Map Haiti
Maps copyright Hammond World Atlas Corp.

Flag of Haiti


Background: The native Taino Amerindians - who inhabited the island of Hispaniola when it was discovered by COLUMBUS in 1492 - were virtually annihilated by Spanish settlers within 25 years. In the early 17th century, the French established a presence on Hispaniola. In 1697, Spain ceded to the French the western third of the island, which later became Haiti. The French colony, based on forestry and sugar-related industries, became one of the wealthiest in the Caribbean but only through the heavy importation of African slaves and considerable environmental degradation. In the late 18th century, Haiti's nearly half million slaves revolted under Toussaint L'OUVERTURE. After a prolonged struggle, Haiti became the first black republic to declare independence in 1804. The poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti has been plagued by political violence for most of its history. After an armed rebellion led to the forced resignation and exile of President Jean-Bertrand ARISTIDE in February 2004, an interim government took office to organize new elections under the auspices of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). Continued violence and technical delays prompted repeated postponements, but Haiti finally did inaugurate a democratically elected president and parliament in May of 2006. A massive magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti in January 2010 with an epicenter about 15 km southwest of the capital, Port-au-Prince. An estimated 2 million people live within the zone of heavy to moderate structural damage. The earthquake is assessed as the worst in this region over the last 200 years and massive international assistance will be required to help the country recover.
Location: Caribbean, western one-third of the island of Hispaniola, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, west of the Dominican Republic
Area land: 27,560 sq km
Area water: 190 sq km
Coastline: 1,771 km
Country name conventional long form: Republic of Haiti
Country name conventional short form: Haiti
Country name former: Republic of Haiti
Population: 9,719,932
Age structure: 0-14 years: 35.9% (male 1,748,677/female 1,742,199); 15-64 years: 60.1% (male 2,898,251/female 2,947,272); 65 years and over: 3.9% (male 170,584/female 212,949) (2011 est.);
Population growth rate: 0.787%
Birth rate: 24.4 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate: 8.21 deaths/1,000 population
Net migration rate: -8.32 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.011 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.62 male(s)/female; total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2011 est.);
Infant mortality rate: total: 54.02 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 58.16 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 49.83 deaths/1,000 live births;

note: the preliminary 2011 numbers differ significantly from those of 2010, which were strongly influenced by the demographic effect of the January 2010 earthquake; the latest figures more closely correspond to those of 2009 (2011 est.)

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 62.17 years; male: 60.84 years; female: 63.53 years;
note: the preliminary 2011 numbers differ significantly from those of 2010, which were strongly influenced by the demographic effect of the January 2010 earthquake; the latest figures more closely correspond to those of 2009 (2011 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.07 children born/woman (2011 est.);
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 1.9% (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 120,000 (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 7,100 (2009 est.);
Nationality: noun: Haitian(s); adjective: Haitian;
Ethnic groups: black 95%, mulatto and white 5%;
Religions: Roman Catholic 80%, Protestant 16% (Baptist 10%, Pentecostal 4%, Adventist 1%, other 1%), none 1%, other 3%;
note: roughly half of the population practices voodoo

Languages: French (official), Creole (official);
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 52.9%; male: 54.8%; female: 51.2% (2003 est.);
GDP (purchasing power parity): $11.53 billion (2010 est.); $12.15 billion (2009 est.); $11.81 billion (2008 est.);
note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate): $6.593 billion (2010 est.);
GDP - real growth rate: -5.1% (2010 est.); 2.9% (2009 est.); 0.8% (2008 est.);
GDP - per capita (PPP): $1,200 (2010 est.); $1,200 (2009 est.); $1,300 (2008 est.);
note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 25%; industry: 16%; services: 59% (2009 est.);
Population below poverty line: 80% (2003 est.);
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 0.7%; highest 10%: 47.7% (2001);
Labor force: 4.81 million;
note: shortage of skilled labor, unskilled labor abundant (2007)

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 38.1%; industry: 11.5%; services: 50.4% (1995);
Unemployment rate: (2010 est.);
note: widespread unemployment and underemployment; more than two-thirds of the labor force do not have formal jobs

Budget: revenues: $900 million; expenditures: $2.6 billion (2010 est.);
Industries: textiles, sugar refining, flour milling, cement, light assembly based on imported parts;
Industrial production growth rate: -4.8% (2010 est.);
Electricity - production: 650 million kWh (2010 est.);
Electricity - consumption: 309 million kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2008 est.);
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2008 est.);

Statistics: CIA World Factbook.


Haïti Progrès

(Independent weekly), Port-au-Prince

Le Moniteur


Haiti in the News

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Displaying 9 to 12 of 24 items.

Behind Latin America's Food Crisis

In the Western Hemisphere, two countries—Haiti and Mexico—reveal the forces that are leading societies into a crisis that could become permanent if deep changes aren't made.

Haitian Food Riots Unnerving but Not Surprising

Haiti's geopolitical position—especially its close proximity to the United States and level of dependence on foreign aid—highlights the contradictions and flaws in the system of international aid.

U.N. Troops Accused of Human Rights Violations in Haiti

There is very little discussion in Brazil about the country's role in the occupation of Haiti, and especially, about the accusations leveled against the United Nations troops.

Human Rights Award Stirs Controversy Among Dominicans

The 2006 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award was recently awarded to Sonia Pierre.

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