It’s a small island country in the Caribbean with a long, long history. In fact, the capital of Santo Domingo was established in 1496 by Spanish Colonists. If that doesn’t make this tropical getaway any more attractive than it already is, possibly these additional facts about the Dominican Republic will.
The Dominican Republic Is Number Two
Well, if we are just talking about the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic is the second largest nation there. The number one spot is held by Cuba, in case anyone asks. If you really want to get to the details on this, the island of Hispaniola is split by Haiti and the Dominican Republic. However, Haiti is about half the size of DR. Cuba totals 42,000 square miles in size compared to 18,700 square miles for the Dominican Republic.
The Dominican Republic Is Number Two – Part Two
Although size doesn’t really matter in this particular stat, the DR happens to be the second most populous country in the Caribbean. Any guesses as to what country holds the number one spot? If you said Cuba – again – you would be right. According to the numbers, Cuba has a population of 11.2-million according to the 2017 census. The Dominican Republic sits comfortably at 10-million and is the 84th most populous country in the world.
Not Everyone Speaks English In the Dominican Republic
Spanish is the dominant language spoken in the DR. In fact, the inhabitants here actually speak what is known as Dominican Spanish – their own unique dialect. For comparison sake, this dialect is close to the Spanish spoken in the Canary Islands. Dominican schools do teach French and English but the percent of a language spoken breaks down like this: Spanish (98%), French (1%), English (0.5%) and Arabic (0.1%). However, English is becoming more common.
The Island Nation Is A Mixture Of Different Cultures
One thing that has to be said about the Dominican Republic is that the population contains roots from several different cultures. The mixture comprises mostly of descendants from African slaves, Spanish colonists and Taino natives – not necessarily in that order. However, all three of these elements become obvious when you explore the music, food, architecture and even religious influences that are evident throughout the country.
The Dominican Republic Is Number Nine
How is this possible with two number two’s? Well, if you were looking at stats related to the economy of Latin America, you would discover that the Dominican Republic scores the number nine position. Historically, the DR was known for agriculture and mining, but in recent years the local economy has been dominated by the service sector. Credit for this goes to their solid transportation infrastructure and telecommunications for the progress.
The Dominican Republic Is Number One
Well, eventually we were going to find the DR sitting on top of the heap in at least one major category. Remember when we said that the Latin American economy stats placed the Dominican Republic at the ninth position? Well, if you slice that territory down to just the economies of Central American and the Caribbean, the DR comes out at number one. Again, the advanced telecommunications and transportation infrastructure earn the credit.
The Dominican Republic Is Made Up of Mostly Christians
Regarding religious denominations, the population of the DR identifies mostly as Christian (95%) where 2.6% do not identify with a specific religion, and 2.2% follow other religious beliefs. These numbers can be broken down further to reveal 57% of the population is Roman Catholic, 23% Protestants, 3% Seventh-day Adventists, 2.2% spiritist, 1.1% Latter-day Saints, 0.2% Islam, 0.1% Buddhist, 0.1% Baha’i, 0.1% Chinese Folk and 0.1% Judaism.
The Dominican Republic Had A Secret Identity
We’ve mentioned that the island nation’s capital of Santo Domingo was established in the 15th century by Spanish colonists. In fact, for many years after that, the country was known by that name – Santo Domingo. It wasn’t until the 20th century when the country became known as the Dominican Republic. By the way, should you be quizzed about it, the capital city was named after the country’s patron saint, Saint Dominic.
The Dominican Republic Is Number One – Part Two
Sooner or later there was going to be another top placement for the DR. Regarding a settlement; the Dominican Republic became the first permanent European settlement in all of the Americas. Although the Taino people were in the DR as far back as the 7th century, it wasn’t until the 15th century when Christopher Columbus’s brother Bartholomew established Santo Domingo. And as they tend to say, the rest is history.
The Dominican Republic Has Been Independent Several Times
Over history, the DR has been an independent country but not for its entire history. The first (ephemeral) independence was from Spain, and it took place on December 1, 1821. The official independence was recorded from Haiti on February 27, 1844. A further restoration independence from Spain was on August 16, 1863, and the DR had two difference independence statuses from the United States. One on July 12, 1924, and the other on July 1, 1965.
You Can Party With Many Dominican Republic Celebrations
There is no shortage of celebrations that pull the people of the DR together. On January 21 Dia de la Altagracia is held in honor of the country’s patroness. On January 26 you can celebrate Duarte’s Day to honor one of the founding fathers of the DR. Independence Day is February 27 and Restoration Day is August 16. September 24 is Virgen de las Mercedes, and there’s Constitution Day marked on November 6.
Lots Of Great Things To Know About The Dominican Republic
Although this is a relatively short list of Dominican Republic facts, they will give you a glimpse into the fabric of what makes this island nation so unique. They also share with you some details you may not otherwise learn about just by visiting this wonderful, welcoming tropical paradise.