The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands, along with Saint Martin, shared by two countries. Both by area and population, the Dominican Republic is the second largest Caribbean nation (after Cuba), with 48, 730 square kilometers and an estimated number of 9.5 million people.

Taínos inhabited what is now the Dominican Republic since the 7th century. Christopher Columbus landed on it in 1492, and it became the site of the first permanent European settlement in the Americas, namely Santo Domingo, the country's capital and Spain's first capital in the New World.

Climate and Temperature: Dominican Republic has an annual average temperature of about 25 ° C (77 ° F) which is defined as a warm tropical climate. The highest temperature, about 34 ° C (93 ° F), recorded in the months of June to August, and the lowest, 19 ° C (66 ° F), recorded between December and February.

Government of Dominican Republic

Takes place in a framework of a representative democracy, whereby the President of the Dominican Republic is both head of government and head of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in the two chambers of the National Congress. The Judiciary one is independent of the executive and the legislative.
Danilo Medina, Dominican Republic's current president replaced former president Leonel Fernández holding 51% of the Electoral Vote over his opponent ex-president Hipolito Mejia in 2012.

Municipal Government and Administrative Divisions

Each of the 31 provinces is headed by a presidentially appointed governor. People-elected mayors and municipal councils administer the National District (Santo Domingo) and the 103 municipal districts.

Economy

The Dominican Republic has long been viewed primarily as an exporter of sugar, coffee, and tobacco, but in recent years the service sector has overtaken agriculture as the economy's largest employer, due to growth in telecommunications, tourism, and free trade zones. The economy is highly dependent upon the US, the destination for more than half of exports. Remittances from the US amount to about a 10th of GDP, equivalent to almost half of exports and three-quarters of tourism receipts. The country suffers from marked income inequality; the poorest half of the population receives less than one-fifth of GDP, while the richest 10% enjoys nearly 40% of GDP. High unemployment and underemployment remains an important long-term challenge. The Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) came into force in March 2007, boosting investment and exports and reducing losses to the Asian garment industry. The growth of the Dominican Republic's economy rebounded from the global recession in 2010-12 and remains one of the fastest growing in the region although its fiscal situation is weak; the fiscal deficit climbed from 2.6% in 2011 to approximately 8% in 2012.

Source: CIA WorldFactbook
Statistics

GDP: purchasing power parity - $59.13 billion (2012 est.)
GDP- real growth rate: 4% (2012est.)
GDP-per capita: purchasing power parity - $9,600 (2012est.)
GDP- composition by sector: agriculture: 6.1% industry: 31.9% services: 62% (2012 est.)
Inflation rate(consumer prices): 3.7% (2012est.)
Labor force: 4.806 million (2012est.)
Labor force by occupation: agriculture:14.6% industry: 22.3% services: 63.1% (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate: 14.7% (2007 est.)
Population below poverty line: 34.4 % (2010)
Budget: revenues: $8.338 billion
Expenditures: $13.07 billion (2012est.)
Industries: tourism, sugar processing, ferronickel and gold mining, textiles, cement, tobacco
Electricity - production: 14.98 billion kWh (2009)
Electricity - consumption: 13.306 billion kWh (2009)
Oil - production: 392.2 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Oil - consumption: 119,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Oil - exports: 0 bbl/d (0 m3/d) (2009)
Oil - imports: 107,300 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (0 m3) (1 January 2011est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2009est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 560 million cu m (2009 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2009est.)
Natural gas - imports: 560 million cu m (2009 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)
Agriculture products: sugarcane, coffee, cotton, cocoa, tobacco, rice, beans, potatoes, corn, bananas, cattle, pigs, dairy products, beef, eggs
Exports: $9.467 billion (2012 est.) $8.536 billion (2011 est.)
Exports - commodities: ferronickel, sugar, gold, silver, coffee, cocoa, tobacco, meats, consumer goods
Exports - partners: United States 48.8%, Haiti 16.7% (2011)
Imports: $18.2 billion (2012 est.) $17.42 billion (2011 est.)
Import commodities: foodstuffs, petroleum, cotton and fabrics, chemicals and pharmaceuticals
Imports - partners: US 43.6%, Venezuela 7.2%, México 5.8%, China 5.7% (2011)
Debt - external: $16.58 billion (31 December 2012 est.) $14.86 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Economic aid - recipient: $76.99 million (2005)
Currency: Dominican peso
Exchange rates: Dominican pesos per US dollar - 39.42 (2012 est.) 38.232 (2011 est.) 37.307 (2010 est.) 36.03 (2009) 34.775 (2008)
Fiscal year: calendar year