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Country information: Dominican Republic



48 730 square kilometres


9,65 million (July 2009)

Capital city

Santo Domingo (2 million inhabitants 2006)

Official language


GDP per capita (PPP)

US $ 8 100 (2008)

Population growth

1,5 per cent (2009)

Life expectancy

73,7 years (men: 71,9 years, women: 75,6 years) (2009)

Infant mortality

26 per 1 000 live births (2009)

Rate of illiteracy

13% (2007)




Only a decade ago, the Dominican Republic was regarded as uncharted territory for tourists. In recent years, however, the numbers of tourists have risen to such an extent that the country is now seen as a major tourist attraction in the Caribbean. According to UNWTO in the year 2004 approximately 3,5 million guests came into the country and paid 2,5 billion Euro. The stable political situation, beaches with the finest of sand and favourable prices provide considerable attractions particularly for package tourists from Europe and North America.


Commercial sexual exploitation of children in tourism

The boom in tourism along with other factors has led to the expansion of the leisure industry. Along with this there has been an increase in prostitution and trafficking in humans. Prostitution is further encouraged by impoverishment. In particular, street children in the towns and cities are threatened by abduction and then commercial sexual exploitation. In their desperation some fall for promises of well-paid jobs. The difficult situation faced by people is also exploited by unscrupulous people from other countries. No less than 50 000 women and children from the Dominican Republic are working in foreign countries in the "sex industry", the fourth highest number after Thailand, Brazil and the Philippines.


The Dominican Republic on 11 June 1991 ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and has undertaken to protect children against all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.


HIV / Aids

According to estimates from UNAIDS and the World Health Organization, at the end of 2007 approximately 62.000 people in the Dominican Republic were infected with HIV, including 30.000 women and 2.700 children. In the same year 3.900 Dominicans died following infection with HIV.


Local Contacts




(Movimiento Para el Autodesarrollo Internacional de la Solidaridad de Puerto Plata)

Urbanizacion la Limonera 3#3, Puerto Plata

Seccional Puerto Plata

Phone: +1 809 244 4087

Fax: +1 809 244 4087






State and society

The Dominican Republic, the second largest republic of the Caribbean archipelago, is a presidential democracy. The President is head of state and government. The National Congress consists of a Senate and a House of Representatives.


The population of the Dominican Republic consists of three-quarters mulattos, 15 per cent are black, and ten per cent are white. The majority of the population are Roman Catholic. In addition there are Protestants, Adventists and Jehovah's Witnesses. 16 per cent profess to no particular religion.


According to United Nations figures one fifth of the population lives below the poverty level. 

To support the struggle against poverty, the government is spending a fifth of the annual budget on education. The International Development Bank is providing financial support for a 10-year plan to improve the current literacy rate of 84,5 per cent.



Nach mehr als zehn Jahren starken wirtschaftlichen Wachstums und großer Stabilität befindet sich die Dominikanische Republik momentan in einer sehr schwierigen Situation. Im Jahr 2003 verdoppelte sich der Außenschuldenstand, die Wirtschaftsleistung nahm um 1,3% ab und die Inflation stieg auf über 42%. Diese Entwicklung ist auf den Zusammenbruch einer der größten Banken des Landes zurückzuführen. Die Dominikanische Republik verzeichnet das größte Wirtschaftswachstum und die größte Produktivität in Lateinamerika. Das Land ist führender Exporteur der Region von ökologischen Agrarprodukten, unter anderem von Zuckerrohr, Bananen, Kaffee und Tabak. Der Staat ist reich an Bodenschätzen, vor allem Gold, Silber und Nickel werden abgebaut.