Dominica Comprehensive Country Report

The following is a comprehensive report on Dominica

 

Within this report you will find information that may be of use to you in evaluating the suitability, attractiveness or otherwise of your involvement with the country of Dominica for the purposes of obtaining a passport from that country, doing business with that country or living in that country.

 

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DOMINICA – Country Report

 

Background:

 

dominica-country-report

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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.

 

Geography: DOMINICA

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

Area:

Total: 751 sq. km

Land: 751 sq. km

Water: 0 sq. km

Country comparison to the world: 189

Area – comparative:

Slightly more than four times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:

0 km

Coastline:

148 km

 

Climate:

Tropical; moderated by northeast trade winds; heavy rainfall

Terrain:

Rugged mountains of volcanic origin

Elevation:

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:

NA

Total renewable water resources:

NA

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

Total: 0.02 cu km/yr.

Per capita: 244.1 cu m/yr. (2004)

Natural hazards:

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

Environment – current issues:

NA

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: DOMINICA

Nationality:

Noun: Dominican(s)

Adjective: Dominican

Ethnic groups:

Black 86.6%, mixed 9.1%, indigenous 2.9%, other 1.3%, unspecified 0.2% (2001 EST.)

Languages:

English (official), French patois

Religions:

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 Witnesses 1.2%, other 0.3%, none 6.1%, unspecified 1.1% (2001 est.)

Population:

73,607 (July 2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 202

Age structure:

0-14 years: 21.96% (male 8,265/female 7,902)

15-24 years: 16.14% (male 6,117/female 5,762)

25-54 years: 41.83% (male 15,617/female 15,170)

55-64 years: 9.39% (male 3,696/female 3,213)

65 years and over: 10.69% (male 3,463/female 4,402) (2015 EST.)

Population pyramid:

Median age:

Total: 33 years

Male: 32.5 years

Female: 33.5 years (2016 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 90

Population growth rate:

0.21% (2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 183

Birth rate:

15.41 births/1,000 population (2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 129

Death rate:

7.91 deaths/1,000 population (2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 102

Net migration rate:

-5.38 migrant(s)/1,000 populations (2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 195

 

Urbanization:

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 (2015 EST.)

Infant mortality rate:

Total: 11.25 deaths/1,000 live births

Male: 14.94 deaths/1,000 live births

Female: 7.36 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 128

Life expectancy at birth:

Total population: 76.79 years

Male: 73.82 years

Female: 79.91 years (2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 78

Total fertility rate:

2.04 children born/woman (2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 116

Health expenditures:

5.5% of GDP (2014)

Country comparison to the world: 112

Hospital bed density:

3.8 beds/1,000 population (2012)

Drinking water source:

Improved:

Urban: 95.7% of population

Unimproved:

Urban: 4.3% of population (2015 EST.)

Sanitation facility access:

Improved:

Urban: 79.6% of population

Rural: 84.3% of population

Total: 81.1% of population

Unimproved:

Urban: 20.4% of population

Rural: 15.7% of population

Total: 18.9% of population (2007 EST.)

HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate:

NA

HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS:

NA

 

HIV/AIDS – deaths:

NA

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 comparison to the world: 61

Government: DOMINICA

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

Capital:

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

 

Independence:

3 November 1978 (from the UK)

National holiday:

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

Constitution:

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:

Citizenship by birth: yes

Citizenship by descent: yes

Dual citizenship recognized: yes

Residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Suffrage:

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: ECSC chief justice appointed by Her Majesty, Queen ELIZABETH II; other justices and judges appointed by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission; 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 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

Economy: DOMINICA

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 education sector. In order to diversify the island’s economy, the government is also attempting to foster 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 the 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 and 2013, 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.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$763 million (2015 EST.)

$797.4 million (2014 EST.)

$767.6 million (2013 EST.)

Note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Country comparison to the world: 206

GDP (official exchange rate):

$497 million (2015 EST.)

GDP – real growth rate:

-4.3% (2015 EST.)

3.9% (2014 EST.)

0.6% (2013 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 214

GDP – per capita (PPP):

$10,700 (2015 EST.)

$11,200 (2014 EST.)

$10,800 (2013 EST.)

Note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Country comparison to the world: 134

Gross national saving:

1.7% of GDP (2015 EST.)

1.7% of GDP (2014 EST.)

0.4% of GDP (2013 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 168

GDP – composition, by end use:

Household consumption: 51.8%

Government consumption: 23.3%

Investment in fixed capital: 27.9%

Investment in inventories: 0.1%

Exports of goods and services: 66.9%

Imports of goods and services: -70% (2015 EST.)

GDP – composition, by sector of origin:

Agriculture: 15%

Industry: 14.2%

Services: 70.8% (2015 EST.)

Agriculture – products:

Bananas, citrus, mangos, root crops, coconuts, cocoa

Note: forest and fishery potential not exploited

Industries:

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

Industrial production growth rate:

1.5% (2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 135

Labor force:

25,000 (2000 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 208

Labor force – by occupation:

Agriculture: 40%

Industry: 32%

Services: 28% (2002 EST.)

Unemployment rate:

23% (2000 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 176

Population below poverty line:

29% (2009 EST.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

Lowest 10%: NA%

Highest 10%: NA%

Budget:

Revenues: $148.1 million

Expenditures: $148.1 million (2015 EST.)

Taxes and other revenues:

27.5% of GDP (2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 98

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):

0% of GDP (2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 29

Public debt:

70% of GDP (2012 EST.)

78% of GDP (2009 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 46

Fiscal year:

1 July – 30 June

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

-0.8% (2015 EST.)

0.8% (2014 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 17

Central bank discount rate:

6.5% (31 December 2010)

6.5% (31 December 2009)

Country comparison to the world: 52

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

8.8% (31 December 2015 EST.)

8.94% (31 December 2014 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 99

Stock of narrow money:

$95.11 million (31 December 2015 EST.)

$86.92 million (31 December 2014 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 187

Stock of broad money:

$499.6 million (31 December 2015 EST.)

$462.6 million (31 December 2014 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 182

Stock of domestic credit:

$333.3 million (31 December 2015 EST.)

$314.8 million (31 December 2014 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 178

Current account balance:

-$70 million (2015 EST.)

-$68 million (2014 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 66

Exports:

$39.4 million (2015 EST.)

$38.6 million (2014 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 204

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)

Imports:

$182.9 million (2015 EST.)

$186.9 million (2014 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 207

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 2015 EST.)

$103 million (31 December 2014 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 165

Debt – external:

$292.9 million (31 December 2014 EST.)

$292.9 million (31 December 2013 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 186

Exchange rates:

East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar –

2.7 (2015 EST.)

2.7 (2014 EST.)

2.7 (2013 EST.)

2.7 (2012 EST.)

2.7 (2011 EST.)

Energy: DOMINICA

Electricity – production:

96.5 million KWh (2012 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 200

Electricity – consumption:

89.75 million kWh (2012 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 200

Electricity – exports:

0 kWh (2013 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 132

Electricity – imports:

0 kWh (2013 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 142

Electricity – installed generating capacity:

33,200 kW (2012 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 197

Electricity – from fossil fuels:

60.2% of total installed capacity (2012 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 133

Electricity – from nuclear fuels:

0% of total installed capacity (2012 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 80

Electricity – from hydroelectric plants:

18.1% of total installed capacity (2012 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 97

Electricity – from other renewable sources:

21.7% of total installed capacity (2012 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 15

Crude oil – production:

0 bbl/day (2014 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 126

Crude oil – exports:

0 bbl/day (2012 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 117

Crude oil – imports:

0 bbl/day (2012 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 182

Crude oil – proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 125

Refined petroleum products – production:

0 bbl/day (2012 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 175

Refined petroleum products – consumption:

900 bbl/day (2013 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 204

Refined petroleum products – exports:

0 bbl/day (2012 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 175

Refined petroleum products – imports:

915.9 bbl/day (2012 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 198

Natural gas – production:

0 cu m (2013 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 179

Natural gas – consumption:

0 cu m (2013 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 138

Natural gas – exports:

0 cu m (2013 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 89

Natural gas – imports:

0 cu m (2013 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 189

Natural gas – proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2014 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 131

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:

132,100 Mt (2012 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 207

Communications: DOMINICA

Telephones – fixed lines:

Total subscriptions: 15,123

Subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 21 (July 2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 188

Telephones – mobile cellular:

Total: 77,000

Subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 105 (July 2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 192

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 Trinidad; microwave radio relay and SHF radiotelephone links to Martinique and Guadeloupe; VHF and UHF radiotelephone links to Saint Lucia (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 about 15 stations (2007)

Radio broadcast stations:

AM 4, FM 18, shortwave 0 (2009)

Television broadcast stations:

1 (2004)

Internet country code:

.dm

Internet hosts:

723 (2012)

Country comparison to the world: 175

Internet users:

Total: 50,000

Percent of population: 67.6% (July 2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 190

Transportation: DOMINICA

Airports:

2 (2013)

Country comparison to the world: 199

Airports – with paved runways:

Total: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)

Roadways:

Total: 1,512 km

Paved: 762 km

Unpaved: 750 km (2010)

Country comparison to the world: 178

Merchant marine:

Total: 43

By type: bulk carrier 11, cargo 22, chemical tanker 2, petroleum tanker 4, and 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)

Country comparison to the world: 73

Ports and terminals:

Major seaport(s): Portsmouth, Roseau

Military and Security: DOMINICA

Military branches:

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

Transnational Issues: DOMINICA

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