The Dominican Republic


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

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.

The Dominican Republic\'s main imports are petroleum, petroleum products,
foodstuffs, and machinery. The countries main exports are sugar and ferronickel.
The US is the Dominican Republic\'s main trading partner but it also trades with
Venezuela, Mexico, and the Netherlands Antilles.

Category: History