By 1804 the black African slaves in the western portion of the island (now Haiti) rebelled against the French and ruled the entire island.
French troops eventually reclaimed the island, but were able to occupy only the western end.
Seventy-three percent of the population is mixed race—combinations of descendants of Spaniards and other Europeans, West African slaves, and natives.
Sixteen percent is Caucasian and 11 percent is black, which includes a Haitian minority.
The Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo is one of the great treasures of Spanish America today, with many original buildings intact and restored. The population of the Dominican Republic is about 8.4 million (2000 estimate) and is increasing at a rate of 1.6 percent per year.