Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas
Summit of the Americas

Dominican Republic and Luis Abinader: An Overview



This article is adapted from AQ’special report on the Summit of the Americas. Click here for the full list of countries.

Dominican Republic

President: Luis Abinader

Term: 2020-2024

A wealthy former businessman with some of the Americas’ highest approval ratings, Abinader ended the Dominican Liberation Party’s 16-year hold on the presidency when he was elected in 2020. The president has made an anti-corruption push, and authorities have investigated alleged corruption from members of the previous administration and from Abinader’s government. He has sought to improve regional relations by joining the Alliance for Development in Democracy with Costa Rica and Panama to promote political ties and economic growth. The economy has benefited from pandemic-era tourism, and GDP grew by 10.4% in 2021, according to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. The Abinader administration has been criticized for mistreatment of Haitians amid a spike in deportations and construction of a wall along the border. Abinader was among leaders named in the Pandora Papers for holding offshore accounts in tax havens, but denies wrongdoing.

To facilitate comparisons among these 10 countries,
the data is color-coded:   
High performing   
Middle performing   
Low performing

Governance

President’s approval rating 70%
Capacity to Combat Corruption Index ranking (out of 15 Latin American countries) 5
Share of adults who support democracy* 62%
Military expenditure as % GDP 0.7%

Economy

Performance:   
High   
Middle   
Low
Projected GDP growth 2022 5%
Projected inflation 2022 5.7%
Total trade as % of GDP 44%
Unemployment 6%
Share of labor force in informal economy 54.5%
Share of population living in extreme poverty 5.6%

Society

Performance:   
High   
Middle   
Low
Population (millions) 10.9
Homicide rate (per 100,000 people) 10.3
Annual carbon dioxide emissions (millions of tons) 27.8
Share of public social spending on education 37.5%
Global press freedom ranking (out of 180 countries) 50

Argentina | Brazil | Chile | Colombia | Ecuador | Guatemala | Mexico | Venezuela

*NOTE: Support for democracy reflects percentage who agree that democracy is preferable to any other form of government.

Sources: Approval rating: CID Gallup (February); support for democracy: Latin American Public Opinion Project (2021); Capacity to Combat Corruption Index (2022); military expenditure: Stockholm International Peace Institute (2021); GDP, inflation: Bloomberg (March); total trade: World Bank (2020); unemployment: Trading Economics (March); informal labor force: International Labor Organization (2020); poverty, population, education spending: Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (2020); Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index (2021); homicide rate: InSight Crime (2021); CO2 emissions: Global Carbon Project (2020)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sweigart is an editor at Americas Quarterly and a policy manager at the Americas Society/Council of the Americas.

Tags: Dominican Republic, Luis Abinader
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