Literacy: At age 15 and over 84.6% male and 84.8% female can read and write.
Electricity: 110 volt, 60Hz as in North America.
Legal drinking and gambling age: 18
Area: 48,730 sq km - slightly more than twice the size of New Hampshire, USA
Borders: 275km with Haiti, Coastline: 1,288 km
Terrain: Rugged highlands and mountains with fertile valleys.
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Lago Enriquillo -46M, highest point Pico Duarte at 3,175M or 10,477 feet.
Land use: Arable land: 21%, permanent crops: 9%, permanent pastures: 43%, forests and woodland: 12%, other: 15% (1993 est.)
Natural resources: Nickel, bauxite, gold and silver.
The Dominican Republic has long been viewed primarily as an exporter of sugar, coffee, and tobacco, but in recent years the service sector has overtaken agriculture as the economy's largest employer, due to growth in tourism and free trade zones. The economy is highly dependent upon the US, the destination for nearly 60% of exports. Remittances from the US amount to about a tenth of GDP, equivalent to almost half of exports and three-quarters of tourism receipts. The country suffers from marked income inequality; the poorest half of the population receives less than one-fifth of GDP, while the richest 10% enjoys nearly 40% of GDP. High unemployment and underemployment remains an important long-term challenge. The Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) came into force in March 2007, boosting investment and exports and reducing losses to the Asian garment industry. In the middle of 2008, however, the Dominican Republic's economy started slowing after several years of strong GDP growth, as the global recession had a significant negative impact on tourism and remittances. The financial crisis and the US recession caused GDP to dip in 2009, but a rebound is expected in 2010/2011.
Tourists have increased steadily from 1,925,565 in 1996, to 3,450,392 in 2004 and 3,965,055 in 2006. 2007 is expected to see figures over 4,000,000