The World of Info



Puerto plataPunta cana


The total population in 2017 was 10,734,247. The average population density is around 222 people per km2, making the Dominican Republic one of the most densely populated states in the Caribbean.

The population is mainly concentrated in and around the capital Santo Domingo and in the Cibao Valley. Almost 3 million people live in the capital and Santo Domingo is, together with the Cuban capital Havana, the largest city in the Caribbean.

There is a great migration to the cities; 80% of the population lives in the cities. Every year, between four and five million tourists come to the Dominican Republic. Almost a quarter of them are Dominicans who return to their own country during holidays.

Many especially well-educated Dominicans emigrate to the United States and Venezuela. It is estimated that a total of about 1.5 million Dominicans have made a living abroad. In this way, entire Dominican neighbourhoods have come into being in various American cities. In New York, about 800,000 Dominicans live, of whom about 300,000 are illegal immigrants.

On the other hand, tens of thousands (some say 1 million!!) of Haitians reside as political refugees or as 'guest workers', most of these people are illegal or unrecognised. They constitute the lowest class in Dominican society and are constantly exploited and discriminated against.

The original Amerindian inhabitants, the Taíno, had already been exterminated after half a century of colonisation. The term 'indio' is now used to describe the coloured person. A light-skinned mulatto is called 'indio claro', a dark-skinned mulatto 'indio oscuro'.

The population is approximately 70% coloured or 'mulatto', 16% black and 14% white. (2017) The mulattos have mixed ancestry from Spain and Africa. The Dominican Republic is one of the few countries in the Caribbean where the population is not predominantly of African origin. The reason for this is that the country was not as important as a plantation colony, so that far fewer slaves from Africa were needed than in other countries.

Over the centuries, various other groups have settled in the Dominican Republic.

From the United States, a large group of African Americans arrived in the 1920s, fleeing slavery and oppression in their own country and settling mainly on the Samaná Peninsula. Cubans also came to the Republic in the 19th century and also after the revolution of 1959.

Other groups include Germans, Chinese ('Chinos'), Japanese, French, Lebanese ('Turcos'), Italians and seasonal workers from the British Isles nearby ('cocolos'). Just before the Second World War, on the initiative of President Trujillo, a group of German and Austrian Jews came to the Dominican Republic. Among other things, they gave a boost to cattle breeding and the dairy industry on the Amber Coast.

The annual population growth rate is approximately 1.18% (2017). More than 45% of the population is under the age of 25. Life expectancy at birth is 76 years for males and 80.6 years for females. (2017)

The birth rate in 2017 was 18.4 per 1000 inhabitants; the death rate was 4.7 per 1000 inhabitants.


Bayer, M. / Dominicaanse Republiek

Creed, A. / Dominican Republic
Chelsea House Publishers

Dominicaanse Republiek
Het Spectrum

Foley, E. / Dominican Republic
Times Books International

Froese, G. / Dominicaanse Republiek
Van Reemst

Langenbrinck, U. / Dominicaanse Republiek

Latzel, M. / Dominicaanse Republiek

Stow, L. K. / Dominicaanse Republiek

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated April 2024
Copyright: Team The World of Info