Dominica is a small (751 square kilometer) island nation in the Caribbean Sea, which became independent of France in 1978. The population of 72,660 (estimated as of July 2009) is primarily black (86.8 percent) with the largest minorities being mixed-race persons (8.9 percent) and Carib Indians (2.9 percent). Roman Catholicism is the most common religion (61.4 percent) with several other Christian sects (about 29 percent total) represented as well as Rastafarian (1.3 percent). Dominicans enjoy long life expectancies of 76 years for women and 71 years for men.

Literacy is equal for men and woman at 94 percent. Agriculture was traditionally the mainstay of the economy although recently the tourism industry has played an important role. Per capita gross domestic product (GDP) was $10,200 in 2009 ...

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