The structure of the Dominican population is predominantly young, with a median age of 25 years old, but with an aging tendency, due to the changes in the age structure generated by the demographic transition. These changes come from a drastic reduction in the birth rate, a rate which had surpassed 7.5 children per woman in the 60s, to 3.0 children per woman at the end of the millennium.
Breve mirada a las preferencias de fecundidad de la población dominicana
Panorama Estadístico. Dicembre 2008 (PDF)
A report on the results of ENDESA 2005 describes the Dominican population panorama according to the preliminary data of the 2002 Census and the perspectives that the investigation established. The report highlighted that the decrease in fertility has caused the reduction in the rhythm of growth of annual births.
The document “Dominican Republic: National Projections of Population by sex and age group, 1990-2025” (CESDEM, ONAPLAN y Development Associates, 1999) estimates a global birthrate for 2000-2005 of 2.7 children per woman and for 2005-2010, 2.5 children per woman.
In full demographic transition, the Dominican Republic has begun to evolve into an older population, as highlighted by a study on “Scenarios for a policy on population and development” of the Consejo Nacional de Población y Familia and the United National Population Fund, which underscores that the process of population aging is slow and still very initial.
The perspective on the growth of the Dominican population for the period 2005-2015, in accordance with the projections of the Oficina Nacional de Planificación (ONAPLAN) in the cited study indicate that during said period, the age structure of the Dominican population will continue widening on the fringe of the central ages, diminishing the proportion of children and increasing, at the same time, the proportion of the elderly.
Still, the study warns that because the process “is derived from a growing demand for social services for the people of productive age, the decrease in the proportion of children is a process that occurs slowly, which signifies that in the period, it will be ever more important to satisfy the needs of the children, who will arrive to the year 2015 representing 28% of the total population in the case of the median hypothesis; 29.5% and 25.5% in the high and low hypotheses, respectively.”
The phenomenon of migration, for which a negative, decreasing rate is foreseen for the coming years, is another important condition in the Dominican demographic dynamic, in great measure due to the influx of Haitians in the last decades and in lesser proportion to the arrival of Spaniards, Italians, French and Canadians, among others, for the growth of the tourist sector and other factors. In addition, the significant emigration of Dominicans is a factor, first to the United States and second, to Europe.
The ever more urban profile of the country is another fundamental variable in the case. While in 1993, the percentage of urban influx arrived at 56%, four years later, it surpassed 60% and continued growing.