The World Factbook (1990)/Dominica

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World Factbook (1990) Dominica.jpg

 See regional map III


Total area: 750 km²; land area: 750 km²

Comparative area: slightly more than four times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: none

Coastline: 148 km

Maritime claims:

Contiguous zone: 24 nm
Extended economic zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm

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

Terrain: rugged mountains of volcanic origin

Natural resources: timber

Land use: 9% arable land; 13% permanent crops; 3% meadows and pastures; 41% forest and woodland; 34% other

Environment: flash floods a constant hazard; occasional hurricanes

Note: located 550 km southeast of Puerto Rico in the Caribbean Sea


Population: 84,854 (July 1990), growth rate 1.7% (1990)

Birth rate: 26 births/1,000 population (1990)

Death rate: 5 deaths/1,000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: -4 migrants/1,000 population (1990)

Infant mortality rate: 13 deaths/1,000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 73 years male, 79 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 2.6 children born/woman (1990)

Nationality: noun—Dominican(s); adjective—Dominican

Ethnic divisions: mostly black; some Carib indians

Religion: 80% Roman Catholic; Anglican, Methodist

Language: English (official); French patois widely spoken

Literacy: 80% (est.)

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

Organized labor: 25% of labor force


Long-form name: Commonwealth of Dominica

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

Independence: 3 November 1978 (from UK)

Constitution: 3 November 1978

Legal system: based on English common law

National holiday: Independence Day, 3 November (1978)

Executive branch: president, prime minister, Cabinet

Legislative branch: unicameral House of Assembly (includes 9 appointed senators and 21 elected representatives)

Judicial branch: Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court

Leaders: Chief of State—President Sir Clarence Augustus SEIGNORET (since 19 December 1983);

Head of Government—Prime Minister (Mary) Eugenia CHARLES (since 21 July 1980)

Political parties and leaders: Dominica Freedom Party (DFP), (Mary) Eugenia Charles; Labor Party of Dominica (LPD, a leftist-dominated coalition), Michael Douglas; United Workers Party (UWP), Edison James

Suffrage: universal at age 18

Elections: President—last held 20 December 1988 (next to be held December 1993); the president is elected by the House of Assembly;

House of Assembly—last held 1 July 1985 (next to be held July 1990); results—percent of vote by party NA; seats—(21 total) DFP 17, LPD 4

Communists: negligible

Other political or pressure groups: Dominica Liberation Movement (DLM), a small leftist group

Member of: ACP, CARICOM, Commonwealth, FAO, GATT (de facto), G-77, IBRD, IDA, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMF, IMO, INTERPOL, OAS, OECS, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WMO

Diplomatic representation: there is no Chancery in the US; US—no official presence since the Ambassador resides in Bridgetown (Barbados), but travels frequently to Dominica

Flag: 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)


Overview: The economy is dependent on agriculture and thus is highly vulnerable to climatic conditions. Agriculture accounts for about 30% of GDP and employs 40% of the labor force. Principal products include bananas, coconuts, citrus, and root crops. In 1988 the economy achieved a 5.6% growth in real GDP on the strength of a boost in construction, higher agricultural production, and growth of the small manufacturing sector based on soap and garment industries. The tourist industry remains undeveloped because of a rugged coastline and the lack of an international-class airport.

GDP: $137 million, per capita $1,408; real growth rate 5.6% (1988 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 4.9% (1987)

Unemployment rate: 10% (1989 est.)

Budget: revenues $60 million; expenditures $52 million, including capital expenditures of $18 million (FY88)

Exports: $46 million (f.o.b., 1987); commodities—bananas, coconuts, grapefruit, soap, galvanized sheets; partners—UK 72%, Jamaica 10%, OECS 6%, US 3%, other 9%

Imports: $66.0 million (c.i.f., 1987); commodities—food, oils and fats, chemicals, fuels and lubricants, manufactured goods, machinery and equipment; partners—US 23%, UK 18%, CARICOM 15%, OECS 15%, Japan 5%, Canada 3%, other 21%

External debt: $63.6 million (December 1987)

Industrial production: growth rate 5.9% in manufacturing (1987)

Electricity: 7,000 kW capacity; 16 million kWh produced, 190 kWh per capita (1989)

Industries: agricultural processing, tourism, soap and other coconut-based products, cigars, pumice mining

Agriculture: accounts for 30% of GDP; principal crops—bananas, citrus fruit, coconuts, root crops; bananas provide the bulk of export earnings; forestry and fisheries potential not exploited

Aid: Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-87), $109 million

Currency: East Caribbean dollar (plural—dollars); 1 EC dollar (EC$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: East Caribbean dollars (ECS) per US$1—2.70 (fixed rate since 1976)

Fiscal year: 1 July-30 June


Highways: 750 km total; 370 km paved, 380 km gravel and earth

Ports: Roseau, Portsmouth

Civil air: NA

Airports: 2 total, 2 usable; 2 with permanent-surface runways; none with runways over 2,439 m; 1 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: 4,600 telephones in fully automatic network; VHP and UHF link to St. Lucia; new SHF links to Martinique and Guadeloupe; stations—3 AM, 2 FM, 1 cable TV

Defense Forces

Branches: Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force

Military manpower: NA

Defense expenditures: NA