The Dominican Republic is a country located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean region. It occupies the eastern five-eighths of the island, which it shares with the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands, along with Saint Martin, that are shared by two sovereign states. The Dominican Republic is the second-largest country in the Antilles by area at 48,671 square kilometers (18,792 sq mi), and third by population with 10,349,290 people, of which 3,785,100 live in the metropolitan area of Santo Domingo, the capital city.
The Dominican Republic’s history and culture are strongly influenced by its past as a Spanish colony. It is known for its diverse population, which includes people of European, African, and Asian ancestry. The country’s natural scenery includes rainforests, deserts, and mountains. The capital, Santo Domingo, has a colonial zone, which features the oldest cathedral and fortress in the Americas. The country is also home to the first castle built in the Americas, located in the city of La Isabela.
The Dominican Republic is a republic governed as a representative democracy with a multi-party system. The President of the Dominican Republic is both the head of state and the head of government, and is elected by popular vote for a four-year term. The current president is Luis Abinader, who took office on August 16, 2020. The legislature is the bicameral National Congress, composed of the Senate (upper chamber) and the Chamber of Deputies (lower chamber), which together make up the National Legislature. The country’s judicial branch is headed by the Supreme Court of Justice.
The Dominican Republic has a market-based economy that is highly dependent on tourism and remittances. It is the most visited destination in the Caribbean, and the second-largest exporter of rum and cigars in the world. The Dominican Republic is classified as a middle-income country by the World Bank.
The Dominican Republic is a founding member of the United Nations, the Organization of American States, the Association of Caribbean States, and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.