Dominica

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PAGE LAST UPDATED ON NOVEMBER 10, 2011
Flag of Dominica
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Location of Dominica
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Map of Dominica
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OF DOMINICA
 

Introduction

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Dominica was the last of the Caribbean islands to be colonized by Europeans due chiefly to the fierce resistance of the native Caribs. France ceded possession to Great Britain in 1763, which made the island a colony in 1805. In 1980, two years after independence, Dominica's fortunes improved when a corrupt and tyrannical administration was replaced by that of Mary Eugenia CHARLES, the first female prime minister in the Caribbean, who remained in office for 15 years. Some 3,000 Carib Indians still living on Dominica are the only pre-Columbian population remaining in the eastern Caribbean.
 
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Geography

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Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, about half way between Puerto Rico and Trinidad and Tobago
 
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15 25 N, 61 20 W
 
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total: 751 sq km
country comparison to the world: 189
land: 751 sq km
water: 0 sq km
 
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slightly more than four times the size of Washington, DC
 
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0 km
 
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148 km
 
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territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
 
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tropical; moderated by northeast trade winds; heavy rainfall
 
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rugged mountains of volcanic origin
 
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lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Morne Diablotins 1,447 m
 
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timber, hydropower, arable land
 
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arable land: 6.67%
permanent crops: 21.33%
other: 72% (2005)
 
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NA
 
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NA
 
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total: 0.02 cu km/yr
per capita: 213 cu m/yr (1996)
 
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flash floods are a constant threat; destructive hurricanes can be expected during the late summer months
 
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NA
 
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party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
 
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known as "The Nature Island of the Caribbean" due to its spectacular, lush, and varied flora and fauna, which are protected by an extensive natural park system; the most mountainous of the Lesser Antilles, its volcanic peaks are cones of lava craters and include Boiling Lake, the second-largest, thermally active lake in the world
 
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People and Society

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noun: Dominican(s)
adjective: Dominican
 
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black 86.8%, mixed 8.9%, Carib Amerindian 2.9%, white 0.8%, other 0.7% (2001 census)
 
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English (official), French patois
 
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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)
 
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72,969 (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 201
 
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0-14 years: 22.9% (male 8,551/female 8,188)
15-64 years: 66.8% (male 25,007/female 23,730)
65 years and over: 10.3% (male 3,246/female 4,247) (2011 est.)
 
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total: 30.8 years
male: 30.4 years
female: 31.3 years (2011 est.)
 
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0.214% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 179
 
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15.62 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 130
 
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8.06 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 102
 
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-5.43 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 197
 
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urban population: 67% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 0.3% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
 
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ROSEAU (capital) 14,000 (2009)
 
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at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
 
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total: 12.78 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 129
male: 17.11 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 8.23 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)
 
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total population: 75.98 years
country comparison to the world: 78
male: 73.03 years
female: 79.08 years (2011 est.)
 
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2.07 children born/woman (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 121
 
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5.9% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 110
 
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0.5 physicians/1,000 population (1997)
country comparison to the world: 123
 
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3.8 beds/1,000 population (2009)
country comparison to the world: 54
 
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improved:
urban: 96% of population
rural: 92% of population
total: 95% of population
unimproved:
urban: 4% of population
rural: 8% of population
total: 5% of population (2000)
 
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improved:
urban: 80% of population
rural: 84% of population
total: 81% of population
unimproved:
urban: 20% of population
rural: 16% of population
total: 19% of population (2000)
 
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NA
 
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NA
 
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NA
 
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4.7% of GDP (2008)
country comparison to the world: 72
 
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definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 94%
male: 94%
female: 94% (2003 est.)
 
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total: 13 years
male: 13 years
female: 13 years (2008)
 
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total: 26%
country comparison to the world: 24
male: 26.2%
female: 25.4% (2001)
 
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Government

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conventional long form: Commonwealth of Dominica
conventional short form: Dominica
 
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parliamentary democracy
 
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name: Roseau
geographic coordinates: 15 18 N, 61 24 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
 
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10 parishes; Saint Andrew, Saint David, Saint George, Saint John, Saint Joseph, Saint Luke, Saint Mark, Saint Patrick, Saint Paul, Saint Peter
 
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3 November 1978 (from the UK)
 
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Independence Day, 3 November (1978)
 
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3 November 1978
 
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common law based on the English model
 
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accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
 
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18 years of age; universal
 
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chief of state: President Nicholas J. O. LIVERPOOL (since October 2003)
head of government: Prime Minister Roosevelt SKERRIT (since 8 January 2004)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister
(For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
elections: president elected by the House of Assembly for a five-year term; election last held on 1 October 2003 (next to be held in 2013); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: in the absence of an opposition candidate, Nicholas LIVERPOOL consented to a second term in 2008 at the request of the prime minister and leader of the opposition and no formal election was held in 2008
 
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unicameral House of Assembly (30 seats; 9 members appointed, 21 elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held on 18 December 2009 (next to be held in 2015); note - tradition dictates that the election will be held within five years of the last election, but technically it is five years from the first seating of parliament (12 May 2005) plus a 90-day grace period
election results: percent of vote by party - DLP 61.2%, UWP 34.9%; seats by party - DLP 18, UWP 3
 
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Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, consisting of the Court of Appeal and the High Court (located in Saint Lucia; one of the six judges must reside in Dominica and preside over the Court of Summary Jurisdiction)
 
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Dominica Freedom Party or DFP [Charles SAVARIN]; Dominica Labor Party or DLP [Roosevelt SKERRIT]; Dominica United Workers Party or UWP [Earl WILLIAMS]
 
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Dominica Liberation Movement or DLM (a small leftist party)
 
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ACP, AOSIS, C, Caricom, CDB, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO (subscriber), ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OECS, OIF, OPANAL, OPCW, PetroCaribe, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
 
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chief of mission: Ambassador Hubert J. CHARLES
chancery: 3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
telephone: [1] (202) 364-6781
FAX: [1] (202) 364-6791
consulate(s) general: New York
 
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the US does not have an embassy in Dominica; the US Ambassador to Barbados is accredited to Dominica
 
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green, with a centered cross of three equal bands - the vertical part is yellow (hoist side), black, and white and the horizontal part is yellow (top), black, and white; superimposed in the center of the cross is a red disk bearing a Sisserou parrot, unique to Dominica, encircled by 10 green, five-pointed stars edged in yellow; the 10 stars represent the 10 administrative divisions (parishes); green symbolizes the island's lush vegetation; the triple-colored cross represents the Christian Trinity; the yellow color denotes sunshine, the main agricultural products (citrus and bananas), and the native Carib Indians; black is for the rich soil and the African heritage of most citizens; white signifies rivers, waterfalls, and the purity of aspirations; the red disc stands for social justice
 
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Sisserou parrot
 
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name: "Isle of Beauty, Isle of Splendor"
lyrics/music: Wilfred Oscar Morgan POND/Lemuel McPherson CHRISTIAN
note: adopted 1967
 
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Economy

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The Dominican economy has been dependent on agriculture - primarily bananas - in years past, but increasingly has been driven by tourism as the government seeks to promote Dominica as an "ecotourism" destination. In order to diversify the island's production base, the government also is attempting to develop an offshore financial sector and has signed an agreement with the EU to develop geothermal energy resources. In 2003, the government began a comprehensive restructuring of the economy - including elimination of price controls, privatization of the state banana company, and tax increases - to address an economic and financial crisis and to meet IMF requirements. This restructuring paved the way for an economic recovery - real growth for 2006 reached a two-decade high - and helped to reduce the debt burden, which remains at about 85% of GDP. Hurricane Dean struck the island in August 2007 causing damages equivalent to 20% of GDP. In 2009, growth slowed as a result of the global recession; it picked up only slightly in 2010.
 
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$758 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 208
$751.1 million (2009 est.)
$752.9 million (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
 
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$376 million (2010 est.)
 
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1% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 173
-0.3% (2009 est.)
3.2% (2008 est.)
 
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$10,400 (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 106
$10,300 (2009 est.)
$10,400 (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
 
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agriculture: 20.7%
industry: 23.2%
services: 56.1% (2010 est.)
 
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25,000 (2000 est.)
country comparison to the world: 206
 
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agriculture: 40%
industry: 32%
services: 28% (2000 est.)
 
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23% (2000 est.)
country comparison to the world: 173
 
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30% (2002 est.)
 
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lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
 
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24% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 68
 
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revenues: $148.1 million
expenditures: $111.1 million (2010 est.)
 
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39.4% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 46
 
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9.9% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 6
 
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78% of GDP (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 22
85% of GDP (2006 est.)
 
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3.2% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 109
0% (2009 est.)
 
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6.5% (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 61
6.5% (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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9.475% (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 108
10.025% (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$80.96 million (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 185
$76.44 million (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$433 million (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 178
$391.9 million (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$296.3 million (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 176
$259.3 million (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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bananas, citrus, mangos, root crops, coconuts, cocoa
note: forest and fishery potential not exploited
 
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soap, coconut oil, tourism, copra, furniture, cement blocks, shoes
 
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NA%
 
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87 million kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 198
 
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80.91 million kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 198
 
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0 kWh (2009 est.)
 
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0 kWh (2009 est.)
 
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0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 146
 
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1,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 202
 
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0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 167
 
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859 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 196
 
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0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 121
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 171
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 87
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 183
 
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0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 130
 
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-$134 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 78
-$123.2 million (2009 est.)
 
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$42.8 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 198
$37.79 million (2009 est.)
 
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bananas, soap, bay oil, vegetables, grapefruit, oranges
 
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Japan 35.5%, Egypt 12.4%, Antigua and Barbuda 8%, Jamaica 7%, Guyana 6.7%, Trinidad and Tobago 4.3% (2010)
 
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$225.3 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 201
$205.5 million (2009 est.)
 
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manufactured goods, machinery and equipment, food, chemicals
 
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Japan 44.8%, US 13.4%, Trinidad and Tobago 10.7%, China 7.5% (2010)
 
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$213 million (2004)
country comparison to the world: 178
 
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East Caribbean dollars (XCD) per US dollar -
2.7 (2010)
2.7 (2009)
2.7 (2005)
2.7 (2004)
2.7 (2003)
 
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Communications

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15,500 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 198
 
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106,000 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 188
 
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general assessment: fully automatic network
domestic: Fixed-line connections continued to decline slowly with the two active operators providing about 25 fixed-line connections per 100 persons; subscribership among the three mobile-cellular providers continued to increase with teledensity approaching 150 per 100 persons in 2009
international: country code - 1-767; landing points for the East Caribbean Fiber Optic System (ECFS) and the Global Caribbean Network (GCN) submarine cables providing connectivity to other islands in the eastern Caribbean extending from the British Virgin Islands to Trinidad; microwave radio relay and SHF radiotelephone links to Martinique and Guadeloupe; VHF and UHF radiotelephone links to Saint Lucia
 
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no terrestrial television 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)
 
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.dm
 
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718 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 174
 
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28,000 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 183
 
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Transportation

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2 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 200
 
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total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2010)
 
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total: 780 km
country comparison to the world: 188
paved: 393 km
unpaved: 387 km (2001)
 
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total: 40
country comparison to the world: 78
by type: bulk carrier 11, cargo 20, chemical tanker 2, petroleum tanker 4, refrigerated cargo 2, roll on/roll off 1
foreign-owned: 37 (Australia 1, Estonia 6, Germany 2, Greece 9, India 2, Latvia 1, Norway 1, Russia 6, Saudi Arabia 3, Singapore 1, Syria 2, Turkey 1, Ukraine 2)
registered in other countries: 1 (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1) (2010)
 
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Portsmouth, Roseau
 
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Military

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no regular military forces; Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force (includes Coast Guard) (2011)
 
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males age 16-49: 19,075 (2010 est.)
 
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males age 16-49: 16,035
females age 16-49: 15,499 (2010 est.)
 
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male: 675
female: 636 (2010 est.)
 
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NA
 
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Transnational Issues

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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
 
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transshipment point for narcotics bound for the US and Europe; minor cannabis producer (2008)
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