|Commonwealth of Dominica
|Form of government
||Parliamentary Republic in the Commonwealth
||East Caribbean dollar
|Telephone area code
The island state of Dominica is located in the
eastern Caribbean between Guadeloupe and Martinique and
is the third largest island in the Lesser Antilles. With
an area of 751 km², the state is slightly smaller than
Berlin. The island is of volcanic origin, of which a
large number of hot springs and a crater lake still bear
witness: "Boiling Lake", whose water is hot to over 90
ˇăC, is located in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park,
which is a World Heritage Site. The island is mostly
mountainous, the mountainous country is partially
inaccessible due to steep slopes, gorges and dense
forests. The coastal strips are narrow, around 80% of
the coast is cliffs. The highest peak in the country is
the Morne Diablotin with 1,447 m in the north of the
Numerous rivers originate in the mountains and flow
into the Caribbean Sea. Despite the abundance of water,
they are not navigable. The capital Roseau, founded in
1750, is located in the northwest of Dominica.
The climate on Dominica is tropical with year-round
constant high temperatures and many, sometimes very
heavy rainfall. The average values in the capital
Roseau are around 26 ˇăC in January and 30 ˇăC in July. On
the west coast, which is in the rain shadow of the
mountains, approx. 1,800 mm of precipitation are
measured, in the east of the country it is up to 6,500
mm. Between June and October, cyclones (hurricanes) can
occur, which lead to severe devastation (e.g. 1979,
Flora and fauna
About half of the island area is covered by evergreen
rainforest, which merges into mountain or cloud forest
at higher altitudes. Due to the inaccessible mountainous
regions, large, contiguous forests could be preserved on
Dominica in contrast to many other Caribbean islands.
Especially in the coastal areas, areas were cultivated
for the cultivation of crops.
The country's fauna is just as diverse as the flora.
The impenetrable rainforest is home to countless bird
species, including endangered parrot species such as the
emperor and blue-headed Amazon. Also reptiles (lizards,
snakes) and smaller mammals (hares, opossums) are
common, larger wild mammals are hardly to be found.
Around 69,500 people live on Dominica, around 90% of
whom are descendants of the black slaves who came from
Africa and were used to work on the plantations. According to COUNTRYAAH, 7% are mixed breeds (mulattos, creoles). Whites only
make up a small minority. In the northeast, in a reserve
established in 1903 by the British colonial powers,
there are still caribs, descendants of the indigenous
people. The official language in Dominica is English,
the colloquial languages are the Creole Patois and the
English dialect Cocoy. Almost 90% of the population are
Christians, the majority of them (three quarters of the
total population) belong to the Roman Catholic Church.
Smaller religious minorities are Muslims, Jews, Hindus
and followers of the Baha'i sect.
Health and education systems on Dominica are
relatively well developed. Life expectancy averages 75
years and literacy is around 94%. The widespread
unemployment (officially 23%) leads to the emigration of
young people from the island in particular.
An estimated 25,000 people live in the capital Roseau
According to the 1978 constitution, Dominica is a
parliamentary republic within the British Commonwealth
of Nations. The head of state is the President (Charles
Savarin since October 2013), who is elected by
Parliament for a five-year term. The government is
headed by the Prime Minister (Roosevelt Skerrit since
January 2004), who is appointed by the President.
The Parliament consists of one chamber, the House of
Assembly with 32 seats. Twenty-one of the five-year
parliamentarians are elected in constituencies, nine are
senators appointed by the president, and a spokesman. In
principle, another seat is planned for a representative
of the Caribbean reserve.
The legal system is based on the British model.
Dominica is divided into ten districts (parishes).
Like almost every country in the Caribbean, Dominica
is struggling with a small internal market and a less
Agriculture contributes around 18% to gross domestic
product (GDP). Again and again the harvests are
partially or completely destroyed by severe cyclones.
The main crop and the most important export product are
bananas, citrus fruits, cocoa, vanilla and coconuts are
also grown and some are exported. Sweet potatoes, jam
roots and cassava are mainly grown for the people's own
Services account for the highest share of value added
with 72% of GDP, of which tourism 30%. Dominica tries to
reduce its one-sided dependence on banana production by
increasing investments in the tourism industry. However,
the country's infrastructure is poor.
The industry is only moderately developed and is
limited to the processing of agricultural products, e.g.
fruit juices, soap, alcoholic beverages and essential
oils are produced. The most important trading partners
for exports include Great Britain, Jamaica, Antigua and
Barbuda. The import of goods (machines, vehicles,
semi-finished products, food) is mainly from China, the
United States and other Caribbean countries.
There are two airports: Melville Hall Airport and
Canefield Airport. However, both have no international
The currency is the East Caribbean dollar.