Dominican Republic Demographics

What is the population of Dominican Republic?

Population 10,815,857
Population: Male/Female male: 5,465,776

female: 5,350,081
Population Growth Rate 0.76%
Population Distribution coastal development is significant, especially in the southern coastal plains and the Cibao Valley, where population density is highest; smaller population clusters exist in the interior mountains (Cordillera Central)
Urban Population urban population: 84.4% of total population

rate of urbanization: 1.64% annual rate of change
Population in Major Urban Areas 3.524 million SANTO DOMINGO
Nationality Noun noun: Dominican(s)

adjective: Dominican
Ethnic Groups mixed 70.4% (Mestizo/Indio 58%, Mulatto 12.4%), Black 15.8%, White 13.5%, other 0.3%
Language Note Spanish (official)

Dominican Republic Population Comparison

Dominican Republic Health Information

What are the health conditions in Dominican Republic?

Life Expectancy at Birth total population: 72.6 years

male: 71 years

female: 74.3 years
Death Rate - deaths/1,000 population 7.1
Infant Mortality Rate - total deaths/1,000 live births total: 21.7 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 24.3 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 19 deaths/1,000 live births
Health Expenditures - percent of GDP 4.9%
Physicians Density - physicians/1,000 population 1.45
Hospital Bed Density - beds/1,000 population 1.6
Major Infectious Diseases - degree of risk degree of risk: high

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever
Drinking Water Source - percent of urban population improved improved: urban: 98.3% of population

rural: 91.7% of population

total: 97.2% of population

unimproved: urban: 1.7% of population

rural: 8.3% of population

total: 2.8% of population
Tobacco Use total: 10.6%

male: 14.6%

female: 6.5%
Maternal Mortality Rate - deaths/100,000 live births 107
Mean Age for Mother's First Birth (age 25-49) 20.9
Contraceptive Prevalence Rate - female 12-49 62.8%
Total Fertility Rate - children born/woman 2.15
Gross reproduction rate 1
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 27.6%
Sanitation Facility Access - percent of urban population improved improved: urban: 97.4% of population

rural: 91.3% of population

total: 96.3% of population

unimproved: urban: 2.6% of population

rural: 8.7% of population

total: 3.7% of population
Underweight - percent of children under five years 3%
Alcohol consumption per capita total: 5.56 liters of pure alcohol

beer: 3.15 liters of pure alcohol

wine: 0.17 liters of pure alcohol

spirits: 2.18 liters of pure alcohol

other alcohols: 0.06 liters of pure alcohol
Child Marriage women married by age 15: 9.4%

women married by age 18: 31.5%
Currently married women (ages 15-49) 52.1%

Dominican Republic Life Expectancy

How long do people live in Dominican Republic?

Life Expectancy at Birth total population: 72.6 years

male: 71 years

female: 74.3 years
Median Age total: 29.2 years

male: 29.1 years

female: 29.4 years
Gross reproduction rate 1
Contraceptive Prevalance Rate - female 12-49 62.8%
Infant Mortality Rate total: 21.7 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 24.3 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 19 deaths/1,000 live births
Maternal Mortality Rate - deaths/100,000 live births 107
Total Fertility Rate - children born/woman 2.15

Dominican Republic median age, birth rate and death rates

Birth Rate - births/1,000 population 17
Median Age total: 29.2 years

male: 29.1 years

female: 29.4 years
Net Migration Rate - migrant(s)/1,000 population -2.7
Population Growth Rate 0.76%
Sex Ratio at Birth - male/female at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.93 male(s)/female

total population: 1.02 male(s)/female
Age Structure 0-14 years: 25.5% (male 1,402,847/female 1,358,833)

15-64 years: 66.9% (male 3,667,584/female 3,563,848)

65 years and over: 7.6% (male 395,345/female 427,400)
Contraceptive Prevalance Rate - female 12-49 62.8%
Gross reproduction rate 1
Infant Mortality Rate total: 21.7 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 24.3 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 19 deaths/1,000 live births
Maternal Mortality Rate - deaths/100,000 live births 107
Mother's mean age at first birth 20.9
Total Fertility Rate - children born/woman 2.15

Dominican Republic Medical Information

What are the health conditions in Dominican Republic?

Medical Facilities and Health Information

While adequate medical facilities can be found in large cities, particularly in private hospitals, the quality of care can vary greatly outside major population centers. There is an emergency 911 service within Santo Domingo, but its reliability is questionable. Outside the capital, emergency services range from extremely limited to nonexistent. Blood supplies at both public and private hospitals are often limited, and not all facilities have blood on hand even for emergencies. Many medical facilities throughout the country do not have staff members who speak or understand English. A private nationwide ambulance service, ProMed, operates in Santo Domingo, Santiago, Puerto Plata and La Romana; the telephone number is 809-412-5555. ProMed expects full payment at the time of transport.

Consult closely with your medical practitioner in the United States regarding any locally available treatments or therapies before traveling to the Dominican Republic for procedures which are not licensed and approved in the United States. Experimental procedures carry certain risks as the quality of treatment varies from U.S. standards.

The U.S. Embassy maintains a non-comprehensive list of medical providers in the Dominican Republic. The availability of prescription drugs varies depending upon location. Also, specific brand name drugs may not be available in the Dominican Republic. There have been some instances of counterfeit drugs infiltrating the Dominican market. You are advised to make sure you are traveling with an adequate supply of prescription drugs to meet your needs while in the Dominican Republic.

Tap water is unsafe to drink and should be avoided. Bottled water and beverages are considered safe.

Dengue: Dengue is endemic to the Dominican Republic. To reduce the risk of contracting dengue, the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends wearing clothing that exposes as little skin as possible and applying a repellent containing the insecticide DEET (concentration 30 to 35 percent) or Picaridin (concentration 20 percent or greater for tropical travelers). Because of the increased risk of dengue fever and the ongoing risk of malaria in the Dominican Republic (see below), practicing preventative measures is recommended by the CDC. Forfurther information on dengue fever, please visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's website.

Cholera: According to the Dominican Republic's Ministry of Health, more than 15,000 suspected cases of cholera and 262 related deaths have been reported throughout the country from November 2010 to early 2013. Several cases have been reported in travelers returning from Punta Cana resorts. Cholera vaccine, available in many countries, but not in the U.S., is recommended for aid and refugee workers only. Extreme care in hygiene and food habits for travel to risk areas, including resort areas, is advised. Carry oral rehydration salts in case of severe watery diarrhea. Azithromycin is recommended for diarrhea self-treatment; the epidemic strain of Vibrio cholerae has reduced susceptibility to ciprofloxacin and other quinolones.

Malaria: There are occasional reports of cases of malaria in areas frequented by U.S. and European tourists including La Altagracia Province, the easternmost province in which many beach resorts are located. Malaria risk is significantly higher for travelers who go on some of the excursions to the countryside offered by many resorts. Prior to visiting the Dominican Republic, travelers should consult the CDC web site for more information on malaria.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases: Be aware that sexually transmitted diseases are common in the Dominican Republic. Please take appropriate precautions to help stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

Cosmetic Surgery: The U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo and the CDC are aware of several cases in which U.S. citizens experienced serious complications or died following elective cosmetic surgery in the Dominican Republic. The CDC's Website contains a report on patients who suffered postoperative infections following cosmetic surgery in the Dominican Republic. Patients considering travel to the Dominican Republic for cosmetic surgery may also wish to contact the Dominican Society of Plastic Surgeons (tel. 809-688-8451) to verify the training, qualifications, and reputation of specific doctors. Note that some plastic surgeons continue to practice after patients have died during or after cosmetic surgery procedures, so the U.S. Embassy urges strong caution when considering cosmetic surgery in the Dominican Republic. Please note there is no regulatory authority governing claims that some doctors or clinics make on their websites.

Health Expenditures - percent of GDP


Hospital Bed Density - beds/1,000 population


Physicians Density - physicians/1,000 population


Dominican Republic Education

What is school like in Dominican Republic?

Education Expenditures - percent of GDP 4.6%
Literacy - female 95.6%
Literacy - male 95.4%
Literacy - total population 95.5%
Literacy Definition age 15 and over can read and write
Total School Life Expectancy - (primary to tertiary) total: 14 years

male: 13 years

female: 15 years

Dominican Republic Literacy

Can people in Dominican Republic read?

Literacy - female 95.6%
Literacy - male 95.4%
Literacy - total population 95.5%
Literacy Definition age 15 and over can read and write

Dominican Republic Crime

Is Dominican Republic a safe place to visit?

Crime Information

Crime continues to be a problem throughout the Dominican Republic. Street crime and petty theft involving U.S. tourists does occur, and you should take precautions to avoid becoming a target. While pick pocketing and mugging are the most common crimes against tourists, reports of violence against both foreigners and locals are growing. Valuables left unattended in parked automobiles, on beaches, and in other public places are vulnerable to theft, and car theft remains a problem.

Travelers to the Dominican Republic should strongly consider leaving valuable property at home. We recommend bringing no item on your trip that cannot be easily replaced, and to make contingency plans in case of theft. These precautions include: making photocopies of all credit cards and licenses which include the numbers to call in order to report theft; photocopies of passports and birth certificates; and leaving emergency funds with someone at home in case it is necessary for money to be sent on short notice.

Carry cellular telephones in a pocket rather than on a belt or in a purse. Avoid wearing headphones, which make the bearer more vulnerable and readily advertise the presence of a valuable item. Limit or avoid display of jewelry; it attracts attention and could prompt a robbery attempt. Limit cash and credit cards carried on your person. Be sure to store valuables, wallet items, and passports in a safe place.

There are continuing reports of thefts that target tourists en route from the airport to their hotel or home. Some U.S. citizens have been victimized in taxis. In a typical case, a taxi with rolled-down windows stops at a traffic light, and a motorcyclist reaches in and steals a purse or other valuables. You are advised to utilize the taxi service authorized by the airport if you did not make arrangements before arrival. Even when using such an authorized taxi service, you should always be aware of the potential for a criminal to stalk travelers leaving the airport parking area. Motorcyclists have also been known to steal purses or jewelry of pedestrians. U.S. citizens in privately owned vehicles have also been targeted, and you should always keep doors and windows locked and be aware of your surroundings to deter criminals. Some travelers returning to local residences in privately owned vehicles have been followed, assaulted, and robbed upon arrival at their home. Several U.S. citizens have also been targeted and robbed at bus stations, possibly as a result of gang activity. Take measures to safeguard your personal security at all times.

The dangers present in the Dominican Republic are similar to those of many major U.S. cities. Criminals can be dangerous -- many have weapons and are likely to use them if they meet resistance. Visitors walking the streets should always be aware of their surroundings. Be wary of strangers, especially those who seek you out at celebrations or nightspots. Travel with a partner or in a group if possible.

Many public transportation vehicles are unsafe, especially the route taxis or “carros publicos” in urban areas. These are privately owned cars that run along certain routes, can take up to six or more passengers, and are inexpensive. Passengers in “carros publicos” are frequently the victims of pick pocketing, and passengers have on occasion been robbed by “carro publico” drivers. Urban buses (“guaguas”) are only marginally better. We are also aware of at least one incident in which the driver of a “motoconcho” (motorcycle taxi) robbed a U.S. citizen passenger. The U.S. Embassy cautions its staff not to use these modes of transportation. As an alternative, some scheduled interurban bus services use modern buses and run on reliable timetables. These are generally the safest means of intercity travel. With respect to taxis, visitors to the Dominican Republic are strongly advised to take only hotel taxis or taxis operated by services whose cabs are arranged in advance by phone and can subsequently be identified and tracked. Drivers should exercise extreme caution when driving at night and use major highways when possible. There was a case of a U.S. citizen riding her moped who was stopped and robbed on a rural road near Samana. Although kidnappings are not common in the Dominican Republic, U.S. citizens have been kidnapped and held for ransom in the past.

The U.S. Embassy calls attention to certain criminal techniques that have surprised U.S. citizens and other victims in recent years:

Several individuals reported robberies perpetrated by criminals on mopeds (often coasting with the engine turned off so as not to draw attention). The driver approaches a pedestrian, grabs his or her cell phone, purse or backpack, and then speeds away. This type of robbery is particularly dangerous because the motorcyclist reaches the intended victim at 15–20 miles per hour and often knocks the victim to the ground.
The Embassy has received reports of crime involving apparent police collaboration. A seemingly-friendly stranger shakes hands with a tourist, who then finds that the stranger has placed a small baggie of cocaine or other substance into the tourist’s hand. The tourist is then immediately apprehended by a police officer, and pays a “fine” to the police to be set free.
U.S. citizens have been victimized at the airports in Santo Domingo and Punta Cana as they checked in their luggage and prepared to leave the country. Smugglers obtained an authentic airline baggage tag in a U.S. citizen’s name and placed it on baggage that contained drugs, presumably to be retrieved by an accomplice at the other end of the flight.
Criminals may also misrepresent themselves in an effort to gain access to your residence or hotel room. In one case, Dominican police arrested a building’s maintenance man and an accomplice for a violent crime against a U.S. citizen. There have been instances when U.S. citizens were robbed of large amounts of cash immediately prior to a scheduled financial transaction by thieves with apparent inside knowledge of the transaction. In one case, a U.S. citizen was robbed just outside his attorney’s office, and in another case a U.S. citizen reported he was victimized by two police officers.

U.S. citizens residing in private homes have been the victims of robberies, sometimes resulting in fatal violence. In one case, an elderly couple in San Pedro de Macoris was violently assaulted in their home and the husband murdered. In another case, a home in Puerto Plata was broken into and the visiting U.S. citizen occupants assaulted, tied up, and robbed. In still another case, two elderly U.S. citizens in Santiago were robbed and attacked in their home with a machete. One died and the other was hospitalized with critical injuries.

The U.S. Embassy continues to receive reports from U.S. citizens who have been stopped while driving and asked for “donations” by someone who may appear to be a police officer before they are allowed to continue on their way. Usually, the person(s) stopping the U.S. citizen drivers had approached from behind on a motorcycle; several of these motorcyclists pulled up alongside the driver's window and indicated that they were carrying a firearm. In some cases, the perpetrators were dressed in the light green uniform of “AMET,” the Dominican traffic police; however, they often seemed too young to be police officers or wore ill-fitting uniforms that might have been stolen. In another incident, individuals dressed in military fatigues told the victim they were police and requested the victim to follow them to the police station prior to robbing him. Such incidents should be reported to the police and to the Consular Section. If Dominican police stop you for a traffic violation, you should request a traffic ticket rather than paying an on-the-spot fine. You also have the right to ask police for identification. Regulations require police to wear a nametag with their last name. While everyone driving in the Dominican Republic should abide by traffic laws and the instructions of legitimate authorities, U.S. citizens finding themselves in the aforementioned scenarios should exercise caution. In general, you should keep your doorslocked and windows closed at all times and leave yourself an escape route when stopping in traffic in the event of an accident or other threat. Incidents involving police may be reported to the Internal Affairs Department of the National Police at 809-688-0777.

You should use credit cards judiciously while in the Dominican Republic. Credit card fraud is common, and recent reports indicate that its incidence has increased significantly in Santo Domingo as well as in the resort areas of the country.

If you elect to use your credit or debit cards, you should never let the cards leave your sight. You should also pay close attention to credit card bills following time spent in the Dominican Republic. There have been reports of fraudulent charges appearing months after card usage in the Dominican Republic. Victims of credit card fraud should contact the bank that issued the credit card immediately.

Minimize the use of automated teller machines (ATMs), which are present throughout Santo Domingo and other major cities. One local ATM fraud scheme involves sticking photographic film or pieces of paper in the card feeder of the ATM so that an inserted card becomes jammed. Once the card owner has concluded the card is irretrievable, the thieves extract both the jamming material and the card, which they then use. There are other more sophisticated ATM scams as well, including operations that involve “insiders” who can access and manipulate electronic data entered by legitimate card holders at properly functioning ATMs. Exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings when using an ATM card.

The overall level of crime tends to rise during the Christmas season, and you should take extra precautions when visiting the Dominican Republic between November and January.

Beaches and Resorts: The Embassy regularly receives reports of individuals and families who have become victims of crime while within the boundaries of their resort hotel. A growing number of these crimes involve the burglary of the room and even the removal of the room safe. In general, the criminals do not commit their crime in the presence of the guest, but it is not unheard of for guests to be victimized in their own room, caught off guard in their sleep. We strongly recommend vigilance. Hotels generally will not assume responsibility for valuables left in a room.

The Embassy has become increasingly aware of overly aggressive and dishonest merchants along the beaches in front of resort hotels. The Dominican Government has been trying to improve oversight of these merchants, but has not made visible progress to date.

The Embassy has received numerous reports of instances of sexual assault at the resorts, particularly while at the beach. Some hotel employees have ingratiated themselves with guests as a ruse to ultimately isolate and force the victim into compromising circumstances. Many hotels have policies that discourage employee fraternization with guests. Please report any unwanted attention you receive to hotel management. Be aware of cultural differences and stay in the company of your traveling companions. It has also been reported that some predators will use date rape drugs, or take advantage of alcohol consumption, to render their victims unaware. Be cautious of accepting any drink or food from a stranger, as it may have been tampered with. Again, the Embassy strongly encourages vigilance. “All-inclusive” resorts are well known for serving abundant quantities of alcohol and there are no laws in the Dominican Republic against serving alcohol to intoxicated persons. Drink responsibly. Remember that excessive alcohol consumption may decrease your awareness of your surroundings, making you an easy target for crime.

If you become a victim of sexual assault and another violent crime, we urge you to report the incident immediately to the Embassy’s American Citizen Services Unit during working hours, or to the U.S. Embassy’s duty officer after hours. You should also report the incident to local authorities for a police report. It is essential that sexual assault victims insist on an immediate examination by an authorized police medical examiner (medica legista) to ensure that a documented report is available for any future prosecution of the case.

Please be aware that crime can happen anywhere and that everyone must take personal responsibility to stay alert of their surroundings at all times. Read the U.S. Embassy’s security tips for more information.

The Embassy also receives reports of individuals who have suffered accidents or medical crisis at resorts. Check your insurance coverage prior to going overseas or consider travelers’ insurance. Hospitalization in the Dominican Republic can be extremely expensive and patients are expected to pay for services immediately. For additional information, see the section below on medical insurance.

Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, if you purchase them you may also be breaking local law.

Tourist Police: The Dominican Republic has police that are specially trained to assist tourists who require assistance. This public institution is called Politur and represents a cooperative effort between the National Police, Secretary of the Armed Forces, and the Secretary of Tourism. Politur typically has personnel in tourist areas to provide first responder type assistance to tourists. If you are the victim of a crime, Politur can help you get to a police station so that you may file a police report and seek further assistance. Politur is located at the corner of 30 de Marzo and Mexico, Bloque D, Governmental Building, Santo Domingo. The general phone number is 809-221-8697.

Dominican Republic Penalties for Crime

Criminal Penalties

While you are traveling in the Dominican Republic, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own. In some places you may be questioned if you don’t have your passport with you. In some places driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail. These criminal penalties will vary from country to country. There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States, and you can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods.Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States as well as the Dominican Republic. If you break local laws in the Dominican Republic, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not where you are going.

Persons violating laws of the Dominican Republic, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in the Dominican Republic are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.

Arrest notifications in host country: Based on the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, bilateral agreements with certain countries, and customary international law, if you are arrested in the Dominican Republic, you have the option to request that the police, prison officials, or other authorities alert the nearest U.S. Embassy of your arrest, and to have communications from you forwarded to the U.S. Embassy.

All Countries
Afghanistan Akrotiri Albania Algeria American Samoa Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory British Virgin Islands Brunei Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burma Burundi Cabo Verde Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Clipperton Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Cook Islands Coral Sea Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curacao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Dhekelia Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Eswatini Ethiopia Falkland Islands Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia Gabon Gambia, The Gaza Strip Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guam Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Holy See Honduras Hong Kong Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Jan Mayen Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, North Korea, South Kosovo Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Laos Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macau Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Marshall Islands Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Micronesia Moldova Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island North Macedonia Northern Mariana Islands Norway Oman Pakistan Palau Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Islands Poland Portugal Puerto Rico Qatar Reunion Romania Russia Rwanda Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Sudan, South Suriname Svalbard Sweden Switzerland Syria Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States (US) Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela Vietnam Virgin Islands Wake Island Wallis and Futuna West Bank Western Sahara World Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe