Area: 18,815 sq mi (48,730 sq km)
Population (2004 est.): 8,833,634 (growth rate: 1.3%); birth rate: 23.6/1000; infant mortality rate: 33.3/1000; life expectancy: 67.6; density per sq mi: 470
Capital: Santo Domingo
Monetary unit: Dominican Peso
Ethnicity/race: white 16%, black 11%, mixed 73%
Religion: Roman Catholic 95%
Literacy rate: 85% (2003 est.)
Natural resources: nickel, bauxite, gold, silver. Exports: $5.524 billion (f.o.b., 2003 est.): ferronickel, sugar, gold, silver, coffee, cocoa, tobacco, meats, consumer goods. Imports: $7.911 billion (f.o.b., 2003 est.): foodstuffs, petroleum, cotton and fabrics, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Major trading partners: U.S., Canada, UK, Venezuela, Mexico, Spain.
International disputes: despite efforts to control illegal migration, destitute Haitians continue to cross into the Dominican Republic.
Netherlands, Trinidad and Tobago, Japan.
Member of Commonwealth of Nations
The blue and red are from the flag of Haiti, which once controlled the Dominican Republic. The blue represents liberty; red for the fire and blood of the independence struggle and the white cross is a symbol of sacrifice and faith.
The Dominican Republic in the West Indies occupies the eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola, which it shares with Haiti. Its area equals that of Vermont and New Hampshire combined. Duarte Peak, at 10,417 ft (3,175 m), is the highest point in the West Indies.
Brave men of