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You are in:  Nations > Caribbean > Dominica
Dominica*Dominica flag
Basic facts
The country 
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Capital: Roseau
Area: 750 sq km; 289 sq miles
Population: 70,786 (July 2001 est.)
Urbanisation: Urban 69 per cent (1998 Estimate); Rural 30 per cent (1998 Estimate)


Exports: Bananas, soap, bay oil, vegetables, grapefruit, oranges, coconut and coconut products

Industry: Soap, coconut oil, tourism, copra, furniture, cement blocks, shoes

Agriculture: Principal crops: bananas, citrus, mangoes, root crops, coconuts

Currency: 1 East Caribbean dollar (EC$), consisting of 100 cents

Natural resources: Timber, fish


The people

Ethnic: Black, Carib

Language: English (official), French patois. English is the official language, but most people speak a French dialect.

Religion: Roman Catholic 80 per cent, Protestant 15 per cent, None, unknown or other 5 per cent


The history

Independence: Dominica attained full independence in November 1978 and subsequently joined the Commonwealth of Nations and the United Nations (UN).

Government: Christopher Columbus sighted and named Dominica in 1493, but the indigenous Carib people successfully resisted early European attempts at colonisation. In 1632 the French gained a foothold on the island. They retained parts of it until 1763, when the Treaty of Paris assigned it to the United Kingdom. The British, however, did not assert full dominance over the French raiders and rebel slaves based on the island until 1805. Under British rule, Dominica became part of the Leeward Islands dependency in 1833 and was attached to the Windward Islands group in 1940. In 1967 it became an internally self-governing state associated with the United Kingdom.

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