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People often think of the Dominican Republic as beautiful white sandy beaches, but it is so much more than that.
This post lists over 70 cool facts about Dominican Republic, from its culture and demography to its economy. It also contains some Dominican Republic history facts!
Whether you would like to know the Dominican Republic capital, the Dominican Republic population, the country's official language, the country's national bird or the national tree, or just to learn some Dominican Republic facts, you have come to the right place. This article can be of great help if you are building a school project with your child!
Fun Facts About The Dominican Republic
These interesting facts about the Dominican Republic tell you everything you need to know, from its language and capital city to its demography.
1. The Dominican Republic is the 86th most populous country in the world.
2. It is located in the Caribbean.
3. Santo Domingo is the capital city of the Dominican Republic.
4. The official language of Dominican Republic is Spanish.
5. Inhabitants of the country are called Dominicans.
6. The size of the Dominican Republic is roughly double the size of New Hampshire.
7. The literacy rate of the Dominican Republic is 93.8%.
8. The country is a presidential republic, meaning it is ruled by a president and has a representative democracy.
9. The first president of the Dominican Republic was Pedro Santana, who was elected in 1844.
10. The current Dominican president is Danilo Medina. He was elected in 2019.
11. The Dominican Republic only has one bordering country, Haiti, with which it shares the Hispaniola island. The two countries have a land border of 233 miles.
12. Dominicans are known for their loyalty and their commitment to their family. As a result, many people in the country prefer living in joint and multi-generational families.
13. The legal drinking age of the country is 18. It is also illegal to kiss a woman in front of a police officer.
14. Dominicans are famously not punctual, arriving late to a meeting is the norm on the island.
15. In the Dominican Republic, members of the armed forces and the police are not allowed to vote in political elections.
16. The national drink of the Dominican Republic is coffee.
17. The national sport of the Dominican Republic is baseball.
18. The Dominican Republic has the second largest number of major league baseball players after the United States.
19. Juan Marichal is the only Dominican player who is a part of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
20. 48% of the Dominican population is Catholic and 21% is Protestant.
21. The national bird of the Dominican Republic is called the palmchat.
22. The life expectancy of Dominicans is 72 years.
23.People from the Dominican Republic drive on the right.
24. In July 2020, it was estimated that the population of the Dominican Republic was 10.5 million.
Dominican Republic Culture Facts
These interesting facts about Dominican Republic culture highlight its vibrant cuisine and some of the habits of its people!
25. In 2010, Santo Domingo was chosen as the cultural capital of the Americas.
26. Dominican cuisine is mostly Hispanic and contains a lot of local seafood.
27. The national dish of the Dominican Republic is called 'bandera' which means "flag" in Spanish. It is composed of rice, red beans and stewed meat which constitute the colors of the country's flag.
28. Suspiritos is a traditional Dominican dessert often served at events such as birthday parties and baby showers. It is made of egg whites, sugar and lime juice combined together and baked into a meringue.
29. Merengue is a Dominican style of music and a dance. It is celebrated every year at the Merengue Festival.
30. In traffic jams, it is normal to honk your horn as loud as possible in the Dominican Republic.
31. Oscar de la Renta, the fashion designer, is originally Dominican.
History Of The Dominican Republic
These Dominican Republic historical facts should tell you everything you need to know about the country, from its foundation and colonial history until the role it played in the Second World War.
32. Christopher Columbus first visited the Dominican Republic in 1492 and named the island it is located on 'Hispaniola'.
33. The Dominican Republic was the first permanent settlement for European colonists.
34. Before Haiti and the Dominican Republic were formed, the island was a single nation called Hispaniola. Today, Haiti occupies the western three eighths of the island, while the Dominican Republic occupies the eastern five eighths.
35. Haiti was established in 1804 and ruled over the Dominican Republic, which was then known as Santo Domingo, until 1844.
36. The Independence Day of the Dominican Republic is celebrated on 27 February every year, the day when it got its independence from neighboring Haiti.
37. The capital of the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo, is the oldest city in the new world. It was founded in 1496 by Spanish conquistadores including Christopher Columbus. The first cathedral, university and administrative buildings of the new world were built in the city.
38. The Dominican Republic was a popular location for pirates in the 17th century, as many people were recruited to pillage Spanish ships full of treasures.
39. The old town of Santo Domingo, known as the Colonial City, is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
40. Catedral de Santa Maria La Menor in Santo Domingo is probably the oldest cathedral on the whole American continent. It was built in 1540.
41. In 1795, the Spanish gave control of the Dominican Republic and Haiti to France. This lasted until 1808 when the two countries drove the French out and Haiti took control of the whole island.
42. The Dominican Republic is the only country in the world to have a picture of the Bible on its flag. The blue stripe on the flag represents freedom, the white represents salvation and the red stripe stands for the blood of heroes. The flag was designed by Juan Pablo Duarte and was adopted in 1844.
43. The Dominican Restoration War, which lasted from 1863 until 1865, led to the Spanish army withdrawing from the country.
44. The Dominican government set up a program to welcome Jewish refugees during the Second World War called the Dominican Republic Settlement Association plan. It provided refugees with plots of land and cattle.
45. In 1937, Dominican dictator called Rafael Trujillo ordered the execution of Haitians living illegally in the Dominican Republic. It is thought 25,000 people died that way. Trujillo was assassinated on 30 May 1961.
46. 500 years after the discovery of the Dominican Republic by Christopher Columbus, a lighthouse called Faro a Colon was built in Santo Domingo.
Interesting Facts About The Dominican Republic's Economy
Below there is everything you need to understand how the country's economy works and what it relies upon.
47. The currency of the Dominican Republic is the Dominican Peso (DOP).
48. The Dominican Republic is the biggest economy in Central America and the Caribbean, and the ninth largest economy in Latin America.
49. There are many Dominicans living in the US who send money back to their families in the Dominican Republic.
50. The Dominican Republic's economy mostly relies on agriculture and tourism to prosper.
51. The Dominican Republic is the most visited destination in the Caribbean. About five million people visit it every year. The majority of tourists come from the US and Canada.
52. The Dominican Republic is a popular country destination for honeymoons.
53. The Dominican Republic is also a popular golfing destination, it has many courses along its coast.
54. One of the main industries of the Dominican Republic is sugar refinery.
55. The main client for the Dominican Republic's exports are the United States. Every year, the US imports about $110 million of Dominican sugar.
56. The Dominican Republic is known for its rum production. It is produced using a distillation and ageing process specific to the island.
57. The Dominican Republic mostly relies on exports of coffee, cocoa, sugar and tobacco to fuel its national economy.
58. The Dominican Republic is the 10th biggest cocoa manufacturer in the world.
59. The Dominican Republic produces 55% of the world's banana market. Bananas are mainly produced in the North West and in the South of the country.
60. Dominicans are often very religious. It is quite common to see signs saying "God has blessed this business" on shops.
Nature And Fauna Of The Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is located on a beautiful island with sandy beaches, forests, and plenty of interesting fauna and flora.
61. Between December and March, you can spot humpback whales on the shores of the Dominican Republic.
62. The national tree of the Dominican Republic is the West Indian Mahogany.
63. The highest point in the Dominican Republic is Pico Duarte, which stands at 3,098m. Sir Robert H. Schomburgk was the first person to climb Pico Duarte, in 1851.
64. More than 50% of the land of the Dominican Republic is used for agriculture and 40% is covered by forests.
65. The Dominican Republic is strongly affected by storms and hurricanes between June and October every year.
66. In the Amber Museum in Puerto Plata, you can observe an amber stone with a preserved prehistoric mosquito inside it.
67. The rhinoceros iguana, a species of lizard threatened with extinction, can only be found in the Dominican Republic.
68. The Dominican Republic is home to the largest lake and the lowest elevation point in the Caribbean, called Lake Enriquillo. It has a surface of 375km².
69. Lake Enriquillo is home to about 400 species of American crocodile.
70. The idyllic climate of the Dominican Republic lasts all year long: it is mostly warm and sunny, so it is known as an "endless summer".
71. There are many beautiful beaches along the 1,290 kms of the Dominican Republic's coastline, all of which are certified internationally for safety and cleanliness.
72. The Dominican Republic is home to over 300 species of birds. Some are unique to the island, such as the Hispaniolan Trogon, the Hispaniolan Emerald or the Broad-billed Tody.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our interesting facts about the Dominican Republic for school projects then why not take a look at these fun facts about Peru for kids, or these Costa Rica facts for kids that you won't already know?
Mina lives in London and loves exploring the city and uncovering new, exciting, and fun activities, places, and adventures to fill her days with. She is also passionate about children’s literature and sharing all things cultural with the children she babysits, so if there’s a new family film, play, or exhibition, you’re likely to find her there. She has also travelled extensively in her life throughout Europe and further and loves exploring new places and meeting new people. She has a degree in Linguistics and Language Acquisition and remains fascinated by all languages and cultures.