Nicknames for Santo Domingo include Gateway to the Caribbean and the new Miami of the Caribbean.
Research website numbeo ranks Santo Domingo in the bottom 7% compared to the 250 cities evaluated on its overall quality of life index at June 2020. Santo Domingo scored poorly on index factors such as purchasing power (bottom 4%), safety (worst 7%), health care (poorest 9%), pollution (highest 15%), climate (lowest 28%) due to tropical storms, and property price to income ratio (33% most expensive).
Santo Domingo was recorded by the Guinness World Records as the site where University of Saint Thomas Aquinas was founded, the first university in the New World officially recognized in 1558. Today, the revived educational institution is called the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo.
The Dominican Republic was the first place that Italian explorer Christopher Columbus landed after his transatlantic voyage in 1492. So it should come as no surprise that Santo Domingo’s history includes many other firsts. For instance, its Catedral Santa Maria La Menor is the original cathedral in the Americas, while its Alcázar de Colón is the first castle.
Santo Domingo has become the one of Latin America’s most economically developed cities. Its underground and elevated rapid transit transportation system is the most extensive by total length and number of stations in both Central America and the Caribbean.
On a lighter note, Santo Domingo achieved another Guinness World Record when 3,344 people played dominoes at the same time in the Dominican Republic’s capital city.
From an international trade perspective, the Dominican Republic exported US$10.6 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2019. Its most valuable exports include gold (15.2% of Dominican Republic’s global total), medical or veterinarian instruments or appliances (10.1%), cigars and cigarillos (7.7%), automatic circuit breakers (5.9%), bananas excluding plantains (4%), knitted or crocheted t-shirts and vests (3.2%), ferro-nickel (2.9%), coco beans (2.2%), bone-related appliances (2.1%), and jewelry (2%) according to the International Trade Centre.
Capital Facts for Santo Domingo: Quick Reference
Capital landmarks: Catedral Primada de America, Fort Ozama and Alcázar de Colón palace
Below, you will find 10 of the most famous people born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic:
- Oscar de la Renta, fashion designer (born Jul. 22, 1932)
- Albert Pujols, professional baseball player (born Jan. 16, 1980)
- Leonel Fernández Reyna, former president (born Dec. 26, 1953)
- Manny Ramirez, professional baseball player (born May 30, 1972)
- David Ortiz, professional baseball player (born Nov. 18, 1975)
- Richard Camacho, pop singer (born Jan. 22, 1997)
- Jose Bautista, professional baseball player (born Oct. 19, 1980)
- Dania Ramirez, actress (born Nov. 8, 1979)
- Adrian Beltre, professional baseball player (born Apr. 7, 1979)
- Aimee Carrero, actress (born Jul. 15, 1988)
Note: Data for our Famous People tab was sourced from Google searches mostly targeting published Wikipedia articles specific to each person’s name.
Demonym for a Santo Domingo resident: Capitaleño (male), Capitaleña (female)
Population: 3,317,784 (Santo Domingo metropolitan area) at August 2, 2020
Density: 3,187 people per square mile (1,230 per square kilometer)
Population: 10,857,938 (Dominican Republic) at August 2, 2020
Density: 581 people per square mile (225 per square kilometer)
Median age for all Dominican Republic: 28 years old
GDP: US$201.3 billion for 2019 (Dominican Republic)
GDP per person: $19,411
Note: The above country-level GDP metrics are on a Purchasing Power Parity basis and are in U.S. dollars. Credible city GDP statistics for Santo Domingo were unavailable.
Official currency used in Santo Domingo: Dominican pesos
Brookings Institution, Global Metro Monitor Report (includes GDP data).
Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook, Central America and Caribbean: Dominican Republic.
Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook, Field Listing: Major Urban Areas.
CityMetric, Where are largest cities in the world? 2015 edition.
Demographia, World Urban Area, 12th Annual Edition.
Guinness World Records, First university in the New World.
Guinness World Records, Most people playing dominos.
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Databases.
International Trade Centre, Trade Map.
Numbeo, Quality of Life Index by City.
Official Government Website, Ayuntamiento del Distrito Nacional.
Wikimedia Commons, City Flags.
Note: Some city flags were unavailable. If so, attribution belongs to Wikimedia Commons for pertinent country flags.
Wikipedia, Distrito Nacional.
Wikipedia, Dominican Republic.
Wikipedia, Greater Santo Domingo.
Wikipedia, Santo Domingo.
WorldOMeter, Dominican Republic Population.
World Population Review, Santo Domingo Population.
The Dominican Republic separated from Haiti on February 27, 1844. Consequently, citizens of the Caribbean island nation celebrate Independence Day each February 27.
Santo Domingo’s metropolitan area is known as Greater Santo Domingo, covering over a land area of 1,041.2 square miles (2,696.69 square kilometers). Metropolitan Santo Domingo has 3.3 million residents.
At the country level, Dominican Republic’s land area covers 18,656 square miles (48,320 square kilometers). The nation’s population count was 10.9 million inhabitants as of August 2020.
Population density is more concentrated within Santo Domingo’s metropolitan area averaging 3,187 people per square mile (1,230 per square kilometer).
Zooming out to Dominican Republic’s overall land boundaries, population density dilutes to an average 581 inhabitants per square mile (225 per square kilometer).