The official language is English; a French-based Creole is spoken by most of the population.
Mainly Christians (Roman Catholics 61%, Seventh Day Adventists 6%, Pentecostals 6%, Baptists 4%, Methodists 4%; 2001 census).
Public spending on health was 4% of GDP in 2010. The health system operates through local clinics, larger health centres, a polyclinic in Roseau, and the national referral hospital, the Princess Margaret Hospital. There is a smaller hospital at Portsmouth, and cottage hospitals at Marigot and Grand Bay. Infant mortality was 11 per 1,000 live births in 2011.
Public spending on education was 3.5% of GDP in 2010. There are 10 years of compulsory education starting at age five. Primary school comprises seven years and secondary five. Some 88% of pupils complete primary school (2009). The school year starts in September.
Further education is provided at a teacher-training college; a nursing school; and at the regional University of the West Indies, which has a branch in Dominica and main campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. The Dominica State College, a publicly funded institution, offers programmes leading to GCE A-Level, certificates, and associate degrees; and a large and diverse programme of continuing education for mature students. The female-male ratio for gross enrolment in tertiary education is 3.35:1 (2008).
The Chronicle (founded in 1909), The Tropical Star and The Sun are all weekly. The Dominica Broadcasting Corporation provides a public radio service, competing with several commercial or faith stations. There is no national TV service on the island but a private cable network covers part of the country.
Country code 1 767; internet domain ‘.dm’.The main post office is in Roseau.
There are 1,640 mobile phone subscriptions and 513 internet users per 1,000 people (2011).
New Year’s Day, Labour Day (first Monday in May), August Monday (first Monday in August), National Day (3 November), Community Service Day (4 November), Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Religious festivals whose dates vary from year to year include Carnival (two days in February/March), Good Friday, Easter Monday and Whit Monday.