Commonwealth of Dominica

President: Charles Savarin (2013)

Prime Minister: Roosevelt Skerrit (2004)

Total area: 290 sq mi (751 sq km)

Population (2014 est.): 73,449 (growth rate: 0.22%); birth rate: 15.53.; infant mortality rate: 11.61/1000; life expectancy: 76.59

Capital and largest city (2011 est.): Roseau, 14,000

Monetary unit: East Caribbean dollar

Current government officials

Languages: English (official) and French patois

Ethnicity/race: black 86.8%, mixed 8.9%, Carib Amerindian 2.9%, white 0.8%, other 0.7% (2001 census)

National Holiday: Independence Day, November 3

Religions: Roman Catholic 61.4%, Protestant 20.6% (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)

Literacy rate: 94% (2011 est.)

Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2013 est.): $1.015 billion; per capita $14,300. Real growth rate: 1.1%. Inflation: 1.8% (2013 est.). Unemployment: 23% (2000 est.). Arable land: 7%. Labor force: 25,000 (2000 est); agriculture 40%, industry and commerce 32%, services 28%. Agriculture: bananas, citrus, mangoes, root crops, coconuts, cocoa; forest and fishery potential not exploited. Industries: soap, coconut oil, tourism, copra, furniture, cement blocks, shoes. Natural resources: timber, hydropower, arable land. Exports: $40.4 million (2013 est.): bananas, soap, bay oil, vegetables, grapefruit, oranges. Imports: $219.6 million (2013 est.): manufactured goods, machinery and equipment, food, chemicals. Major trading partners: Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, Guyana, Japan, Trinidad and Tobago, U.S., China, Guyana (2012).

Member of Commonwealth of Nations

Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 14,600 (2012); mobile cellular: 109,300 (2012). 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). Internet hosts: 723 (2012). Internet users: 28,000 (2009).

Transportation: Railways: 0 km. Roadways: total: 1.512 km; paved: 762 km; unpaved: 750 km (2010 est.). Ports and harbors: Portsmouth, Roseau. Airports: 2 (2013 est.).

International disputes: 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 (UNCLOS), which permits Venezuela to extend its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and continental shelf claims over a large portion of the eastern Caribbean Sea.

Major sources and definitions

Flag of Dominica


Dominica (pronounced Dom-in-EEK-a) is a mountainous island of volcanic origin of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean, south of Guadeloupe and north of Martinique.


Parliamentary democracy.


Explored by Columbus in 1493, Dominica was claimed by Britain and France until 1763, when it was formally ceded to Britain. Along with other Windward Isles, it became a self-governing member of the West Indies Associated States in free association with Britain in 1967.

Dissatisfaction with the slow pace of reconstruction after Hurricane David devastated the island in Sept. 1979 brought a landslide victory to Mary Eugenia Charles of the Freedom Party in July 1980. The Freedom Party won again in 1985 and 1990. The opposition United Workers' Party won in June 1995. In 1997, Dominica became the first Caribbean country to participate in the work of Green Globe, aiming to make Dominica a model ecotourism destination. Although the island is poorer than some of its Caribbean neighbors, Dominica has a relatively low crime rate and does not have the extremes of wealth and poverty evident on other islands. Economic austerity measures, including higher taxes, were introduced in 2002. Massive protests followed.

In parliamentary elections in 2005, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit's Dominica Labour Party won 12 of 21 seats.

A New President Is Chosen Despite Boycott

In September 2012, Parliament chose Eliud Williams, a former government administrator, to replace Nicholas Liverpool as president. Liverpool resigned due to health reasons. The United Workers Party, the main opposition party, boycotted the election. The party planned to take the issue to court, claiming that the election process was unconstitutional. Despite the boycott, Williams was expected to remain in office until October 2013, the date of the next general election.

On September 30, 2013, Charles Savarin was elected president in a 19-0 vote by Parliament. Once again the opposition boycotted the election. A member of the Dominica Labour Party, Savarin had previously served as Minister for National Security, Immigration, Labour and the Public Service.

See also Encyclopedia: Dominica.
U.S. State Dept. Country Notes: Dominica

Djibouti Countries Dominican Republic

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