male: 73.82 years

female: 79.91 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 116/224

2.04 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Health expenditures 112/191

6% of GDP (2013)

Hospital bed density

3.8 beds/1,000 population (2012)

Drinking water source

improved:

urban: 95.7% of population

unimproved:

urban: 4.3% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access

improved:

urban: 79.6% of population

rural: 84.3% of population

total: 81.1% of population

unimproved:

urban: 20.4% of population

rural: 15.7% of population

total: 18.9% of population (2007 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths

NA

Obesity - adult prevalence rate 61/191

25.9% (2014)

Government

Country name

conventional long form: Commonwealth of Dominica

conventional short form: Dominica

etymology: island named by Christopher COLUMBUS after the day of the week on which he spotted it, Sunday ("Domingo" in Latin), 3 November 1493

Government type

parliamentary democracy

Capital

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

Independence

3 November 1978 (from the UK)

National holiday

Independence Day, 3 November (1978)

Constitution

previous 1967 (preindependence); latest presented 25 July 1978, entered into force 3 November 1978; amended several times, last in 1984 (2015)

Legal system

common law based on the English model

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: yes

citizenship by descent: yes

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Charles A. SAVARIN (since 2 October 2013)

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/appointments: president nominated by the prime minister and leader of the opposition party and elected by the House of Assembly for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 30 September 2013 (next to be held in October 2018); prime minister appointed by the president

election results: Charles A. SAVARIN (DLP) elected president by a vote of 19-0 on 30 September 2013

Legislative branch

description: unicameral House of Assembly (32 seats; 21 representatives directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote, 9 senators appointed by the Assembly, and 2 ex-officio members - the House Speaker and the Clerk of the House; members serve 5-year terms)

elections: last held on 8 December 2014 (next to be held in 2019); note - tradition dictates that the election is held within five years of the last election, but technically it is five years from the first seating of parliament plus a 90-day grace period

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - DLP 15, UWP 6

Judicial branch

highest court(s): The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) is the itinerant superior court of record for the 9-member Organization of Eastern Caribbean States to include Dominica; the ECSC - based on St. Lucia - is headed by the chief justice and is comprised of the Court of Appeal with 3 justices and the High Court with 16 judges; sittings of the Court of Appeal and High Court rotate among the 9 member states; 2 High Court judges reside in Dominica; note - Dominica is a member of the Caribbean Court of Justice

judge selection and term of office: ECSC chief justice appointed by Her Majesty, Queen ELIZABETH II; other justices and judges appointed by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission; Court of Appeal justices appointed for life with mandatory retirement at age 65; High Court judges appointed for life with mandatory retirement at age 62

subordinate courts: Court of Summary Jurisdiction; magistrates' courts

Political parties and leaders

Dominica Freedom Party or DFP [Judith PESTAINA]

Dominica Labor Party or DLP [Roosevelt SKERRIT]

Dominica United Workers Party or UWP [Hector JOHN]

Political pressure groups and leaders

Dominica Liberation Movement or DLM (a small leftist party)

International organization participation

ACP, AOSIS, C, Caricom, CD, CDB, CELAC, Commonwealth of Nations, ECCU, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OAS, OECS, OIF, OPANAL, OPCW, Petrocaribe, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

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

National symbol(s)

Sisserou parrot, Carib Wood flower; national colors: green, yellow, black, white, red

National anthem

name: "Isle of Beauty"

lyrics/music: Wilfred Oscar Morgan POND/Lemuel McPherson CHRISTIAN

note: adopted 1967

Economy

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. Moreover, Dominica has an offshore medical education sector. In order to diversify the island's economy, the government is also attempting to foster an offshore financial industry and plans to sign agreements with the private sector to develop geothermal energy resources. In 2003, the government began a comprehensive restructuring of the economy - including the 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. In 2009 and 2013, the economy contracted as a result of the global recession; growth remains anemic. Although public debt levels continue to exceed pre-recession levels, the debt burden declined from 78% of GDP in 2011 to approximately 70% in 2012.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 206/230

$820.1 million (2015 est.)

$797.7 million (2014 est.)

$767.9 million (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$538 million (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate 110/225

2.8% (2015 est.)

3.9% (2014 est.)

0.6% (2013 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 127/230

$11,600 (2015 est.)

$11,300 (2014 est.)

$10,900 (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Gross national saving 172/179

1% of GDP (2015 est.)

1.7% of GDP (2014 est.)

0.4% of GDP (2013 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 51.8%

government consumption: 23.3%

investment in fixed capital: 27.9%

investment in inventories: 0.1%

exports of goods and services: 66.9%

imports of goods and services: -70%

(2015 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 15%

industry: 14.2%

services: 70.8% (2015 est.)

Agriculture - products

bananas, citrus, mangos, root crops, coconuts, cocoa

note: forest and fishery potential not exploited

Industries

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

Industrial production growth rate 134/202

1.5% (2015 est.)

Labor force 208/233

25,000 (2000 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 40%

industry: 32%

services: 28% (2002 est.)

Unemployment rate 174/207

23% (2000 est.)

Population below poverty line

29% (2009 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%

Budget

revenues: $148.1 million

expenditures: $148.1 million (2015 est.)

Taxes and other revenues 98/219

27.5% of GDP (2015 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 28/220

0% of GDP (2015 est.)

Public debt 45/176

70% of GDP (2012 est.)

78% of GDP (2009 est.)

Fiscal year

1 July - 30 June

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 69/226

1% (2015 est.)

0.8% (2014 est.)

Central bank discount rate 51/156

6.5% (31 December 2010)

6.5% (31 December 2009)

Commercial bank prime lending rate 99/184

8.8% (31 December 2015 est.)

8.94% (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of narrow money 187/192

$95.11 million (31 December 2015 est.)

$86.92 million (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of broad money 182/193

$499.6 million (31 December 2015 est.)

$462.6 million (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of domestic credit 178/191

$333.3 million (31 December 2015 est.)

$314.8 million (31 December 2014 est.)

Current account balance 63/197

-$69 million (2015 est.)

-$68 million (2014 est.)

Exports 204/224

$39.4 million (2015 est.)

$38.6 million (2014 est.)

Exports - commodities

bananas, soap, bay oil, vegetables, grapefruit, oranges

Exports - partners

Japan 35.7%, Jamaica 18.4%, Antigua and Barbuda 10.1%, Trinidad and Tobago 6.3%, St. Lucia 4.6%, St. Kitts and Nevis 4% (2014)

Imports 206/223

$182.9 million (2015 est.)

$186.9 million (2014 est.)

Imports - commodities

manufactured goods, machinery and equipment, food, chemicals

Imports - partners

Japan 40%, Trinidad and Tobago 16.9%, US 12%, China 7% (2014)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 165/170

$100 million (31 December 2015 est.)

$103 million (31 December 2014 est.)

Debt - external 186/206

$292.9 million (31 December 2014 est.)

$292.9 million (31 December 2013 est.)

Exchange rates

East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar -

2.7 (2015 est.)

2.7 (2014 est.)

2.7 (2013 est.)

2.7 (2012 est.)

2.7 (2011 est.)

Energy

Electricity - production 200/220

96.5 million kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - consumption 201/219

89.75 million kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - exports 132/218

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - imports 142/219

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 196/214

33,200 kW (2012 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 133/214

60.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 80/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 98/214

18.1% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 14/212

21.7% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production 126/214

0 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - exports 117/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - imports 182/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 125/215

0 bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production 175/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption 204/212

900 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports 174/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 198/213

915.9 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Natural gas - production 179/216

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption 138/215

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports 89/215

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports 189/214

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 131/212

0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 206/212

132,100 Mt (2012 est.)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines 188/219

total subscriptions: 17,600

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 24 (2014 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular 192/217

total: 92,200

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 126 (2014 est.)

Telephone system

general assessment: fully automatic network

domestic: fixed-line connections continued to decline slowly with the two active operators providing about 20 fixed-line connections per 100 persons; subscribership among the three mobile-cellular providers continued to increase with teledensity reaching 150 per 100 persons

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 (2010)

Broadcast media

no terrestrial TV service available; subscription cable TV provider offers some locally produced programming plus channels from the US, Latin America, and the Caribbean; state-operated radio broadcasts on 6 stations; privately owned radio broadcasts on about 15 stations (2007)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 4, FM 18, shortwave 0 (2009)

Television broadcast stations

1 (2004)

Internet country code

.dm

Internet hosts 175/232

723 (2012)

Internet users 190/217

total: 43,400

percent of population: 59.1% (2014 est.)

Transportation

Airports 199/236

2 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)

Roadways 178/223

total: 1,512 km

paved: 762 km

unpaved: 750 km (2010)

Merchant marine 73/156

total: 43

by type: bulk carrier 11, cargo 22, chemical tanker 2, petroleum tanker 4, refrigerated cargo 3, roll on/roll off 1

foreign-owned: 32 (Australia 1, Estonia 6, Germany 5, Greece 4, India 2, Latvia 2, Norway 1, Russia 3, Saudi Arabia 2, Syria 4, Turkey 1, Ukraine 1)

registered in other countries: 1 (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Portsmouth, Roseau

Military and Security

Military branches

no regular military forces; Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force (includes Coast Guard) (2012)

Transnational Issues

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)