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Population and Economy

pic1The population of the Dominican Republic in 2007 was estimated by the United Nations at 9,760,000, which placed it number 82 in population among the 193 countries of the world. In that year, about 5% of the population was over 65 years old, while 35% of the population was under 15 years of age. There were 103 males for every 100 females in the country in 2007. According to the UN, the annual growth rate for 2006-2007 is 1.5%, with the projected population for the year 2015 to 10,121,000.

It has been estimated by the Dominican government that the population density in 2007 was 192 km ² (498 per km ²), and 63% of the population lived in urban areas. The southern coastal plains and the Cibao Valley are the most densely populated areas of the country.

The capital city, Santo Domingo, had a population of 3,014,000 in 2007. Other major cities include Santiago de los Caballeros (population 756.098), La Romana (population 250,000), San Pedro de Macoris, San Francisco de Macoris, Puerto Plata and La Vega. For the United Nations, the rate of urban population growth for 2000-2005 was of 2, 3%.

Economy

1The Dominican Republic has the largest economy in Central America and the Caribbean. It is an upper middle-income developing countries with a GDP per capita of 2007 $ 9,208, in PPP terms, which is relatively high in Latin America. In the January-March quarter of 2007, it experienced an exceptional growth of 9.1% in its GDP, which was actually below the previous year’s 10.9% in the same period. Growth was led by imports, followed by exports, finance and foreign investment biggest factors coming.

The D.R. depends mainly on natural resources and utilities. Although the service sector has overtaken agriculture as the leading employer of Dominicans (due principally to growth in tourism and Free Trade Zones), agriculture remains the most important sector in terms of domestic consumption and second, behind mining in terms of export earnings. The service sector in general has experienced growth in recent years, such as construction. Royalty incomes from the FTZ and tourism sectors are the fastest growing export. Tourism accounted estate only $ 1.5 billion in profits for 2007. Remittances from Dominicans living abroad amounted to nearly $ 3.2 billion in 2007.

According to the 2005 Annual Report of the United Nations Subcommittee on Human Development in the Dominican Republic, the country is ranked # 71 in the world for resource availability, # 79 for human development, and # 14 in the world for resource mismanagement. These statistics emphasize national government corruption, foreign interference in the country’s economy, and the gap between rich and poor.

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