Dominica (/ˌdɒmɪˈniːkə/ DOM-i-NEE-kə; French: Dominique; Island Carib: Wai‘tu kubuli), officially the Commonwealth of Dominica, is a sovereign island country. The capital, Roseau, is located on the leeward side of the island. It is part of the Windward islands in the Lesser Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean Sea. The island lies south-southeast of Guadeloupe and northwest of Martinique. Its area is 750 square kilometres (290 sq mi) and the highest point is Morne Diablotins, at 1,447 metres (4,747 ft) elevation. The population was 72,301 at the 2014 census. The island was originally inhabited by the Kalinago and later colonised by the Europeans, predominately by the French from the 1690s, who arrived long after Columbus passed the island on Sunday, 3 November 1493; the island's name is derived from the Latin for "Sunday". Great Britain took it over in 1763 after the Seven Years' War and gradually established English as the official language. The island republic gained independence in 1978. Its name is pronounced with emphasis on the third syllable, related to its French name of Dominique. Dominica has been nicknamed the "Nature Isle of the Caribbean" for its unspoiled natural beauty. It is the youngest island in the Lesser Antilles, still being formed by geothermal-volcanic activity, as evidenced by the world's second-largest hot spring, Boiling Lake. The island has lush mountainous rainforests, and is the home of many rare plants, animals, and bird species. There are xeric areas in some of the western coastal regions, but heavy rainfall occurs inland. The Sisserou parrot, also known as the imperial amazon and found only on Dominica, is the island's national bird and featured on the national flag. Dominica's economy depends on tourism and agriculture.
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