Dominica is small island in the Eastern Caribbean, but we’re so much more than that! On this page I’ve compiled a list of what I think are key facts to know about Dominica.
If you plan on traveling to our island soon, you’ll need to know a little bit about the geography, the weather, what languages we speak, the currencies we use, etc. You’ll find all this information below.
I must emphasize that Dominica is very different from our larger, Spanish-speaking sister to the north, the Dominican Republic! We’re much smaller, and located in the center of the Eastern Caribbean island chain. I give a more thorough description on my Where is Dominica page.
|Country Name (official)||Commonwealth of Dominica (short form: Dominica)|
|Etymology||The island was named by explorer Christopher Columbus for the day of the week on which he spotted it, Sunday (“Domingo” in Latin), 3 November 1493|
|Country Name (native)||Waitukubuli (roughly translated to tall is her body)|
|Location (relative)||1,400 miles southeast of Miami, 400 miles southeast of San Juan, 400 miles north of Venezuela and 1,500 miles west of Central America|
|Location (exact)||15.20 N, 61.19 W|
|Size (land mass)||29 miles long and 16 miles at its widest point
289.5 square miles
|Size (population)||Approximately 73,757 (est. 2016)|
|Capital City||Roseau (pop. 27,000)|
|Administrative Divisions||10 parishes; Saint Andrew, Saint David, Saint George, Saint John, Saint Joseph, Saint Luke, Saint Mark, Saint Patrick, Saint Paul, Saint Peter|
|Government Type||Parliamentary Republic|
|Independence||November 3, 1978 (from Britain)|
|Constitution||Previous 1967 (pre-Independence); latest presented 25 July 1978, entered into force 3 November 1978; amended several times, last in 2015|
|Legal System||Common law, based on the British model|
|Money||Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC). Equivalent to approximately US $2.67
US dollars can be used for most purchases. Major credit cards are accepts in many locations.
|GDP per capita||US $7,175.63|
|Life Expectancy||76.6 years|
|Language||English is the official language of Dominica. However, French Patois or Kweyol is widely used around the island.|
|Religion||Roman Catholic 61.4%, Protestant 28.6% (includes Evangelical 6.7%, Seventh Day Adventist 6.1%, Pentecostal 5.6%, Baptist 4.1%, Methodist 3.7%, Church of God 1.2%, other 1.2%), Rastafarian 1.3%, Jehovah’s Witnesses 1.2%, other 0.3%, none 6.1%, unspecified 1.1% (2001 est.)|
|Economy (overview)||The Dominican economy has been dependent on agriculture – primarily bananas – in years past, but increasingly has been driven by tourism as the government seeks to promote Dominica as an “ecotourism” destination. Moreover, Dominica has an offshore medical education sector. In order to diversify the island’s economy, the government is also attempting to foster an offshore financial industry and plans to sign agreements with the private sector to develop geothermal energy resources.|
|Agriculture||Bananas, citrus, mangos, root crops, coconuts, cocoa|
|Industries||Soap, coconut oil, tourism, copra, furniture, cement blocks, shoes|
|Time Zone||Dominica is one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time on Atlantic Standard Time. We don’t observe Daylight Savings in Dominica though.|
|Public Transport||Buses with the license plates starting with H, serve most areas around Dominica. They are a cheap way to get around and prices are fixed by the government.|
|Taxis (General)||Taxis are readily available from ports of entry such as Douglas-Charles Airport and the Roseau Cruise Ship Berth. Other than that, they may be available through your hotel or guest house. They aren’t as cheap as the buses, but certain amenities may be offered such as privacy and air conditioning.|
|Taxis (Roseau)||If you require a taxi to and from Roseau and its immediate environs, there are two taxi companies who facilitate both locals and visitors alike.
Pyramid Taxi Cabs Service