Info & Resources

Dominica

Written by Staff Writer

Country Overview:
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 made the island a colony 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.

Location:
Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, about half way between Puerto Rico and Trinidad and Tobago

Geographic coordinates:
15 25 N, 61 20 W

Area:
Total: 754 sq km, land: 754 sq km, water: 0 sq km

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 extremes:
Lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m

Highest Point:
Highest point: Morne Diablatins 1,447 m

Natural Resources:
Timber, hydropower, arable land

Population:
72,514 (July 2008 est.)

Nationality:
Dominican(s)

Nationality:
Dominican

Ethnic groups:
Black 86.8%, mixed 8.9%, Carib Amerindian 2.9%, white 0.8%, other 0.7% (2001 census)

Religions:
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% (2001 census)

Languages:
English (official), French patois

Country Name:
Dominica

Government Type:
Parliamentary democracy

Capital Name:
Roseau

Independence:
3 November 1978 (from UK)

National Holiday:
Independence Day, 3 November (1978)

Constitution:
3 November 1978

Legal System:
Based on English common law; accepts ICJ jurisdiction

Executive Branch:
President Nicholas J. O. LIVERPOOL (since October 2003)

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:
President elected by the House of Assembly for a five-year term; election last held 1 October 2003 (next to be held in October 2008); prime minister appointed by the president election results: Nicholas LIVERPOOL elected president; percent of legislative vote – NA%

About the author

Staff Writer