title
macrohistory & world report

Commonwealth of Dominica

The Commonwealth of Dominica and surrounding islands in the Caribbean Sea

Commonwealth of Dominica in the Caribbean Sea

World Factbook as of November 2014: "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 successfully developed an offshore medical education sector. In order to diversify the island's economy, the government is also attempting to develop an offshore financial industry and plans to sign agreements with the private sector to develop geothermal energy resources. In 2003, the government began a comprehensive restructuring of the economy - including elimination of price controls, privatization of the state banana company, and tax increases - to address an economic and financial crisis and to meet IMF requirements. In 2009, the economy contracted as a result of the global recession; growth remains anemic. Although public debt levels continue to exceed pre-recession levels, the debt burden declined from 78% of GDP in 2011 to approximately 70% in 2012, one of the lowest levels in the Eastern Caribbean."

Dominica has been nicknamed the "Nature Isle of the Caribbean" for its unspoiled natural beauty.

Estimated per capita GDP (2010 US dollars)
2010: $10,400

In 2009 Dominca's revenues were 45% of GDP and 124% of expenditures

Public debt for 2009 was 78% of GDP

Labor force in agriculture
2000: 40%

Unemployment rate
2000: 23%

Infant mortality (deaths before the age of one year per 1,000 live births)
2011: 12.78 deaths
2005: 14.15

Average life expectancy at birth
2011: 75.98 years
2007: 75.1

Dominica has a URL and radio station for Domincans living abroad:
http://www.thedominican.net

People

Population
2011: 72,969

Living in an urban area:
2010: 67%

Birth rate
2011: 15.62 per 1,000 population per year – 1,138 infants per year on a island 12 by 30 miles. But the death rate is 8.06 per 1,000 and net migration is a negative 5.43 per thousand, leaving a growth rate of 154 persons per year).

Net migration rate
2012: A net loss of 3.45 persons per 1,000 population per year. It is a migration out typical of small islands – not unlike people from small towns in the United States.

Ethnic groups

Most all Dominicans are descendants of enslaved Africans brought in by colonial planters in the 18th century. Dominica is the only island in the eastern Caribbean to retain some of its pre-Columbian population --the Carib Indians – about 3,000 of whom live on the island's east coast. 2001 census: black 86.8%, mixed 8.9%, Carib Amerindian 2.9%, white 0.8%, other 0.7%

Religions
2001 census: Roman Catholic 61.4%, Seventh Day Adventist 6%, Pentecostal 5.6%, Baptist 4.1%, Methodist 3.7%, Church of God 1.2%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.2%, other Christian 7.7%, Rastafarian 1.3%, other or unspecified 1.6%, none 6.1%

Geography

Dominica (domin-EEK-a or dom-IN-ica) is an island in Caribbean Sea, southeast of Puerto Rico, about 12 by 30 miles in size. The driest months are between February and May. The island has lush mountainous rainforests and rare plant, animal, and bird species. Dominica is Sunday in Latin, the day that Columbus discovered the island.

Government

Parliamentary democracy. The president is elected by the legislature (the House of Assembly) for a five-year term. The House of Assembly has 30 seats. Nine members are appointed, and 21 are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms).

Capital: Roseau

Recent History

France formally ceded possession of Dominica to the United Kingdom in 1763. The United Kingdom then set up a government and made the island a colony in 1805.

and, in 1838, Dominica became the first British Caribbean colony to have a legislature controlled by a black majority.

Received independence from Britain in 1978.

2008: Transshipment point for narcotics bound for the US and Europe; minor cannabis producer

2010: A Dominican living in the United States writes that there are two kinds of Dominicans: those who have migrated and those who want to migrate and those who want. He writes "

In 2010, the International Living Index rates Dominica as follows:
Environment 90, Freedom 100, Health 68, Infrastructure 36, Risk and Safety 100, Climate 57.

June 17, 2011 BBC News: "Dominica has a relatively low crime rate for the Caribbean. Although it is among the poorest countries in the region, its differences in wealth distribution are not as marked as in the larger Caribbean islands"

SOURCES:
The World Factbook

Copyright © 2009-2013 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.