Fast Facts

Population:
70,000
Capital:
Roseau; 27,000
Area:
751 square kilometers (290 square miles)
Language:
English, French patois
Religion:
Roman Catholic, Protestant
Currency:
East Caribbean dollar
Life Expectancy:
73
GDP per Capita:
U.S. $5,400
Literacy Percent:
94
Flag: Dominica
Map: Dominica

Mountainous, densely forested, with waterfalls and exotic birds, much of Dominica is protected as national wilderness. Volcanic activity provides boiling pools, geysers, and black-sand beaches. Most Dominicans are descendants of African slaves brought in by colonial planters. Independent from Britain since 1978, Dominica remains poor and dependent on banana exports. Governments, including that of Mary Eugenia Charles, the first female prime minister in the West Indies, have sought to broaden the economic base with tourism and light industry. Home to 3,000 Carib Indians, Dominica is the last bastion of this once populous Caribbean tribe.

ECONOMY

  • Industry: Soap, coconut oil, tourism, copra
  • Agriculture: Bananas, citrus, mangoes, root crops
  • Exports: Bananas, soap, bay oil, vegetables, grapefruit

—Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition

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