- Santo Domingo; 1,865,000
- 48,442 square kilometers (18,704 square miles)
- Roman Catholic
- Dominican peso
- Life Expectancy:
- GDP per Capita:
- U.S. $6,300
- Literacy Percent:
Dominican Republic Facts Flag
Occupying the eastern two-thirds of Hispaniola, the Dominican Republic is the second largest country, after Cuba, in the West Indies. This mountainous land includes Pico Duarte—the highest point in the Caribbean. Colonized in 1493 by Spaniards, it offered the first chartered university, hospital, cathedral, and monastery in the Americas. Santo Domingo, founded in 1496, is the oldest European settlement in the Western Hemisphere. The nation became independent in 1844, but endured political instability and repressive governments. Today it is a democracy, economically dependent on agriculture and tourism.
- Industry: Tourism, sugar processing, ferronickel and gold mining, textiles
- Agriculture: Sugarcane, coffee, cotton, cacao; cattle
- Exports: Ferronickel, sugar, gold, silver, coffee
—Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition
Find an amazing beach retreat with this list of the top destinations for environmentally conscious travelers.
Coral reefs provide habitat for millions of species, and produce beach sand and some of the best surf in the world. They are also early indicators of global environmental health.
Sharks are in decline worldwide, yet they abound in the Bahamas. What makes this blue-water archipelago a sanctuary?
2015 Traveler Photo Contest
Explore the submissions, share your favorites, and check back for the winning images.