Despite strong economic growth since the
mid-2010s, the Dominican Republic is one of the poorest
countries in the Caribbean, as growth is not for
everyone. Although the proportion of the poor has
decreased, almost a third of the population still lives
in poverty and almost a tenth in extreme poverty.
Since 2003, there is a compulsory social security
system that will give all citizens the right to pension,
health care and compensation in the event of workplace
accidents and disabilities. However, more than one in
five residents lack the identity documents required to
access social security services.
Countryaah Official Site:
Official statistics for population in Dominican Republic, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.
It is estimated that between 500,000 and one million
Haitians born in the Dominican Republic are virtually
stateless. The slave-like working and living conditions
for the Haitians in the country's sugar production have
sparked strong international protests (see Foreign
Policy and Defense and the Labor Market). They are often
denied education and medical care.
In many areas there is a shortage of water and
electricity. Although the state's health care
expenditures have increased in recent years, resources
are insufficient and unevenly distributed. In the fall
of 2017, the doctors went on strike because promised
wage increases and improvements in working conditions
were not fulfilled by the government.
After a constitutional change in 2010, abortion is
totally prohibited. The law is among the most stringent
in the world and has led to vigorous protests from,
among others, organizations promoting women's rights.
The number of deaths among women who underwent abortions
- now illegal - rose immediately following the change in
the law. In 2017, the Senate voted down a proposal to
allow abortion in certain circumstances, such as after
rape or incest, or to save the life of the mother.
The new constitution also states that marriages can
only be entered into between men and women - same-sex
marriage is thus expressly forbidden.
The woman's position is exposed. Every third
household consists of a single mother with children.
Violence against women and children is a serious
problem. Nearly 200 women per year die as a result of
physical violence. Tens of thousands of Dominican women
are estimated to work as prostitutes abroad. Even in the
country, women and children are being tricked or forced
into prostitution, which has increased with growing
tourism. Trafficking in young women and children is a
major problem despite the introduction of a stricter law
against trafficking in 2003.
HIV positive is discriminated against. Often,
employers do routine HIV testing before hiring. Routine
tests are also carried out in health care and those who
are positive risk being denied care.
Violence crime has expanded as international drug
trafficking has increased, as has the number of weapons.
The Dominican Republic is a major transit country for
drugs, mainly from South America to the United States
and Europe. Domestic drug consumption has also grown, as
many smugglers get paid in drugs. Corruption and weak
institutions make the fight against drugs more
The social divide in society is governed by both
economy and race. Gadgets give status and the most
light-skinned often belong to the upper class while
blacks and Haitians form the upper class. The large
middle group of mixed origin is often divided into
indio claro (light indian) and indio obscuro
(dark indian). Some take the term "Indian" as revenue
for the Dominicans to deny their African origins, while
others believe it is mostly a description of skin tone.
The distribution of income in the country is skewed:
while the poorest half of the population receives less
than one-fifth of GDP, almost 40 percent of GDP goes to
the richest tenth.
FACTS - SOCIAL CONDITIONS
24 per 1000 births (2018)
Percentage of HIV infected
0.9 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young women
0.3 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young men
0.3 percent (2018)
Proportion of population with access to clean
94.5 percent (2015)
Proportion of the population having access to
83.9 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on health care as a
percentage of GDP
6.2 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on health care per person
US $ 414 (2016)
Proportion of women in parliament
27 percent (2018)