Dominica - DM - DMA - DMA - Central America and the Caribbean

Last updated: February 20, 2024
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Dominica Factbook Data

Diplomatic representation from the US

embassy: the US does not have an embassy in Dominica; the US Ambassador to Barbados is accredited to

Age structure

0-14 years: 20.82% (male 7,954/female 7,592)

15-64 years: 65.82% (male 25,085/female 24,053)

65 years and over: 13.36% (2023 est.) (male 4,712/female 5,260)
2023 population pyramid
This is the population pyramid for Dominica. A population pyramid illustrates the age and sex structure of a country's population and may provide insights about political and social stability, as well as economic development. The population is distributed along the horizontal axis, with males shown on the left and females on the right. The male and female populations are broken down into 5-year age groups represented as horizontal bars along the vertical axis, with the youngest age groups at the bottom and the oldest at the top. The shape of the population pyramid gradually evolves over time based on fertility, mortality, and international migration trends.

For additional information, please see the entry for Population pyramid on the Definitions and Notes page.

Geographic coordinates

15 25 N, 61 20 W

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

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

15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.9 male(s)/female

total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2023 est.)

Natural hazards

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

volcanism: Dominica was the last island to be formed in the Caribbean some 26 million years ago, it lies in the middle of the volcanic island arc of the Lesser Antilles that extends from the island of Saba in the north to Grenada in the south; of the 16 volcanoes that make up this arc, five are located on Dominica, more than any other island in the Caribbean: Morne aux Diables (861 m), Morne Diablotins (1,430 m), Morne Trois Pitons (1,387 m), Watt Mountain (1,224 m), which last erupted in 1997, and Morne Plat Pays (940 m); the two best known volcanic features on Dominica, the Valley of Desolation and the Boiling Lake thermal areas, lie on the flanks of Watt Mountain and both are popular tourist destinations


People - note

3,000-3,500 Kalinago (Carib) still living on Dominica are the only pre-Columbian population remaining in the Caribbean; only 70-100 may be "pure" Kalinago because of years of integration into the broader population

Area - comparative

slightly more than four times the size of Washington, DC

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 colonized the island in 1805. Slavery ended in 1833 and in 1835 the first three men of African descent were elected to the legislative assembly of Dominica. In 1871, Dominica became part first of the British Leeward Islands and then the British Windward Islands until 1958. In 1967, Dominica became an associated state of the UK, and formally took responsibility for its internal affairs. 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. On 18 September 2017, Hurricane Maria passed over the island, causing extensive damage to structures, roads, communications, and the power supply, and largely destroying critical agricultural areas.

Environment - current issues

water shortages a continuing concern; pollution from agrochemicals and from untreated sewage; forests endangered by the expansion of farming; soil erosion; pollution of the coastal zone by agricultural and industrial chemicals, and untreated sewage

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, 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

Population below poverty line

29% (2009 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA

highest 10%: NA

Exports - commodities

medical instruments, low-voltage protection equipment, sutures, soap, bandages (2021)

Exports - partners

Saudi Arabia 28%, France 6%, United States 5%, Grenada 5%, China 4% (2021)

Administrative divisions

10 parishes; Saint Andrew, Saint David, Saint George, Saint John, Saint Joseph, Saint Luke, Saint Mark, Saint Patrick, Saint Paul, Saint Peter

Agricultural products

bananas, yams, grapefruit, taro, milk, coconuts, oranges, yautia, plantains, sugar cane

note: forest and fishery potential not exploited

Military and security forces

no regular military forces; Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force (includes Coast Guard) under the Ministry of Justice, Immigration, and National Security (2024)

Budget

revenues: $180 million (2021 est.)

expenditures: $184 million (2021 est.)

Capital

name: Roseau

geographic coordinates: 15 18 N, 61 24 W

time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: the name is French for "reed"; the first settlement was named after the river reeds that grew in the area

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, natural gas, crude petroleum, recreational boats, cars (2021)

Climate

tropical; moderated by northeast trade winds; heavy rainfall

Coastline

148 km

Constitution

history: previous 1967 (preindependence); latest presented 25 July 1978, entered into force 3 November 1978

amendments: proposed by the House of Assembly; passage of amendments to constitutional sections such as fundamental rights and freedoms, the government structure, and constitutional amendment procedures requires approval by three fourths of the Assembly membership in the final reading of the amendment bill, approval by simple majority in a referendum, and assent of the president; amended several times, last in 2015

Exchange rates

East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar -

Exchange rates:
2.7 (2021 est.)
2.7 (2020 est.)
2.7 (2019 est.)
2.7 (2018 est.)
2.7 (2017 est.)

Executive branch

chief of state: President Sylvanie BURTON (since 2 October 2023)

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 27 September 2023 (next to be held in October 2028); prime minister appointed by the president

election results: 2023: parliament elects Sylvanie BURTON (DLP) with 20 votes for and five against

Fiscal year

1 July - 30 June

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

Illicit drugs

a transit point for cocaine and marijuana destined for North America, Europe, and elsewhere in the Caribbean; some local demand for cocaine and some use of synthetic drugs


Independence

3 November 1978 (from the UK)

Industries

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

Judicial branch

highest court(s): the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) is the superior court of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States; the ECSC - headquartered on St. Lucia - consists of the Court of Appeal - headed by the chief justice and 4 judges - and the High Court with 18 judges; the Court of Appeal is itinerant, traveling to member states on a schedule to hear appeals from the High Court and subordinate courts; High Court judges reside in the member states, with 2 in Dominica; note - in 2015, Dominica acceded to the Caribbean Court of Justice as final court of appeal, replacing that of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, in London

judge selection and term of office: chief justice of Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court appointed by the Her Majesty, Queen ELIZABETH II; other justices and judges appointed by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission, an independent body of judicial officials; 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

Land boundaries

total: 0 km

Land use

agricultural land: 34.7% (2018 est.)

arable land: 8% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 24% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 2.7% (2018 est.)

forest: 59.2% (2018 est.)

other: 6.1% (2018 est.)

Legal system

common law based on the English model

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 president - 5 on the advice of the prime minister, and 4 on the advice of the leader of the opposition party, plus 2 ex-officio members - the house speaker and the attorney general; members serve 5-year terms)

elections: last held on 6 December 2022 (next to be held in 2027); note - tradition dictates that the election is held within 5 years of the last election, but technically it is 5 years from the first seating of parliament plus a 90-day grace period

election results: percent of vote by party - DLP 82.3%, independent 16.9%; (elected) seats by party - DLP 19, independent 2; (Assembly) composition - men 20, women 12, percent of women 37.5%

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

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

National holiday

Independence Day, 3 November (1978)

Nationality

noun: Dominican(s)

adjective: Dominican

Natural resources

timber, hydropower, arable land

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

Economic overview

highly agrarian OECS island economy; ECCU-member state; large banana exporter; improved oversight of its citizenship-by-investment program; emerging ecotourism, information and communications, and education industries

Political parties and leaders

Dominica Freedom Party or DFP [Bernard HURTAULT]
Dominica Labor Party or DLP [Roosevelt SKERRIT]
Dominica United Workers Party or UWP [Lennox LINTON]

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Portsmouth, Roseau

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: the telecom sector has seen a decline in subscriber numbers (particularly for prepaid mobile services the mainstay of short term visitors) and revenue; fixed and mobile broadband services are two areas that have benefited from the crisis as employees and students have resorted to working from home; one area of the telecom market that is not prepared for growth is 5G mobile; governments, regulators, and even the mobile network operators have shown that they have not been investing in 5G opportunities at the present time; network expansion and enhancements remain concentrated around improving LTE coverage (2021)

domestic: 10 fixed-line connections per 100 persons; mobile-cellular subscriptions are about 86 per 100 persons (2021)

international: country code - 1-767; landing points for the ECFS and the Southern Caribbean Fiber submarine cables providing connectivity to other islands in the eastern Caribbean extending from the British Virgin Islands to Trinidad and to the US; microwave radio relay and SHF radiotelephone links to Martinique and Guadeloupe; VHF and UHF radiotelephone links to Saint Lucia (2019)

Terrain

rugged mountains of volcanic origin

Government type

parliamentary republic

Country name

conventional long form: Commonwealth of Dominica

conventional short form: Dominica

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

Location

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

Map references

Central America and the Caribbean

Irrigated land

NA

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Steve FERROL (since 15 September 2023)

chancery: 3216 New Mexico Ave NW Washington, DC 20016

telephone: [1] (202) 364-6781

FAX: [1] (202) 364-6791

email address and website:
embdomdc@gmail.com

consulate(s) general: New York

Internet country code

.dm

GDP (official exchange rate)

$557 million (2017 est.)

Total renewable water resources

200 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 72% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 0.84% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

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 (2019)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 95.7% of population

unimproved: urban: 4.3% of population

National anthem

name: "Isle of Beauty"

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

note: adopted 1967
This is an audio of the National Anthem for Dominica. The national anthem is generally a patriotic musical composition - usually in the form of a song or hymn of praise - that evokes and eulogizes the history, traditions, or struggles of a nation or its people. National anthems can be officially recognized as a national song by a country's constitution or by an enacted law, or simply by tradition. Although most anthems contain lyrics, some do not.

Major urban areas - population

15,000 ROSEAU (capital) (2018)

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Hospital bed density

3.8 beds/1,000 population

National symbol(s)

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

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 60.6% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 26.2% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 21.5% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 0% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 54.4% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -62.7% (2017 est.)

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: yes

citizenship by descent only: yes

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Population distribution

population is mosly clustered along the coast, with roughly a third living in the parish of St. George, in or around the capital of Roseau; the volcanic interior is sparsely populated

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2021)

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

J7

Ethnic groups

African descent 84.5%, mixed 9%, Indigenous 3.8%, other 2.1%, unspecified 0.6% (2011 est.)

Religions

Roman Catholic 52.7%, Protestant 29.7% (includes Seventh Day Adventist 6.7%, Pentecostal 6.1%, Baptist 5.2%, Christian Union Church 3.9%, Methodist 2.6%, Gospel Mission 2.1%, other Protestant 3.1%), Jehovah's Witness 1.3%, Rastafarian 1.1%, other 4.3%, none 9.4%, unspecified 1.4% (2011 est.)

Languages

English (official), French patois

Imports - partners

United States 75%, China 5%, Trinidad and Tobago 4%, United Kingdom 2%, Italy 2% (2021)

Military - note

Dominica has been a member of the Caribbean Regional Security System (RSS) since its creation in 1982; RSS signatories (Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines) agreed to prepare contingency plans and assist one another, on request, in national emergencies, prevention of smuggling, search and rescue, immigration control, fishery protection, customs and excise control, maritime policing duties, protection of off-shore installations, pollution control, national and other disasters, and threats to national security (2024)

Disputes - international

Dominica-Venezuela: is the only Caribbean state to challenge Venezuela's sovereignty claim over Aves Island, which permits Venezuela to extend its EEZ and continental shelf claims over a large portion of the eastern Caribbean Sea


Literacy

total population: NA

male: NA

female: NA

Elevation

highest point: Morne Diablotins 1,447 m

lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m

Physicians density

1.1 physicians/1,000 population (2018)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

NA

Current health expenditure

5.7% of GDP (2020)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 41.2

youth dependency ratio: 28

elderly dependency ratio: 13.2

potential support ratio: 7.6 (2021)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 20 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

industrial: 0 cubic meters (2017 est.)

agricultural: 1 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 13,176 tons (2013 est.)

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 8.22 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 0.18 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 0.04 megatons (2020 est.)

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 1 (natural)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Pitons Management Area

Coal

production: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 0 metric tons (2019 est.)

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 74.8% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

nuclear: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

solar: 0.1% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 0.6% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 24.5% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

biomass and waste: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

Natural gas

production: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

consumption: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

exports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

imports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

proven reserves: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

Petroleum

total petroleum production: 0 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 1,200 bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 0 barrels (2021 est.)

Gross reproduction rate

0.98 (2023 est.)

Currently married women (ages 15-49)

40.3% (2023 est.)

Remittances

10.38% of GDP (2021 est.)
13.48% of GDP (2020 est.)
7.77% of GDP (2019 est.)

Labor force

25,000 (2000 est.)

Net migration rate

-5.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Median age

total: 36.5 years (2023 est.)

male: 36 years

female: 37.1 years

Debt - external

$280.4 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$314.2 million (31 December 2015 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$190.843 million (31 December 2021 est.)
$165.824 million (31 December 2020 est.)
$155.172 million (31 December 2019 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports

1,237 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Public debt

82.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
71.7% of GDP (2016 est.)

Total fertility rate

2.01 children born/woman (2023 est.)

Unemployment rate

23% (2000 est.)

Population

74,656 (2023 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-5.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Internet users

total: 58,320 (2021 est.)

percent of population: 81% (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

182,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 0 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 182,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 0 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

Area

total: 751 sq km

land: 751 sq km

water: NEGL

Taxes and other revenues

40.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$787.7 million (2021 est.)
$738.364 million (2020 est.)
$885.38 million (2019 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Roadways

total: 1,512 km (2018)

paved: 762 km (2018)

unpaved: 750 km (2018)

Infant mortality rate

total: 11 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)

male: 14.9 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 6.9 deaths/1,000 live births

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 62,000 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 86 (2021 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

-0.73% (2020 est.)
1.5% (2019 est.)
0.99% (2018 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Current account balance

-$178.763 million (2021 est.)
-$147.521 million (2020 est.)
-$210.115 million (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$10,900 (2021 est.)
$10,300 (2020 est.)
$12,400 (2019 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 16,000 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 22 (2020 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

27.9% (2016)

Energy consumption per capita

37.513 million Btu/person (2019 est.)

Death rate

8.1 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Birth rate

13.6 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Electricity

installed generating capacity: 42,000 kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 82.078 million kWh (2019 est.)

exports: 0 kWh (2019 est.)

imports: 0 kWh (2019 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 8.1 million kWh (2019 est.)

Merchant marine

total: 77 (2023)

by type: general cargo 26, oil tanker 10, other 41

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

NA

Imports

$302 million (2021 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$279 million (2020 est.)
$415 million (2019 est.)

Exports

$104.959 million (2021 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$94.823 million (2020 est.)
$211.175 million (2019 est.)

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 7,459 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 10 (2021 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 6.32 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 1.64 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0.29 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 4.39 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 78.5 years (2023 est.)

male: 75.5 years

female: 81.5 years

Real GDP growth rate

6.68% (2021 est.)
-16.6% (2020 est.)
5.5% (2019 est.)

Industrial production growth rate

5.01% (2021 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 22.3% (2017 est.)

industry: 12.6% (2017 est.)

services: 65.1% (2017 est.)

Revenue from forest resources

0.03% of GDP (2018 est.)

Revenue from coal

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

Education expenditures

5.5% of GDP (2021 est.)

Population growth rate

0.02% (2023 est.)

Airports

2 (2024)