Dominica 1998Dominica

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Dominica - Introduction 1998
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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.

Dominica - Geography 1998
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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: 13 30 N, 61 20 W

Map referenceCentral America and the Caribbean

Total: 750 km²
Land: 750 km²
Water: 0 km²
Comparative: slightly more than four times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 148 km

Maritime claims
Contiguous zone: 24 nm
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: tropical; moderated by northeast trade winds; heavy rainfall

Terrain: rugged mountains of volcanic origin

Extremes lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
Extremes highest point: Morne Diablatins 1,447 m

Natural resources: timber
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 9%
Permanent crops: 13%
Permanent pastures: 3%
Forests and woodland: 67%
Other: 8% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: NA km²

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

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


Dominica - People 1998
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Population: 65,777 (July 1998 est.)
Growth rate: -1.33% (1998 est.)

Noun: Dominican(s)
Adjective: Dominican

Ethnic groups: black, Carib Amerindian

Languages: English (official), French patois

Religions: Roman Catholic 77%, Protestant 15% (Methodist 5%, Pentecostal 3%, Seventh-Day Adventist 3%, Baptist 2%, other 2%), none 2%, unknown 1%, other 5%

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 27% (male 8,987; female 8,826)
15-64 years: 63% (male 21,231; female 20,464)
65 years and over: 10% (male 2,572; female 3,697) (July 1998 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: -1.33% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 17.35 births/1000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 6.29 deaths/1000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: -24.36 migrant(s)/1000 population (1998 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: NA
International agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Whaling
International agreements signed but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 9.04 deaths/1000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 77.8 years
Male: 74.94 years
Female: 80.8 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.9 children born/woman (1998 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
Total population: 94%
Male: 94%
Female: 94% (1970 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Dominica - Government 1998
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Country name
Conventional long form: Commonwealth of Dominica
Conventional short form: Dominica

Government type: parliamentary democracy

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

Dependent areas

Independence: 3 November 1978 (from UK)

National holiday: Independence Day, 3 November (1978)

Constitution: 3 November 1978

Legal system: based on English common law

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state: President Crispin Anselm SORHAINDO (since 25 October 1993): ead of
Government: Prime Minister Edison C. JAMES (since 12 June 1995)
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 4 October 1993 (next to be held NA October 1998); prime minister appointed by the president
Election results: Crispin Anselm SORHAINDO elected president; percent of legislative vote - NA

Legislative branch: unicameral House of Assembly (30 seats, 9 appointed senators, 21 elected by popular vote representatives; members serve five-year terms)
Elections: last held 12 June 1995; byelections held 13 August 1996 (next to be held by October 2000)
Election results: percent of vote by party_NA; seats by party_UWP 12, DLP 5, DFP 4

Judicial branch: Eastern Caribbean Supreme 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

International organization participation: ACCT, ACP, C, Caricom, CDB, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM (observer), OAS, OECS, OPANAL, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WMO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant)
In the us chancery: 3,216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20,016
In the us telephone: [1] (202) 364-6,781
In the us fax: [1] (202) 364-6,791
In the us consulates general: New York
From the us: the US does not have an embassy in Dominica; the Ambassador to Dominica resides in Bridgetown (Barbados), but travels frequently to Dominica

Flag descriptionflag of Dominica: green with a centered cross of three equal bands_the vertical part is yellow (hoist side), black, and white_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)

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Dominica - Economy 1998
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Economy overview: The economy is dependent on agriculture and thus is highly vulnerable to climatic conditions, notably tropical storms. Agriculture, primarily bananas, accounts for 26% of GDP and employs 40% of the labor force. Development of the tourist industry remains difficult because of the rugged coastline, lack of beaches, and the lack of an international airport. Hurricane Luis devastated the country's banana crop in September 1995; tropical storms had wiped out one-quarter of the crop in 1994 as well. The government is attempting to develop an offshore financial industry in order to diversify the island's production base.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 3.7% (1996 est.)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin
Agriculture: 26%
Industry: NA%
Services: NA% (1995)

Agriculture products: bananas, citrus, mangoes, root crops, coconuts; forestry and fisheries potential not exploited

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

Industrial production growth rate: -0.4% (1996 est.)

Labor force
Total: 25,000
By occupation agriculture: 40%
By occupation industry and commerce: 32%
By occupation services: 28% (1984)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 15% (1992 est.)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $77 million
Expenditures: $78 million, including capital expenditures of $22 million (FY95/96)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: 1 July_30 June

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: total value:$51.8 million (f.o.b., 1996)
Commodoties: bananas 50%, soap, bay oil, vegetables, grapefruit, oranges
Partners: Caricom countries 47%, UK 36%, US 7% (1996 est.)

Imports: total value:$98.1 million (f.o.b., 1996)
Commodoties: manufactured goods, machinery and equipment, food, chemicals
Partners: US 41%, Caricom 25%, UK 13%, Netherlands, Canada

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $110 million (1996 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: East Caribbean dollars (EC$) per US$1_2.7000 (fixed rate since 1976)

Dominica - Energy 1998
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 37 million kWh (1995)

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 448 kWh (1995)

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Dominica - Communication 1998
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system
Domestic: fully automatic network
International: microwave radio relay and SHF radiotelephone links to Martinique and Guadeloupe; VHF and UHF radiotelephone links to Saint Lucia

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Dominica - Military 1998
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $NA
Percent of gdp: NA%

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Dominica - Transportation 1998
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 2 (1997 est.)
With paved runways total: 2
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 1
With paved runways under 914 m: 1 (1997 est.)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 2
914 to 1523 m: 1
Under 914 m: 1 (1997 est.)

Airports with unpaved runways



Railways: 0 km



Merchant marine: none

Ports and terminals

Dominica - Transnational issues 1998
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Disputes international: none

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs: transshipment point for narcotics bound for the US and Europe; minor cannabis producer


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