Santo Domingo City Review


About This Report

Sep 2017

Santo Domingo enjoyed one of the strongest real GDP growth rates (+36%) in Latin America over 2011-2016. The city accounted for 34% of total country's GDP in 2016. Much of the city's economy is dependent on tertiary based categories, which accounted for 79% of its total gross value added in 2016. At present, Santo Domingo is undergoing rapid urban and economic development, turning the city into a service-based economy.

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Santo Domingo City Review


Santo Domingo derives its economic strength from the presence of key national infrastructural assets, including two airports and two ports. The city is also home to the country's most educated labour force (21% of the population in the city aged 15+ had higher education in 2016, compared to 11% in the rest of the Dominican Republic), which drives up the concentration of high value-added industries in the city. However, Santo Domingo recorded only 0.3% higher labour productivity than the remaining parts of the country.

One of the most unequal income distributions globally

Santo Domingo's vibrant economy does not, however, benefit its residents equally. With a Gini index of 67, its income distribution is one of the most unequal globally. In 2016, average disposable household income in Santo Domingo lagged behind the average for the rest of the Dominican Republic by 3.6%, which is due in part to the significant income inequality, which is much greater in Santo Domingo than in the rest of the country.

Lower consumer expenditure per household compared with the rest of the country

Consumer expenditure per household (excluding transport and housing) was 23% lower in Santo Domingo than in the rest of the country in 2016. However, discretionary spending in Santo Domingo was much greater than in the rest of the country in the categories of education and communications.

High transport expenditure compared with the rest of the country

Transport is the single largest spending category in the budgets of Santo Domingo's households, accounting for 30% of the total in 2016, versus 20% elsewhere in the country. This was a major factor in reducing the city's affordability. In 2016, consumer expenditure on housing and transport per household in Santo Domingo was 31% higher than elsewhere in the country.

Santo Domingo City Review


Understanding Santo Domingo Review structure
Chart 1 Overview
Key facts on Santo Domingo
Summary 1 Key Facts On Santo Domingo 2011, 2016, 2021


Delimitation of the metropolitan region
Chart 2 Map Of Santo Domingo Metropolitan Area
Main business districts


Industrial make-up
Chart 3 Industrial Composition Of Santo Domingo 2016
Chart 4 Labour Productivity: Selected Cities 2016
Recent developments and outlook
Chart 5 Dynamics Of Real GDP In Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic And Other Cities In Latin America, 2011-2021
Summary 2 Labour Market Changes In Santo Domingo 2011, 2016


City demographics
Chart 6 Population By Age 2016
Chart 7 Drivers Of Population Growth In Santo Domingo 2011-2016
Household income
Chart 8 Household Distribution By Income In Santo Domingo 2016 And 2021


Structure of household budget
Chart 9 Comparison Of Household Expenditure In Santo Domingo And Dominican Republic, 2016
Summary 3 Santo Domingo Household Budget Structure By Consumer Expenditure Item, % of total, 2011, 2016, 2021
City lifestyle
A Potential Business Tourism Destination
Growing Air Conditioning And Refrigeration Equipment Market
City affordability
Chart 10 Household Expenditure On Housing: Selected Cities 2016
Chart 11 Household Expenditure On Transport: Selected Cities 2016



Summary 4 GDP Development, 2011, 2016, 2021
Summary 5 GDP By Origin, Current Prices, US$, Million, 2011-2016
Summary 6 Population And Labour Force, 2011-2016
Summary 7 Employed Population By Economic Sector, % of total, 2011-2016
Summary 8 Population By Sex And Broad Age Groups, ‘000, 2011-2016
Summary 9 Population Growth, 2011-2016
Summary 10 Forecast Population Growth
Summary 11 Population By Educational Attainment, 2011-2016
Summary 12 Structure Of Consumer Expenditure By Main Category, 2011-2016
Summary 13 Consumer Expenditure By Main Category, Per Household, Constant (2016) Prices, US$, 2011, 2016, 2021
Summary 14 Households By Income Band, % Of Total, Constant (2016) Prices 2011, 2016, 2021
Summary 15 Households By Income Band, ‘000, Current Prices 2011-2016
Summary 16 Inflation, 2011-2016
Summary 17 Transport Indicators, 2011-2016
Summary 18 Possession of Consumer Durables, % of Households, 2011, 2016, 2021