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Dominica

Map of Dominica
Introduction
Background: 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
Location: Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, about one-half of the way from Puerto Rico to Trinidad and Tobago
 
Geographic coordinates: 15 25 N, 61 20 W
 
Map references: Central America and the Caribbean
 
Area: 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
 
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 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: 20%
other: 73.33% (2001)
 
Irrigated land: NA sq km
 
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
Population: 69,029 (July 2005 est.)
 
Age structure: 0-14 years: 26.7% (male 9,328/female 9,125)
15-64 years: 65.4% (male 23,225/female 21,900)
65 years and over: 7.9% (male 2,193/female 3,258) (2005 est.)
 
Median age: total: 29.59 years
male: 29.26 years
female: 29.95 years (2005 est.)
 
Population growth rate: -0.27% (2005 est.)
 
Birth rate: 15.73 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
 
Death rate: 6.81 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
 
Net migration rate: -11.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)
 
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.67 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2005 est.)
 
Infant mortality rate: total: 14.15 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 18.68 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 9.38 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)
 
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 74.65 years
male: 71.73 years
female: 77.71 years (2005 est.)
 
Total fertility rate: 1.96 children born/woman (2005 est.)
 
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: NA
 
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: NA
 
HIV/AIDS - deaths: NA
 
Nationality: noun: Dominican(s)
adjective: Dominican
 
Ethnic groups: black, mixed black and European, European, Syrian, Carib Amerindian
 
Religions: Roman Catholic 77%, Protestant 15% (Methodist 5%, Pentecostal 3%, Seventh-Day Adventist 3%, Baptist 2%, other 2%), other 6%, none 2%
 
Languages: English (official), French patois
 
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 94%
male: 94%
female: 94% (2003 est.)
 
Government
Country name: conventional long form: Commonwealth of Dominica
conventional short form: Dominica
 
Government type: parliamentary democracy; republic within the Commonwealth
 
Capital: Roseau
 
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 UK)
 
National holiday: Independence Day, 3 November (1978)
 
Constitution: 3 November 1978
 
Legal system: based on English common law
 
Suffrage: 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); note - assumed post after death of Prime Minister Pierre CHARLES
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 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 appointed senators, 21 elected by popular vote; members 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 52.08%, UWP 43.6%, DFP 3.15%; 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]; United Workers Party or UWP [Edison JAMES]
 
Political pressure groups and leaders: Dominica Liberation Movement or DLM (a small leftist party)
 
International organization participation: ACCT, ACP, C, Caricom, CDB, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO (subscriber), ITU, MIGA, NAM (observer), OAS, OECS, OPANAL, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, 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 encircled by 10 green, five-pointed stars edged in yellow; the 10 stars represent the 10 administrative divisions (parishes)
 
Economy
Economy - overview: The Dominican economy depends on agriculture, primarily bananas, and remains highly vulnerable to climatic conditions and international economic developments. Production of bananas dropped precipitously in 2003, a major reason for the 1% decline in GDP. Tourism increased in 2003 as the government sought to promote Dominica as an "ecotourism" destination. Development of the tourism industry remains difficult, however, because of the rugged coastline, lack of beaches, and the absence of an international airport. The government began a comprehensive restructuring of the economy in 2003 - including elimination of price controls, privatization of the state banana company, and tax increases - to address Dominica's economic crisis and to meet IMF targets. In order to diversify the island's production base the government is attempting to develop an offshore financial sector and is planning to construct an oil refinery on the eastern part of the island.
 
GDP: purchasing power parity - $384 million (2003 est.)
 
GDP - real growth rate: -1% (2003 est.)
 
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $5,500 (2003 est.)
 
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 18%
industry: 24%
services: 58% (2002 est.)
 
Labor force: 25,000 (1999 est.)
 
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 40%, industry and commerce 32%, services 28%
 
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): 1% (2001 est.)
 
Budget: revenues: $73.9 million
expenditures: $84.4 million, including capital expenditures of NA (2001)
 
Agriculture - products: bananas, citrus, mangoes, root crops, coconuts, cocoa; forest and fishery potential not exploited
 
Industries: soap, coconut oil, tourism, copra, furniture, cement blocks, shoes
 
Industrial production growth rate: -10% (1997 est.)
 
Electricity - production: 68.41 million kWh (2002)
 
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 47.1%
hydro: 52.9%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
 
Electricity - consumption: 63.62 million kWh (2002)
 
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2002)
 
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2002)
 
Oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
 
Oil - consumption: 600 bbl/day (2001 est.)
 
Oil - exports: NA
 
Oil - imports: NA
 
Exports: $39 million f.o.b. (2003 est.)
 
Exports - commodities: bananas, soap, bay oil, vegetables, grapefruit, oranges
 
Exports - partners: UK 21.5%, Jamaica 20%, Antigua and Barbuda 8.3%, Guyana 7%, Japan 5.3%, US 4.6%, Trinidad and Tobago 4.5%, Poland 4% (2004)
 
Imports: $98.2 million f.o.b. (2003 est.)
 
Imports - commodities: manufactured goods, machinery and equipment, food, chemicals
 
Imports - partners: China 20.1%, US 18.7%, Trinidad and Tobago 10.2%, UK 7.2%, South Korea 5.3%, Japan 4.5% (2004)
 
Debt - external: $161.5 million (2001)
 
Currency (code): East Caribbean dollar (XCD)
 
Currency code: XCD
 
Exchange rates: East Caribbean dollars per US dollar - 2.7 (2004), 2.7 (2003), 2.7 (2002), 2.7 (2001), 2.7 (2000)
 
Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June
 
Communications
Telephones - main lines in use: 23,700 (2002)
 
Telephones - mobile cellular: 9,400 (2002)
 
Telephone system: general assessment: NA
domestic: fully automatic network
international: country code - 1-767; 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 (2004)
 
Radios: 46,000 (1997)
 
Television broadcast stations: 1 (2004)
 
Televisions: 6,000 (1997)
 
Internet country code: .dm
 
Internet hosts: 681 (2003)
 
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 16 (2000)
 
Internet users: 12,500 (2002)
 
Transportation
Highways: total: 780 km
paved: 393 km
unpaved: 387 km (1999 est.)
 
Ports and harbors: Portsmouth, Roseau
 
Merchant marine: total: 32 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 13,771 GRT/19,736 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 2, cargo 19, chemical tanker 2, container 1, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 5, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 1
foreign-owned: 21 (Estonia 6, Greece 3, Pakistan 1, Russia 2, Singapore 6, Syria 2, UAE 1) (2005)
 
Airports: 2 (2004 est.)
 
Airports - with paved runways: total: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2004 est.)
 
Military
Military branches: no regular military forces; Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force (includes Coast Guard)
 
Military expenditures - dollar figure: NA
 
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: NA
 
Transnational Issues
Disputes - international: joins other Caribbean states to counter Venezuela's claim that Aves Island sustains human habitation, a criterion under UNCLOS, which permits Venezuela to extend its EEZ/continental shelf over a large portion of the 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
 

 

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