60 Interesting Facts About Dominican Republic

Last updated on April 7th, 2018

36. The western third of the island was separated, and a new country—Haiti—was born in 1804. The remaining island at that time was known as Santo Domingo. Haiti ruled over Santo Domingo until 1844 when the region became independent and was named the Dominican Republic.

37. In the area, the island nation is slightly more than twice the size of New Hampshire. It shares a land boundary of 376 km with Haiti.

38. Pico Duarte, at 3,098 m, is the highest point in the country. SirRobert H. Schomburgk was the first climber to the mountain, 1851.

39. More than 50% of the land of the island is used for agriculture, while 40% is covered by forests.

40. Severe storms are experienced in the country between June and October.

41. The Dominican Republic is the oldest European settlement in the Western Hemisphere.

42. The Dominican Republic is the only country in the world to produce a rare blue variety of the silicate mineral pectolite. Its color changes from white, light-blue, green-blue to deep blue.

a rare blue variety of the silicate mineral pectolite
Lariman specimen – a rare blue variety of the silicate mineral pectolite. Image credit – Wikipedia.org

43. Police in the country are very polite and helpful to locals as well as tourists. Do not be afraid to ask for help, when in need.

Did you know?

44. People of the country are very thankful and religious. You will often read the statement, “God has blessed this business.” This signifies their belief in religion.

45. Abortions are banned in the country, even in cases of rape and serious health problems of pregnant women.

46. An estimated five million people visit the country annually. It ranks 6th overall among the most popular tourist destinations in the Americas. The country’s administration is expecting to reach 10 million annual visitors by 2023. Majority of the tourists come from the United States and Canada.

47. The Amber Museum in Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic has an amber stone with a prehistoric mosquito preserved inside of it.

48. The Dominican Republic is known as the “Breadbasket of the Caribbean.”

49. D.R. has the second-largest number of Major League Baseball players. It stands second only to the United States. They have produced many world-famous baseball players.

50. Juan Marichal is the only Dominican player who is a part of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

51. On the 500th anniversary of the discovery of the island by Christopher Columbus, a lighthouse—Faro a Colon—was erected in Santo Domingo.

the fact file: Faro a Colon (Columbus Lighthouse)
Faro a Colon (Columbus Lighthouse) from North-West, April 2017: Its construction began in 1986 and was inaugurated in 1992. Image credit – Wikipedia.org

52. The majority of women in the Dominican Republic have curly hair. However, the women in the region like straight hair. Hence, they visit salons to get the job done.

53. The Dominican Republic is also home to a threatened species of lizard in the family of Iguanidae – the rhinoceros iguana. The lizard varies in length from 60 to 136 centimetres while their skin color could be steely grey, dark green or brown.

Rhinoceros iguana from the Dominican Republic
A male rhinoceros iguana, Pedernales Province, Dominican Republic, 2007. Image credit – Wikipedia.org

54. Lake Enriquillo is the largest lake and the lowest elevation in the Caribbean. It covers an area of 375 square km. It is the home of at least 400 species of the American crocodile.

55. Legally, the drinking age in the country is 18. And it is illegal in the country to kiss a woman in front of a police officer.

56. Did you know that Haiti, now the neighboring country of the Dominican Republic, also ruled over the country for nearly 20 years?

57. Santo Domingo also had the privilege of being chosen as the cultural capital of the Americas for 2010.

58. The Dominican Republic is Latin America’s ninth largest economy followed by Guatemala, with Brazil leading at the top.

59. As per the UN (2014), an estimated 69,000 people living in the Dominican Republic are affected by HIV and AIDS. And there are almost 37 million people in the world that are affected by this deadly condition.

60. The Dominican Restoration War led to the withdrawal of Spanish forces from the country. The war was fought between 1863 and 1865.

The Dominican Republic – country at a glance

Independence27 February 1844 (from Haiti)
Capital CitySanto Domingo
(19°00′N 70°40′W)
Largest CitySanto Domingo
(19°00′N 70°40′W)
Total area48,670 sq km
Population10,606,865 (July 2016 est.)
Suffrage18 years of age, universal and compulsory; married persons regardless of age can vote; note - members of the armed forces and national police by law cannot vote
Government typepresidential republic
PresidentDanilo Medina
Vice PresidentMargarita Cedeño de Fernández
Official LanguageSpanish
Literacy rate91.8%
BordersHaiti (only land border)
CurrencyPeso (DOP)
ReligionRoman Catholics
National holidayIndependence Day, 27 February (1844)
National anthem"Himno Nacional" (National Anthem)
National symbolpalmchat (bird)
National colorsred, white, blue
Climatetropical maritime; little seasonal temperature variation; seasonal variation in rainfall
Terrainrugged highlands and mountains interspersed with fertile valleys
Natural resourcesnickel, bauxite, gold, silver, arable land
Agricultural land51.5%
Life expectancy78.1 years (2016)
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
Birth rate18.6 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate4.6 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratio1.03 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Industriestourism, sugar processing, gold mining, textiles, cement, tobacco, electrical components, medical devices
Exports$9.822 billion (2016 est.)
gold, silver, cocoa, sugar, coffee, tobacco, meats, consumer goods
Imports$16.67 billion (2016 est.)
petroleum, foodstuffs, cotton and fabrics, chemicals and pharmaceuticals
GDP - per capita (PPP)$15,900 (2016 est.)
Time ZoneStandard Time Caribbean (UTC – 4:00)
Internet country code:.do
Calling Code+1-809, +1-829, +1-849
Drives on theRight
Data sourcesCIA, Wikipedia
Table last updatedAugust 28, 2017