Caribbean Real Estate in the Dominican Republic - General Information
General Information about The Dominican Republic, the Caribbean Island, maps, history and further information
Hispaniola, the second largest island in the Caribbean after Cuba, comprises of the Dominican Republic to the east and Haiti to the west. Its long and rich history dates back to its discovery by Christopher Columbus in 1492, when Hispaniola became a springboard for Spanish conquest of the Caribbean and the American mainland. The Dominican Republic's Latin culture adds to its charm and is a factor many consider when choosing where to buy real estate in the Caribbean....along with the competitive realty prices, stable government and the economic boom in real estate, especially on the north coast. The fact that English is widely spoken also makes this an attractive choice for investors.
The Dominican Republic - History
In 1697, Spain recognized French dominion over the western third of the island, which in 1804 became Haiti. The remainder of the island, by then known as Santo Domingo, sought to gain its own independence in 1821, but was conquered and ruled by the Haitians for 22 years; it finally attained independence as the Dominican Republic in 1844.
A legacy of unsettled, mostly non-representative, rule for much of its subsequent history was brought to an end in 1966 when Joaquin BALAGUER became president. He maintained a tight grip on power for most of the next 30 years when international reaction to flawed elections forced him to curtail his term in 1996.
Since then, regular competitive elections have been held in which opposition candidates have won the presidency. The Dominican economy has had one of the fastest growth rates in the hemisphere over the past decade.
The Dominican Republic - Some General Facts and Figures
Population: 8,715,602 (July 2003 est.)
Ethnic groups: Mixed 73%, white 16% and black 11%
Religion: Roman Catholic 95%
Literacy: At age 15 and over 84.6% male and 84.8% female can read and write.
Electricity: 110 volt, 60Hz as in North America and Canada.
Legal drinking and gambling age: 18
Area: 48,730 sq km - slightly more than twice the size of New Hampshire, USA
Borders: 275km with Haiti
Coastline: 1,288 km
Terrain: Rugged highlands and mountains with fertile valleys.
Natural resources: Nickel, bauxite, gold and silver.
Lowest point: Lago Enriquillo -46M, highest point Pico Duarte at 3,175M or 10,477 feet.
Arable land: 21%, permanent crops: 9%, permanent pastures: 43%, forests and woodland: 12%, other: 15% (1993 est.)
Government type: Representative democracy
Capital: Santo Domingo
Administrative divisions: 29 provinces and 1 district
Independence: 27 February 1844 (from Haiti)
National holiday: Independence Day, 27 February (1844)
Constitution: 28 November 1966
Legal system: Based on French civil codes
Chief of state: President Leonel Fernandez note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
Vice President: Rafael Alburquerque
The Island of the Dominican Republic - Political parties and leaders:
Dominican Liberation Party or PLD [Leonel FERNANDEZ Reyna];
Dominican Revolutionary Party or PRD [Hatuey DE CAMPS];
Social Christian Reformist Party or PRSC [Eduardo ESTRELLA]