What Is The Ethnic Composition Of The Population Of Dominica?

 A souvenirs vendor along the main harbor street in Roseau, Dominica.
A souvenirs vendor along the main harbor street in Roseau, Dominica.

The Commonwealth of Dominica is an island state in the Windward Islands of the Caribbean Sea. It extends over an area of about 280 square miles and has a population of roughly 75,000. The Kalinago people inhabited the island before it was colonized by the French between 1690 and 1763, and Great Britain from 1763 to 1978. Dominica is the youngest of the lesser Antilles Islands and continues to be shaped by volcanic activities.

Ethnic Groups In Dominica

A majority of the people in Dominica are of African descent (87%). There is also a minority white population consisting of the descendants of British and French colonists, and people of Irish ancestry (1.3%). Foreign immigrants to the country consist of Asians, Syrians, and Lebanese (0.2%). It is the only Eastern Caribbean island that still hosts the native Kalinago people who were driven out or exterminated from the other islands. However, the indigenous population is shrinking quickly as intermarriage and westernization erode the native culture and language. It is estimated that there are about 3,000 (2.9%) Kalinago people remaining. Years of intermarriage between the Africans and the Whites have led to a mixed racial population (9%). The native population resides in a protected territory consisting of eight villages on the east coast issued by the British Crown in the early 20th century. About 1,000 medical students from Canada and the United States schooled at the Ross University School of Medicine before the institution was transferred to Barbados due to recurrent damage by hurricanes. The population growth in the country is low due to immigration to the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Canada.

The average life expectancy in Dominica is about 74 years, but the number of centenarians is three times that of developed countries. The reason for this is currently being studied by the World Health Organization and the Ross University School of Medicine.

Languages Spoken In Dominica

The official language of Dominica is English. The language is spoken and understood by about 95% of the population. The Dominican creole; based on the French language, is also spoken due to French immigrants who migrated to the island during the colonial period. The Dominican creole is popular among the older generation that also speaks a patois language. Dominica is a member of La Francophonie. The younger generation prefers English and French due to global interactions, and the use of creole by the generation is on a steep decline. The government has stepped up efforts to increase and promote the usage of the creole language to restore and conserve the country's history and culture. Descendants of immigrants from Antigua and Montserrat on the northeastern edge of the country speak pidgin English known as Kokoy.

Religion In Dominica

Dominica is historically Roman Catholic, but in recent years different Protestant churches have emerged. About 62% of the population is Roman Catholic, while 10 to 12% belong to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The non-Christian population consists of spiritualism (2.6%), Bahai (1.7%), Agnosticism (0.5%) and Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam each account for 0.1% of the population.


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