Facts of the Dominican Republic

Capital City: Santo Domingo
Area: 18,704 sq miles
Ethnicities: 73% mixed (European and African, Taíno), 16% White (Spaniards, French, German, Italians, others), 11% Black
Population: 9,980,243
Language: Spanish (official)
Religion: 68.9% Roman Catholic, 18.2% Protestant, 10.6% of no religion, and 2.3% of other
Currency: Dominican Republic Peso (DOP)
Exchange: 45 pesos to the US dollar

Time Zone: Atlantic (Eastern Standard Time) except Daylight Savings is not observed


  • In a 2008 study of academic achievement for 3rd and 6th grade students in 16 Latin American countries, the Dominican Republic came in dead last in the areas of math, reading and science.
  • Dominican Republic Preschool Enrollment is around 32%.
  • The Dominican Republic’s public investment in education is 2.3% of their gross domestic product, which ranks 122nd out of 132 countries.
  • Around 85% of poor Dominican parents have never completed primary education.
  • For every 100 Dominican children entering formal education, only 75 complete grade 4; 63 complete grade 6 and only 52 complete the 8-year primary level. This situation is even worse in rural areas where most schools stop at grade 5.
  • The Dominican Republic was ranked 101 out of 177 countries in terms of literacy.
  • The Dominican Republic high school enrollment rate is 61%.
  • The HIV/AIDS rate among the adult population in the Dominican Republic is 1.1%, although it is much higher in batey communities.
  • As of 2008, the Dominican Republic’s population of over 9 million included (unofficially) more than 800,000 Haitians. Bateys such as Caraballo are experiencing a great increase in Haitian residents since the January 2010 earthquake.
  • The primary school dropout rate in the Dominican Republic is 14%.
  • Only 12% of low-income students who start high school will complete their studies, compared to 62% of those from higher income brackets in the DR.

Data from UNICEF, World Bank, United Nations, UNESCO, OECD, Wikipedia, USAID Basic Education and Policy Support and American Association of Fundraising Counsel, Programa de Promoción de la Reforma Educativa de América Latina y el Caribe (PREAL), December 2006; United Nations (UN), 2005; United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), 2004; Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), 2008; UNESCO 2008.

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