The Dominican Republic is located on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. The state of Haiti is located in the western third of the island. The country has an area of 48,730 km, officially 10,767,000 inhabitants and a population density of 215 inhabitants per km2. In addition, it is estimated that there are approximately 1 million illegal immigrants in the country, mainly from Haiti and Venezuela. The Dominican Republic has a well-developed hotel tourism infrastructure and is the most visited destination in the Caribbean with approximately 5.5 million visitors per year. The country recorded continuous economic growth of 5.4% on average over several years. Gross domestic product amounted to USD 72.19 billion in 2016 (compared to USD 3.4 trillion in Germany). However, low incomes and unemployment remain the main causes of widespread poverty. More than 40 percent of the population live in poverty, about ten percent even in extreme poverty. About 24% of the population suffer from malnutrition. Although the situation has steadily improved since 1990, the world hunger index is 10.2 and is classified as “serious”. Accordingly, the Gini coefficient was 44.9 in 2016. The region has an unemployment rate of 14.4% (Latin America and the Caribbean as a whole 8.1%). Average life expectancy is 70.2 years for men and 76.5 years for women.

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