Basic Data


Official Country Name: Commonwealth of Dominica
Region (Map name): Caribbean
Population: 71,540
Language(s): English, French patois
Literacy rate: 94%

In the fourteenth century, Carib settlers called the island "Waitikubuli," which means "tall is her body." But the name that has stood the test of time is Dominica, granted by Christopher Columbus in 1493 to commemorate the Sunday on which he first sighted its shores.

Dominican media enjoys full freedom of speech. There is no daily newspaper, but the island does support five weeklies, all published in English. The Chronicle publishes on Friday and enjoys a circulation of approximately 3,000. Independent Publishing produces The Independent , which rivals The Chronicle in circulation numbers, and The Mirror , which is billed as a weekend newspaper and appears every Friday. Other weeklies are the Sun , which appears on Monday, and The Tropical Star, published on Wednesday. The Dominica Official Gazette is the island's government-sponsored newspaper. It published weekly from Roseau, the island's capital. The island also has an online news resource, , which posts news and information from local newspapers, including The Chronicle and The Independent, every Friday.

Lying between the North Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, it was the last of the Caribbean islands to be colonized by Europeans. In 1763, Great Britain took possession of the island from France, declaring it a colony in 1805. Dominica became independent in 1978, operating as a parliamentary democracy.

The country's head of state is a President, who is elected by its legislature, the thirty-seat House of Assembly. The President then appoints a Prime Minister to head the government. The population is approximately seventy-one thousand, and 94 percent of the population is literate. English is the official language, but French patois is also spoken. The cornerstone of Dominica's economy is agriculture, especially bananas, and profitability often hinges on the weather. After devastating storms in 1994 and 1995, the government has pledged to diversify the economy by encouraging soap production, adventure tourism, and offshore financial services.

There are thirteen radio stations on the island, 10 FM and three AM, and approximately 46,000 radios. There are approximately 6,000 televisions but no local broadcasting station. There are 16 Internet service providers


Benn's Media, Vol. 3, Ed. 147 . 1999

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The World Fact Book 2001 . 2001. Available from .

Country Profile: Domica BBC News. 2002. Available from .

News Dominica . 2002. Available from .

Jenny B. Davis

Also read article about Dominica from Wikipedia

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