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. 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.



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

Geographic coordinates

15 25 N, 61 20 W

Map references

Central America and the Caribbean


total: 751 sq km
land: 751 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative

slightly more than four times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries

0 km


148 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm


tropical; moderated by northeast trade winds; heavy rainfall


rugged mountains of volcanic origin


mean elevation: NA
elevation extremes: lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Morne Diablotins 1,447 m

Natural resources

timber, hydropower, arable land

Land use

agricultural land: 34.7%
arable land 8%; permanent crops 24%; permanent pasture 2.7%
forest: 59.2%
other: 6.1% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land


Natural hazards

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

Environment - current issues


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 and Society

Ethnic groups

black 86.6%, mixed 9.1%, indigenous 2.9%, other 1.3%, unspecified 0.2% (2001 est.)


73,757 (July 2016 est.)

Birth rate

15.2 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)


noun: Dominican(s)
adjective: Dominican


English (official), French patois


Roman Catholic 61.4%, Protestant 28.6% (includes Evangelical 6.7%, Seventh Day Adventist 6.1%, Pentecostal 5.6%, Baptist 4.1%, Methodist 3.7%, Church of God 1.2%, other 1.2%), Rastafarian 1.3%, Jehovah's Witness 1.2%, other 0.3%, none 6.1%, unspecified 1.1% (2001 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 21.84% (male 8,239/female 7,871)
15-24 years: 15.7% (male 5,960/female 5,618)
25-54 years: 41.97% (male 15,693/female 15,264)
55-64 years: 9.6% (male 3,787/female 3,294)
65 years and over: 10.89% (male 3,561/female 4,470) (2016 est.)

Median age

total: 33 years
male: 32.5 years
female: 33.5 years (2016 est.)

Population growth rate

0.2% (2016 est.)

Death rate

7.9 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Net migration rate

-5.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)

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


urban population: 69.5% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 0.84% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

ROSEAU (capital) 15,000 (2014)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.15 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2016 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 10.9 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 14.5 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 7.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 77 years
male: 74 years
female: 80.1 years (2016 est.)

Total fertility rate

2.04 children born/woman (2016 est.)

Health expenditures

5.5% of GDP (2014)

Hospital bed density

3.8 beds/1,000 population (2012)

Drinking water source

urban: 95.7% of population
urban: 4.3% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access

urban: 79.6% of population
rural: 84.3% of population
total: 81.1% of population
urban: 20.4% of population
rural: 15.7% of population
total: 18.9% of population (2007 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS


HIV/AIDS - deaths


Major infectious diseases

note: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses an important risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus (2016)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

25.9% (2014)


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

Government type

parliamentary republic


name: Roseau
geographic coordinates: 15 18 N, 61 24 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

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


3 November 1978 (from the UK)

National holiday

Emancipation Day (First Monday), celebrated on first Monday in August (1834); Independence Day, 3 November (1978)


previous 1967 (preindependence); latest presented 25 July 1978, entered into force 3 November 1978; amended several times, last in 2015 (2016)

Legal system

common law based on the English model

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


citizenship by birth: yes
citizenship by descent: yes
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Charles A. SAVARIN (since 2 October 2013)
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 30 September 2013 (next to be held in October 2018); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Charles A. SAVARIN (DLP) elected president by a vote of 19-0 on 30 September 2013

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 Assembly, and 2 ex-officio members - the House Speaker and the Clerk of the House; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: last held on 8 December 2014 (next to be held in 2019); note - tradition dictates that the election is held within five years of the last election, but technically it is five years from the first seating of parliament plus a 90-day grace period
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - DLP 15, UWP 6

Judicial branch

highest court(s): the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) is the itinerant superior court of record for the 9-member Organization of Eastern Caribbean States to include Dominica; the ECSC - based on St. Lucia - is headed by the chief justice and is comprised of the Court of Appeal with 3 justices and the High Court with 16 judges; sittings of the Court of Appeal and High Court rotate among the 9 member states; 2 High Court judges reside in Dominica; note - Dominica is a member of the Caribbean Court of Justice
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

Political parties and leaders

Dominica Freedom Party or DFP [Judith PESTAINA]
Dominica Labor Party or DLP [Roosevelt SKERRIT]
Dominica United Workers Party or UWP [Hector JOHN]

Political pressure groups and leaders

Dominica Liberation Movement or DLM (a small leftist party)

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

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Hubert J. CHARLES (since 16 July 2010)
chancery: 3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
telephone: [1] (202) 364-6781
FAX: [1] (202) 364-6791
consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US

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

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

National symbol(s)

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

National anthem

name: "Isle of Beauty"
lyrics/music: Wilfred Oscar Morgan POND/Lemuel McPherson CHRISTIAN
note: adopted 1967


Population below poverty line

29% (2009 est.)

Economy - overview

The Dominican economy has been dependent on agriculture - primarily bananas - in years past, but increasingly has been driven by tourism as the government seeks to promote Dominica as an "ecotourism" destination. Moreover, Dominica has an offshore medical

GDP (purchasing power parity)

$812 million (2016 est.)
$799.6 million (2015 est.)
$814 million (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$524 million (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate

1.5% (2016 est.)
-1.8% (2015 est.)
4.2% (2014 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP)

$11,400 (2016 est.)
$11,300 (2015 est.)
$11,500 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars

Gross national saving

4.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
7.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
4.4% of GDP (2014 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 70.5%
government consumption: 18.8%
investment in fixed capital: 10.8%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 28.6%
imports of goods and services: -28.7% (2016 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 14.7%
industry: 15.5%
services: 69.8% (2016 est.)

Agriculture - products

bananas, citrus, mangos, root crops, coconuts, cocoa
note: forest and fishery potential not exploited


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

Industrial production growth rate

1.6% (2016 est.)

Labor force

25,000 (2000 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 40%
industry: 32%
services: 28% (2002 est.)

Unemployment rate

23% (2000 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%


revenues: $148.1 million
expenditures: $148.1 million (2016 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

28.3% of GDP (2016 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

0% of GDP (2016 est.)

Public debt

70% of GDP (2012 est.)
78% of GDP (2009 est.)

Fiscal year

1 July - 30 June

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

1.4% (2016 est.)
-0.8% (2015 est.)

Central bank discount rate

6.5% (31 December 2010)
6.5% (31 December 2009)

Commercial bank prime lending rate

8.6% (31 December 2016 est.)
8.7% (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of narrow money

$114.6 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$96.59 million (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of broad money

$504.8 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$480.7 million (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of domestic credit

$296.3 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$259.3 million (31 December 2015 est.)

Current account balance

-$69 million (2016 est.)
-$48 million (2015 est.)


$38.3 million (2016 est.)
$35.2 million (2015 est.)

Exports - commodities

bananas, soap, bay oil, vegetables, grapefruit, oranges

Exports - partners

Japan 38.1%, Jamaica 19%, Antigua and Barbuda 10.4%, Trinidad and Tobago 6.2%, St. Lucia 4.8%, St. Kitts and Nevis 4.2% (2015)


$186.5 million (2016 est.)
$182.9 million (2015 est.)

Imports - commodities

manufactured goods, machinery and equipment, food, chemicals

Imports - partners

Japan 42%, Trinidad and Tobago 17%, US 11.9%, China 6% (2015)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$100 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$126.2 million (31 December 2015 est.)

Debt - external

$288.6 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$275.4 million (31 December 2015 est.)

Exchange rates

East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar -
2.7 (2016 est.)
2.7 (2015 est.)
2.7 (2014 est.)
2.7 (2013 est.)
2.7 (2012 est.)


Electricity - access

population without electricity: 5,900
electrification - total population: 93%
electrification - urban areas: 99%
electrification - rural areas: 80% (2012)

Electricity - production

97 million kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - consumption

90.21 million kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - exports

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - imports

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity

33,200 kW (2014 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels

60.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants

18.1% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources

21.7% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Crude oil - exports

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - imports

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves

0 bbl (1 January 2016 es)

Refined petroleum products - production

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption

1,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports

978.2 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Natural gas - production

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves

0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy

100,000 Mt (2013 est.)


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 15,123
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 21 (July 2015 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular

total: 77,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 105 (July 2015 est.)

Telephone system

general assessment: fully automatic network
domestic: fixed-line connections continued to decline slowly with the two active operators providing about 20 fixed-line connections per 100 persons; subscribership among the three mobile-cellular providers is about 105 per 100 persons
international: country code - 1-767; landing points for the East Caribbean Fiber Optic System (ECFS) and the Global Caribbean Network (GCN) submarine cables providing connectivity to other islands in the eastern Caribbean extending from the British Virgin Islands to Tri (2015)

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 ab (2007)

Internet country code


Internet users

total: 50,000
percent of population: 67.6% (July 2015 est.)


National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 0
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 0
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 0
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 0 mt-km (2015)

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

J7 (2016)


2 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)


total: 1,512 km
paved: 762 km
unpaved: 750 km (2010)

Merchant marine

total: 43
by type: bulk carrier 11, cargo 22, chemical tanker 2, petroleum tanker 4, refrigerated cargo 3, roll on/roll off 1
foreign-owned: 32 (Australia 1, Estonia 6, Germany 5, Greece 4, India 2, Latvia 2, Norway 1, Russia 3, Saudi Arabia 2, Syria 4, Turkey 1, Ukraine 1)
registered in other countries: 1 (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Portsmouth, Roseau


Military branches

no regular military forces; Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force (includes Coast Guard) (2012)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

Dominica is the only Caribbean state to challenge Venezuela's sovereignty claim over Aves Island and joins the other island nations in challenging whether the feature sustains human habitation, a criterion under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which permits Venezuela to extend its EEZ and continental shelf claims over a large portion of the eastern Caribbean Sea

Illicit drugs

transshipment point for narcotics bound for the US and Europe; minor cannabis producer (2008)