Dominican Republic

Mike Bengs
So. St. B3
Jan. 7th , 1997
Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is located on the island of Hispanola located in the Caribbean Sea. It takes up about 2/3 of the island which it shares with Haiti. Dominican Republic\'s total area is 48,734 square kilometers. The Dominican Republic Jas a tropical maritime climate. The temperatures are moderated though by the ocean currents and year-round trade winds. The average temperature is around 720F and 800F, it hardly ever drops below 600F and it also hardly ever riser above 900F. It isn\'t uncommon though to get frost in the higher elevations. Dominican Republic\'s rainy season is between May and November rainfall is the heaviest in the north and east of the country. Although agriculture is the most important resource in the Dominican Republic it has many mineral resources. Some of these resources are nickel being the leading export as well as bauxite, gold, and rock salt.

The population of the Dominican Republic is around 7.8 million. Close to 40% of that population is under the age of 16. More and more Dominicans are migrating to the cities for a better chance at life. This has greatly effected the rural population by shrinking it steadily. About half of the total population is located between Santiago de los Caballeros and San Pedro de Macoris.
Another 1/3 of the population is located in the capitol city of Santo Domingo and between the cities of La Romana and San Cristobal. The annual growth rate is estimated to be at 1.71% for the next couple of years until the year 2000. Mulattos form the largest ethnic group in the Dominican Republic being roughly 73% of the population. The next largest group is 16% Caucasian and 11% Black. The life expectancy from birth is for males 65 years and for females 69 years. Out of 100,000 live births 61.4% of the babies die.

The start religion for the Dominican Republic is Roman Catholicism. Over 90% of the population is Catholic. Free public education is offered through the high school level and attendance is mandatory through the 6th grade. A lot of the Dominicans don\'t finish school for various reasons. Although 3/4 of the residents start school only about 1/3 finish. Some of the urban families send their children to private schools called colegios. As for after high school there is universities and trade schools.

The Dominican Republic currently has about 1 telephone per every 24 people in the country. There are roughly 16 million long distance calls and 5 million international calls made in the country every year. There is 11,400 Km of roads in the Dominican Republic and 49% of that amount of roads are paved.
There is a railway in the Dominican Republic but it seldom transports people. The railroad is mainly used for the transportation of sugar.

The system of government used is Parliamentary democracy and the head of state and head of government is President Joaquin Balaguer. The Vice President is Carlos A. Morales Troncoso. There are three major political parties in the Dominican Republic. They are: the Social Christian Reformist Party, the Dominican Revolutionary Party, the Dominican Democratic Party, and the two minor parties: the Movimiento Popular Dominicano and the Movimiento de Intergracion Democratica.

The military is headed by the President as supreme commander. The total strength of the armed forces is around 20,800 people. Out of those people 13,000 belong to the Army 4,000 belong to the Navy and 3,800 belong to the Air Force. The national military expenditures were estimated to be 61 million in 1989 which was 1.2% of the GDP. The US has a sort of alliance with the Dominican Republic supplying them with goods and helping the country when things get rough.

The currency used in the Dominican Republic is the Dominican Republic Peso. The per capita income rate is about 790 American dollars a year.
The average inflation rate is 1.7%. Of the total land area of the Dominican Republic 49% is classified to be farmland used for agriculture. The agriculture in the country produces 15% of the GDP. The main industry of the Dominican Republic is food processing of all kinds of different products but mainly sugar. The manufacturing accounts for 17% of the GDP.