Provinces of the Dominican Republic

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Some sources, including [9], spell Higuamo "Higüamo." In general Spanish usage, the diaeresis indicates that a "u" is not silent, but pronounced more or less like "w" in English. Without a diaeresis, "u" is only silent when it is preceded by "g" and followed by "e" or "i"; in those cases, its function is to harden the "g." Therefore, the diaeresis should never be needed between "g" and "a"; in that environment, the "u" would be pronounced anyway.

"Geopolitical Entities, Names, and Codes, Edition 2" (GENC), a U.S. standard that's supposed to correspond to ISO 3166-2, was issued on 2014-03-31. It gives codes for the regions, and they differ from the GEC codes. When ISO 3166-2 codes are defined for a subdivision, the GENC codes usually match them. However, in this case, ISO hasn't yet issued codes for the regions.

Update 15 to the GEC, the successor to the FIPS standard, is dated 2014-03-31. GEC now considers the regions, rather than the provinces, as primary subdivisions.

Update 13 to Geopolitical Entities and Codes (formerly FIPS 10-4) is dated 2013-09-30. It changes three province names. Bahoruco is going back to Baoruco; the accent is removed from El Seíbo; and the name change of Salcedo to Hermanas Mirabal is shown.

FIPS PUB 10-4 Change Notice 13 was issued on 2008-02-04. The Dominican Republic is affected only by a change of spelling from Baoruco to Bahoruco.

The new provinces of San Jose de Ocoa and Santo Domingo were incorporated into the FIPS standard by FIPS Publication Change Notice No. 10, affecting FIPS PUB 10-4, issued on 2006-03-23. They were incorporated into the ISO standard by the issuance of the second edition of ISO 3166-2, dated 2007-12-15.

With respect to telephone dialing, the Dominican Republic is in the North American Numbering Plan (NANP), which means that its international dialing code is 1, followed by the area code. The Dominican Republic originally was in area code 809, but in 2005 it was overlaid with area code 829, and in 2010 further overlaid with 849.

Update I-1 to ISO 3166-2 was published on 2000-06-21. All of the provinces were originally assigned two-letter codes by the ISO secretariat. Those have been replaced by two-digit codes taken from source [1]. This eliminates an error in ISO 3166-2, where the code EP was used for two provinces. Also, the update changed the spelling of one of the provinces' names from El Seibo to El Seybo. Nonetheless, the spelling "El Seibo" is still predominant.

Country overview: 

ISO codeDO
LanguageSpanish (es)
Time zone-4
CapitalSanto Domingo


The Dominican Republic shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti. The boundary between these two countries has remained fairly stable throughout the 20th century. Unfortunately, the same can't be said about their system of government. The Dominican Republic was dominated by Rafael Trujillo from 1930 to 1961. He and his family attempted to impose their names on several geographical features.

Other names of country: 

  1. Danish: Den Dominikanske Republik
  2. Dutch: Dominicaanse Republiek
  3. Finnish: Dominikaaninen tasavalta
  4. French: République f dominicaine
  5. German: Dominikanische Republik f
  6. Icelandic: Dóminíska lýðveldið
  7. Italian: Repubblica f Dominicana
  8. Norwegian: Den dominikanske republikk (Bokmål), Den dominikanske republikken (Nynorsk)
  9. Portuguese: República f Dominicana
  10. Russian: Доминиканская Республика
  11. Spanish: República f Dominicana
  12. Swedish: Dominikanska republiken
  13. Turkish: Dominik Cumhuriyeti

Origin of name: 

from Santo Domingo, the capital, which was named by Columbus in 1496 in honor of his father's patron saint.

Primary subdivisions: 

The Dominican Republic is divided into 31 provinces and one district.

AzuaDO.AZ02DR0171V214,3112,6881,038Azua (de Compostela)
BarahonaDO.BH04DR0381Q187,1051,647636(Santa Cruz de) Barahona
Distrito NacionalDO.NC01DR3410O965,0409135Santo Domingo
DuarteDO.DU06DR0631D289,5741,640633San Francisco de Macorís
Elías PiñaDO.EP07DR1173E63,0291,397539Comendador
El SeiboDO.SE08DR2824Y87,6801,775685(Santa Cruz de) El Seibo
Hato MayorDO.HM30DR2925H85,0171,324511Hato Mayor (del Rey)
Hermanas MirabalDO.SC19DR1934D92,193430166Salcedo
La AltagraciaDO.AL11DR1023Y273,2103,0011,159(Salvaleón de) Higüey
La RomanaDO.RO12DR1222Y245,433656253La Romana
La VegaDO.VE13DR3041S394,2052,274878(Concepción de) La Vega
María Trinidad SánchezDO.MT14DR1433D140,9251,212468(Trinidad Sánchez) Nagua
Monseñor NouelDO.MN28DR3142S165,224992383Bonao
Monte CristiDO.MC15DR1562C109,6071,886728(San Fernando de) Monte Cristi
Monte PlataDO.MP29DR3292H185,9562,6131,009Monte Plata
Puerto PlataDO.PP18DR1857N321,597819316(San Felipe de) Puerto Plata
SamanáDO.SM20DR2032D101,494845326(Santa Bárbara de) Samaná
Sánchez RamírezDO.SZ24DR2143S151,3921,191460Cotuí
San CristóbalDO.CR21DR3391V569,9301,240479San Cristóbal
San José de OcoaDO.JO31DR3693V59,544853329San José de Ocoa
San JuanDO.JU22DR2372E232,3333,3601,297San Juan (de la Maguana)
San Pedro de MacorísDO.PM23DR2421H290,4581,255484San Pedro de Macorís
SantiagoDO.ST25DR2551N963,4222,8091,084Santiago (de los Caballeros)
Santiago RodríguezDO.SR26DR2664C57,4761,152445(San Ignacio de) Sabaneta
Santo DomingoDO.SD32DR37107O2,374,3701,302503Santo Domingo Este
32 divisions9,445,28146,88818,104
  • Province: except for Distrito Nacional, which is a district.
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes (based on the original ISO 3166-2 codes).
  • ISO: codes from ISO 3166-2, same as ONE codes.
  • FIPS: codes from FIPS PUB 10-4 (deprecated).
  • Pc: Beginning of range of postal codes (see below).
  • Rg: Region abbreviation (see below).
  • Population: 2010-12-01 census.
  • Capital: When part of the name of a capital is in parentheses, that means that the capital has a short,
    informal name, and a formal name including the parenthetical part. The shorter form is commonly used.

Postal codes: 

In 2005, the Dominican Republic switched from four-digit to five-digit postal codes. In Distrito Nacional (10000-10699) and Santo Domingo (10700-11999), hundreds of codes have been assigned; in the rest of the provinces, the last three digits are always 000. The first digit determines a region, as defined by the Instituto Postal Dominicano. For details, see the table below.

Further subdivisions:

See the Municipalities of the Dominican Republic page.

The provinces are subdivided into municipios (municipalities). There were 61 of them in 1935, rising to 97 in 1993, and 161 in 2002, but falling to 155 in 2007. The municipalities are further subdivided into 380 distritos (districts), which are classified as either distritos cabeceras or distritos municipales. The Oficina Nacional de Estadística (ONE) has created a hierarchical system of codes in the format "nn nn nn", where each "n" is a digit. The first two digits represent the province, the first four represent a municipality, and the full set represent a district. Trailing digits are all 0's for the higher-level divisions. See source [1] for details.

The 2010 census report divides the country into ten regions. I have given them arbitrary one-letter abbreviations as a key in the table of provinces. The postal regions are a bit different. In the table below, the Postal column gives the names of the postal regions and the first digit of the corresponding postal codes. The correspondence isn't exact, however. Azua is in Valdesia census region but has a postal code for El Valle, and Monte Plata is in Higuamo census region but has a postal code for Valdesia.

The regions have apparently changed over the years. The 2002 census report has regions that match the postal regions more exactly. It calls them regiones de desarrollo (development regions). The names are the same as those of the postal regions, except that it uses "Nordeste" instead of "Norte". Source [6] has a still earlier version of the system, dated 1990. In it, the Cibaos are partitioned differently, Higuamo is split between Valdesia and Yuma, and Ozama is included in Valdesia.

Cibao NordesteDR38DO-33DN3 Norte624,186San Francisco de Macorís
Cibao NoroesteDR39DO-34CN6 Noroeste394,068Mao
Cibao NorteDR40DO-35NN5 Norcentral1,516,957Santiago
Cibao SurDR41DO-36SN4 Cibao Central710,821La Vega
El ValleDR42DO-37EO7 El Valle295,362San Juan de la Maguana
EnriquilloDR43DO-38QO8 Enriquillo368,594Barahona
HiguamoDR44DO-39HE2 Este561,431San Pedro de Macorís
OzamaDR45DO-40OE1 Distrito Nacional3,339,410Santo Domingo Este
ValdesiaDR46DO-41VO9 Valdesia1,028,129San Cristóbal
YumaDR47DO-42YE2 Este606,323La Romana
  • GEC: Geopolitical Entities and Codes.
  • GENC: Geopolitical Entities, Names, and Codes.
  • Rg: Arbitrary abbreviation.
  • MR: Macroregion code (Norte, surOeste, surEste).
  • Postal: Postal region.
  • Population: 2010-12-01 census.

Territorial extent: 

  1. Independencia contains most of Lago Enriquilla, including all of Isla Cabritos.
  2. La Altagracia includes Isla Saona.
  3. Pedernales includes Isla Beata and Cayo los Frailes.

Origins of names: 

  1. Azua: native word for Spanish montuna, which can mean either mountainous or hard to tame
  2. Bahoruco: Taino name for the Yaque del Sur River
  3. Distrito Nacional: = national district
  4. Duarte: named for Juan Pablo Duarte, 19th-century revolutionary
  5. Elías Piña: named for Colonel Elías Piña, hero of the wars of independence
  6. Espaillat: named for Ulises Francisco Espaillat (1823-1878), 19th-century author and governor
  7. Hato Mayor: = greater cattle-raising district
  8. Hermanas Mirabal: named for the Mirabal sisters (Patria, Minerva, and María Teresa), martyred for their opposition to Rafael Trujillo.
  9. La Altagracia: the brothers Alonso and Antonio de Trejo arrived from Spain in the early 16th century with a painting of Our Lady of La Altagracia. Miracles are attributed to it.
  10. Monseñor Nouel: named for a president of the republic, Monseñor Dr. Adolfo Alejandro Nouel y Bobadilla
  11. María Trinidad Sánchez: named for a female soldier in the wars of independence
  12. Pedernales: = flints
  13. Puerto Plata: = silver port
  14. Sánchez Ramírez: named for Brigadier Juan Sánchez Ramírez, hero of the battle of Palo Incado (1808)
  15. San Pedro de Macorís: macorís is a native word for "speaker of a foreign language"
  16. Santiago Rodríguez: named for one of the founders of the city (founded in 1844)
  17. Valverde: named for General José Desiderio Valverde, 19th-century governor

Change history: 

  1. 1882-09-10: San Pedro de Macorís became distrito marítimo (maritime district, equivalent to province).
  2. The provinces in 1935 were Azua, Barahona, Duarte, Espaillat, La Vega, Montecristi, Puerto Plata, Samaná, San Pedro de Macorís, Santiago, Santo Domingo (modern Distrito Nacional), Seibo (modern El Seibo), and Trujillo (modern San Cristóbal). The territory of the old province is usually larger than that of the modern province because of subsequent splitting. As a rule, the capital of the old province is the same as the capital of the modern province I have mentioned.
  3. 1936: Name of national capital changed from Santo Domingo to Ciudad Trujillo, after the dictator Rafael Trujillo, who came to power in 1930. Name of Distrito Nacional changed to Distrito de Santo Domingo.
  4. 1938-04-19: Benefactor province (modern San Juan) split from Azua; Libertador province (modern Dajabón) split from Montecristi; Monseñor de Meriño province split from Trujillo.
  5. 1939: Monseñor de Meriño province split, part merged with Trujillo, and the rest merged with Distrito de Santo Domingo.
  6. 1942: San Rafael province (modern Elías Piña) split from Benefactor.
  7. 1943-03-10: Bahoruco province split from Barahona (or Azua?).
  8. 1944: José Trujillo Valdez province split from Azua.
  9. 1945: La Altagracia province (capital La Romana) split from Seibo.
  10. 1948: Santiago Rodríguez province split from Montecristi, now spelled Monte Cristi.
  11. 1950-01-01: Independencia province split from Bahoruco.
  12. 1952-08-16: Salcedo province split from Espaillat; Sánchez Ramírez province split from Duarte.
  13. 1957: Name of Distrito de Santo Domingo restored to Distrito Nacional.
  14. 1958: Pedernales province split from Barahona.
  15. 1959-01-01: Valverde province split from Santiago.
  16. 1961: Rafael Trujillo assassinated on 1961-05-30. Name of national capitol restored to Santo Domingo; name of Trujillo province changed to San Cristóbal; name of José Trujillo Valdez province changed to Peravia; name of Benefactor province changed to San Juan; name of Libertador province changed to Dajabón.
  17. ~1963: María Trinidad Sánchez province (at first also known as Trinidad Sánchez Nagua province) split from Samaná.
  18. 1965: Name of San Rafael province changed to La Estrelleta.
  19. 1967-05-12: Name of capital of Valverde changed from Valverde to Mao.
  20. ~1968: La Romana province split from La Altagracia.
  21. 1972: Name of La Estrelleta province changed to Elías Piña; name of its capital changed back to Comendador.
  22. ~1979: Name of capital of Santiago Rodríguez province changed from Santiago Rodríguez to Sabaneta (restoring the name previously changed in 1936).
  23. ~1992: Hato Mayor province split from El Seibo (former FIPS code DR07); Monseñor Nouel province split from La Vega (DR13); Monte Plata province split from San Cristóbal (DR22).
  24. 2000-09-01: Decree 685-00, article 46, defines development regions, each composed of one or more provinces.
  25. 2001-10-16: Santo Domingo province split from Distrito Nacional (former HASC code DO.DN, FIPS code DR05).
  26. 2002-01-01: San José de Ocoa province formed by taking the municipios of Rancho Arriba, Sabana Larga, and San José de Ocoa from Peravia (former codes DO.PR, DR17).
  27. 2004-07-30: Decree 710-04 modifies the development regions established in 2000.
  28. 2007-11-20: Name of Salcedo province changed to Hermanas Mirabal.

Other names of subdivisions: 

  1. Bahoruco: Baoruco (variant)
  2. Dajabón: Libertador (obsolete)
  3. Distrito Nacional: Santo Domingo (obsolete)
  4. Elías Piña: La Estrelleta, San Rafael (obsolete)
  5. El Seibo: El Seybo (variant); Seibo (obsolete)
  6. Hato Mayor: Hato Mayor del Rey (variant)
  7. Hermanas Mirabal: Salcedo (obsolete)
  8. María Trinidad Sánchez: Trinidad Sánchez Nagua (obsolete)
  9. Peravia: José Trujillo Valdez (obsolete)
  10. San Cristóbal: Trujillo (obsolete)
  11. San Juan: Benefactor (obsolete); San Juan de la Maguana (variant)
  12. Ozama: Metropolitana (variant)

Population history:

Distrito Nacional93,986239,464462,192817,0671,540,7862,193,046913,540965,040
Elías Piña33,01343,26653,22861,89564,64163,87963,029
El Seibo134,84797,710115,604132,795151,22796,77089,26187,680
Hato Mayor80,07487,63185,017
Hermanas Mirabal68,65689,77394,173101,81096,35692,193
La Altagracia74,087104,98787,18096,009115,685182,020273,210
La Romana56,995107,021166,550219,812245,433
La Vega166,353195,424248,069293,694389,950344,721385,101394,205
María Trinidad Sánchez85,18597,04399,731124,957135,727140,925
Monseñor Nouel149,318167,618165,224
Monte Cristi87,02282,58859,24069,27683,12495,705111,014109,607
Monte Plata167,148180,376185,956
Puerto Plata103,043133,652163,896185,800201,893261,485312,706321,597
Sánchez Ramírez93,498106,177119,866163,166151,179151,392
San Cristóbal159,117164,674249,776324,395444,948420,820532,880569,930
San José de Ocoa62,36859,544
San Juan106,802148,206191,065231,509252,637241,105232,333
San Pedro de Macorís59,35764,20568,953105,490147,777212,368301,744290,458
Santiago Rodríguez40,39949,95856,14462,14459,62957,476
Santo Domingo1,817,7542,374,370


The Dominican Republic has had nine modern censuses, starting with the census of 1920-12-24. Censuses of 1935 and 1960: source [2]. Census of 1950: source [7]. 1981 populations: source [3]. 1993, 2002 populations: source [4]. 2010 populations: source [8].


  1. [1] "Listado de Códigos por Provincias, Municipios y Distritos Municipales del País 1995" (List of Codes by Provinces, Municipalities and Municipal Districts of the Country 1995), ONE. The same codes, as well as the municipality and district codes, were found by going to the ONE codes page at (dead link, retrieved 2008-01-13) and downloading "Tabula de Municipios y Distritos Municipales al 2007 DC." Now a similar table can be found by going to ONE  and downloading "División Territorial 2008" (retrieved 2012-08-11).
  2. [2] Encyclopædia Britannica World Atlas (1951, 1957, 1964 editions).
  3. [3] "Desarrollo Humano en la República Dominicana: El Estado de los Indicadores Relevantes." (dead link, retrieved 2007-06).
  4. [4] "Resultados Definitivos, VIII Censo Nacional de Población y Vivienda 2002, Vol I," ONE. (dead link, retrieved 2007-06).
  5. [5] "República Dominicana, Album Estadístico Gráfico MCMXLIV, Año de Centenario". Dirección General de Estadística, Ciudad Trujillo, 1944-02-27.
  6. [6] Library of Congress country study  (retrieved 1999).
  7. [7] Demographic Yearbook , 7th Ed. Statistical Office of the United Nations, New York, 1955 (retrieved 2011-08-20).
  8. [8] Informe Básico , IX Censo Nacional de Población y Vivienda 2010. ONE, Santo Domingo, 2012-05-05 (retrieved 2012-08-11).
  9. [9] Decreto No. 710-04  (retrieved 2014-09-30).
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