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The Taino - indigenous inhabitants of Hispaniola prior to the arrival of the Europeans - divided the island into five chiefdoms and territories. Christopher COLUMBUS explored and claimed the island on his first voyage in 1492; it became a springboard for Spanish conquest of the Caribbean and the American mainland. In 1697, Spain recognized French dominion over the western third of the island, which in 1804 became Haiti. The remainder of the island, by then known as Santo Domingo, sought to gain its own independence in 1821 but was conquered and ruled by the Haitians for 22 years; it finally attained independence as the Dominican Republic in 1844. In 1861, the Dominicans voluntarily returned to the Spanish Empire, but two years later they launched a war that restored independence in 1865. A legacy of unsettled, mostly non-representative rule followed, capped by the dictatorship of Rafael Leonidas TRUJILLO from 1930 to 1961. Juan BOSCH was elected president in 1962 but was deposed in a military coup in 1963. In 1965, the United States led an intervention in the midst of a civil war sparked by an uprising to restore BOSCH. In 1966, Joaquin BALAGUER defeated BOSCH in an election to become president. BALAGUER maintained a tight grip on power for most of the next 30 years when international reaction to flawed elections forced him to curtail his term in 1996. Since then, regular competitive elections have been held in which opposition candidates have won the presidency. Former President Leonel FERNANDEZ Reyna (first term 1996-2000) won election to a new term in 2004 following a constitutional amendment allowing presidents to serve more than one term, and was since reelected to a second consecutive term.


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People And Society

Noun Dominican(s)
Adjective Dominican

Ethnic groups
Mixed 73%, white 16%, black 11%

Spanish (official)

Roman Catholic 95%, other 5%

Population World Ranking: 85
10,088,598 (July 2012 est.)

Age structure
0-14 years
29.5% (male 1,493,251/female 1,441,735)
15-64 years
64% (male 3,251,419/female 3,120,540)
65 years and over
6.5% (male 300,245/female 349,458) (2011 est.)

Median age
Total 26.5 years
Male 26.3 years
Female 26.7 years (2012 est.)

Population growth rate World Ranking: 89
1.305% (2012 est.)

Birth rate World Ranking: 92
19.44 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Death rate World Ranking: 200
4.41 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)

Net migration rate World Ranking: 163
-1.98 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Urban population 69% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization
2.1% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major cities - population
SANTO DOMINGO (capital) 2.138 million (2009)

Sex ratio
At birth 1.04 male(s)/female
Under 15 years 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years 1.04 male(s)/female
65 years and over 0.86 male(s)/female
Total population
1.03 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal mortality rate World Ranking: 62
150 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)

Infant mortality rate World Ranking: 92
Total 21.3 deaths/1,000 live births
Male 23.27 deaths/1,000 live births
19.25 deaths/1,000 live births (2012 est.)

Life expectancy at birth World Ranking: 63
Total population 77.44 years
Male 75.28 years
Female 79.69 years (2012 est.)

Total fertility rate World Ranking: 86
2.41 children born/woman (2012 est.)

Health expenditures World Ranking: 104
6.1% of GDP (2009)

Hospital bed density
1 beds/1,000 population (2009)

Hiv/aids - adult prevalence rate World Ranking: 51
0.9% (2009 est.)

Hiv/aids - people living with hiv/aids World Ranking: 57
57,000 (2009 est.)

Hiv/aids - deaths World Ranking: 53
2,300 (2009 est.)

Major infectious diseases
Degree of risk High
Food or waterborne diseases
Bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
Vectorborne diseases Dengue fever and malaria
Water contact disease Leptospirosis (2009)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight World Ranking: 101
3.4% (2007)

Education expenditures World Ranking: 150
2.3% of GDP (2009)

Age 15 and over can read and write
Total population 87%
Male 86.8%
Female 87.2% (2002 census)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
Total 12 years
Male 11 years
Female 13 years (2004)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 World Ranking: 15
Total 30.3%
Male 21.2%
Female 44.5% (2007)


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  Dominican Republic (Santo Domingo):

  GPS points from Dominican Republic (Santo Domingo)

Los Candelones Provincia De San Juan

Media Luna Provincia De Elias Pina

Rio Fortuna Provincia De Baoruco

Magarin San Pedro De Macoris

Arroyo Suarez Provincia De San Cristobal

Canada De Los Penaquitos Provincia De San Juan

Rio Canca Dominican Republic (general)

Pico Del Yaque Dominican Republic (general)
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