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 Caribbean nation by area (after Cuba) at 48,445 square kilometers (18,705 sq mi), and third by population with 10,349,815 people (2018 estimate).
In December 1492, Christopher Columbus landed on the island and claimed it for Spain, which ruled the island for the next three centuries. Following the French–Spanish War (1795), Spain ceded the western third of the island to France. In 1804, Haiti’s revolutionary leader François Dominique Toussaint L’Ouverture led a successful revolt against the French, becoming the first ruler of an independent Haiti. The nation would again be occupied by Spain from 1809 to 1821 before gaining independence for good in 1844. In 1861, the western half of the island was annexed by the newly formed Dominican Republic.
The Dominican Republic is a unitary state governed by a presidential republic. The President is both head of state and head of government. Executive power is exercised by the President and his or her cabinet. Legislative power is vested in the bicameral National Congress. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.
The Dominican Republic has a market-based economy that is highly dependent on foreign trade and tourism. The country is the site of the Caribbean’s largest airport, the Punta Cana International Airport, as well as the largest resort, the Punta Cana Resort & Club. The Dominican Republic is classified as a middle-income developing country by the World Bank and as an upper-middle-income country by the United Nations.
The country is known for its beaches, resorts, and golf courses. It is also a popular destination for winter sports, such as skiing and snowboarding. The country has several national parks, including the Armando Bermúdez National Park and the Jaragua National Park.
The Dominican Republic is a major source of sugar, coffee, cocoa, tobacco, and cigars. It is also the site of the world’s largest gold mine, the Pueblo Viejo mine. The Dominican