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This page was last updated on 6 March, 2008


Map of Haiti



Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Haiti Top of Page
Background:
Definition Field Listing
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, and 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 its 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 departure 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.
   Geography    Haiti Top of Page
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Caribbean, western one-third of the island of Hispaniola, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, west of the Dominican Republic
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
19 00 N, 72 25 W
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Central America and the Caribbean
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 27,750 sq km
land: 27,560 sq km
water: 190 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly smaller than Maryland
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 360 km
border countries: Dominican Republic 360 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
1,771 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: to depth of exploitation
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
tropical; semiarid where mountains in east cut off trade winds
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
mostly rough and mountainous
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Chaine de la Selle 2,680 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
bauxite, copper, calcium carbonate, gold, marble, hydropower
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 28.11%
permanent crops: 11.53%
other: 60.36% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
920 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:
Definition Field Listing
14 cu km (2000)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
Definition Field Listing
total: 0.99 cu km/yr (5%/1%/94%)
per capita: 116 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
lies in the middle of the hurricane belt and subject to severe storms from June to October; occasional flooding and earthquakes; periodic droughts
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
extensive deforestation (much of the remaining forested land is being cleared for agriculture and used as fuel); soil erosion; inadequate supplies of potable water
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Hazardous Wastes
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
shares island of Hispaniola with Dominican Republic (western one-third is Haiti, eastern two-thirds is the Dominican Republic)
   People    Haiti Top of Page
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
8,706,497
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2007 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 42.1% (male 1,846,175/female 1,817,082)
15-64 years: 54.4% (male 2,313,542/female 2,426,326)
65 years and over: 3.5% (male 134,580/female 168,792) (2007 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 18.4 years
male: 17.9 years
female: 18.8 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
2.453% (2007 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
35.87 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
10.4 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
-0.94 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.016 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.954 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.797 male(s)/female
total population: 0.973 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 63.83 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 68.45 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 59.07 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 57.03 years
male: 55.35 years
female: 58.75 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4.86 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.6% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
280,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
24,000 (2003 est.)
Major infectious diseases:
Definition Field Listing
degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria
water contact disease: leptospirosis (2008)
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Haitian(s)
adjective: Haitian
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
black 95%, mulatto and white 5%
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
French (official), Creole (official)
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 52.9%
male: 54.8%
female: 51.2% (2003 est.)
   Government    Haiti Top of Page
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Republic of Haiti
conventional short form: Haiti
local long form: Republique d'Haiti/Repiblik d' Ayiti
local short form: Haiti/Ayiti
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
republic
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
name: Port-au-Prince
geographic coordinates: 18 32 N, 72 20 W
time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins first Sunday in April; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
10 departments (departements, singular - departement); Artibonite, Centre, Grand 'Anse, Nippes, Nord, Nord-Est, Nord-Ouest, Ouest, Sud, Sud-Est
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
1 January 1804 (from France)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 1 January (1804)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
approved March 1987; suspended June 1988 with most articles reinstated March 1989; constitutional government ousted in a military coup in September 1991, although in October 1991, military government claimed to be observing the constitution; returned to constitutional rule in October 1994; constitution, while technically in force between 2004-2006, was not enforced; returned to constitutional rule in May 2006
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on Roman civil law system; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President Rene PREVAL (since 14 May 2006)
head of government: Prime Minister Jacques-Edouard ALEXIS (since 30 May 2006)
cabinet: Cabinet chosen by the prime minister in consultation with the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (may not serve consecutive terms); election last held 7 February 2006 (next to be held in 2011); prime minister appointed by the president, ratified by the National Assembly
election results: Rene PREVAL elected president; percent of vote - Rene PREVAL 51%
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
bicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale consists of the Senate (30 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve six-year terms; one-third elected every two years) and the Chamber of Deputies (99 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms); note - in reestablishing the Senate, the candidate in each department receiving the most votes in the last election serves six years, the candidate with the second most votes serves four years, and the candidate with the third most votes serves two years
elections: Senate - last held 21 April 2006 with run-off elections on 3 December 2006 (next regular election, for one third of seats, to be held by January 2008 but will probably be postponed); Chamber of Deputies - last held 21 April 2006 with run-off elections on 3 December 2006 and 29 April 2007 (next regular election to be held in 2010)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - L'ESPWA 11, FUSION 5, OPL 4, FL 3, LAAA 2, UNCRH 2, PONT 2, ALYANS 1; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - L'ESPWA 23, FUSION 17, FRN 12, OPL 10, ALYANS 10, LAAA 5, MPH 3, MOCHRENA 3, other 10; results for six other seats contested on 3 December 2006 remain unknown
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme Court or Cour de Cassation
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Artibonite in Action or LAAA [Youri LATORTUE]; Assembly of Progressive National Democrats or RDNP [Leslie MANIGAT]; Convention for Democratic Unity or KID [Evans PAUL]; Cooperative Action to Build Haiti or KONBA [Evans LESCOUFALIR]; Democratic Alliance or ALYANS [Evans PAUL] (coalition composed of KID and PPRH); Effort and Solidarity to Create an Alternative for the People or ESKAMP [Joseph JASME]; For Us All or PONT [Jean-Marie CHERESTAL]; Front for Hope or L'ESPWA [Rene PREVAL] (alliance of ESKAMP, PLB, and grass-roots organizations Grand-Anse Resistance Committee, the Central Plateau Peasants' Group, and Kombit Sudest); Haitian Christian Democratic Party or PDCH [Osner FEVRY and Marie-Denise CLAUDE]; Haitian Democratic and Reform Movement or MODEREH [Dany TOUSSAINT and Pierre Soncon PRINCE]; Heads Together or Tet-Ansanm [Dr. Gerard BLOT]; Independent Movement for National Reconciliation or MIRN [Luc FLEURINORD]; Justice for Peace and National Development or JPDN [Rigaud DUPLAN]; Fanmi Lavalas or FL [Rudy HERIVEAUX]; Liberal Party of Haiti or PLH [Gehy MICHEL]; Merging of Haitian Social Democratic Parties or FUSION or FPSDH [Serge GILLES] (coalition of Ayiti Capable, Haitian National Revolutionary Party, and National Congress of Democratic Movements); Mobilization for Haiti's Development or MPH [Samir MOURRA]; Mobilization for National Development or MDN [Hubert de RONCERAY]; Movement for National Reconstruction or MRN [Jean Henold BUTEAU]; Movement for the Installation of Democracy in Haiti or MIDH [Marc BAZIN]; National Christian Union for the Reconstruction of Haiti or UNCRH [Marie Claude GERMAIN]; National Front for the Reconstruction of Haiti or FRN [Guy PHILIPPE]; New Christian Movement for a New Haiti or MOCHRENA [Luc MESADIEU]; Open the Gate Party or PLB [Anes LUBIN]; Popular Party for the Renewal of Haiti or PPRH [Claude ROMAIN]; Struggling People's Organization or OPL [Edgard LEBLANC]; Union of Nationalist and Progressive Haitians or UNITE [Edouard FRANCISQUE]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Autonomous Organizations of Haitian Workers or CATH [Fignole ST-CYR]; Confederation of Haitian Workers or CTH; Federation of Workers Trade Unions or FOS; General Organization of Independent Haitian Workers [Patrick NUMAS]; Grand-Anse Resistance Committee, or KOREGA; National Popular Assembly or APN; Papaye Peasants Movement or MPP [Chavannes JEAN-BAPTISTE]; Popular Organizations Gathering Power or PROP; Roman Catholic Church; Protestant Federation of Haiti
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
ACCT, ACP, Caricom, CDB, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OIF, OPANAL, OPCW (signatory), PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Raymond JOSEPH
chancery: 2311 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 332-4090
FAX: [1] (202) 745-7215
consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Miami, New York, San Juan (Puerto Rico)
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Janet A. SANDERSON
embassy: 5 Harry S Truman Boulevard, Bicentenaire-Port-au-Prince
mailing address: P. O. Box 1761, Port-au-Prince
telephone: [509] 222-0200
FAX: [509] 223-9038
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
two equal horizontal bands of blue (top) and red with a centered white rectangle bearing the coat of arms, which contains a palm tree flanked by flags and two cannons above a scroll bearing the motto L'UNION FAIT LA FORCE (Union Makes Strength)
   Economy    Haiti Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with 80% of the population living under the poverty line and 54% in abject poverty. Two-thirds of all Haitians depend on the agricultural sector, mainly small-scale subsistence farming, and remain vulnerable to damage from frequent natural disasters, exacerbated by the country's widespread deforestation. A macroeconomic program developed in 2005 with the help of the International Monetary Fund helped the economy grow 3.5% in 2007, the highest growth rate since 1999. US economic engagement under the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement (HOPE) Act, passed in December 2006, has boosted the garment and automotive parts exports and investment by providing tariff-free access to the US. Haiti suffers from higher inflation than similar low-income countries, a lack of investment due to insecurity and limited infrastructure, and a severe trade deficit. In 2005, Haiti paid its arrears to the World Bank, paving the way for reengagement with the Bank. The government relies on formal international economic assistance for fiscal sustainability. Remittances are the primary source of foreign exchange, equaling nearly a quarter of GDP and over double the total for exports.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$15.82 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing
$5.295 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.5% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$1,900 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 28%
industry: 20%
services: 52% (2004 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.6 million
note: shortage of skilled labor, unskilled labor abundant (1995)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 66%
industry: 9%
services: 25% (1995)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
widespread unemployment and underemployment; more than two-thirds of the labor force do not have formal jobs (2002 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
80% (2003 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 0.7%
highest 10%: 47.7% (2001)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
59.2 (2001)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
8.9% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
28.9% of GDP (2006 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $918.6 million
expenditures: $1.036 billion (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
coffee, mangoes, sugarcane, rice, corn, sorghum; wood
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
sugar refining, flour milling, textiles, cement, light assembly based on imported parts
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.5% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
535 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
322 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2005)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
12,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
11,840 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$-184.8 million (2007 est.)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$554.8 million f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
apparel, manufactures, oils, cocoa, mangoes, coffee
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 79.8%, Dominican Republic 7.6%, Canada 3% (2006)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$1.844 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
food, manufactured goods, machinery and transport equipment, fuels, raw materials
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 46.5%, Netherlands Antilles 11.9%, Brazil 3.8% (2006)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$515 million (2005 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$220.6 million (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$1.248 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$NA
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing
gourde (HTG)
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
gourdes per US dollar - 37.138 (2007), 40.232 (2006), 40.449 (2005), 38.352 (2004), 42.367 (2003)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
1 October - 30 September
   Communications    Haiti Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
145,300 (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
500,200 (2005)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: domestic facilities barely adequate; international facilities slightly better; telephone density in Haiti remains the lowest in the Latin American and Caribbean region
domestic: coaxial cable and microwave radio relay trunk service; combined fixed and mobile-cellular teledensity is about 8 per 100 persons
international: country code - 509; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 41, FM 26, shortwave 0 (1999)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
2 (plus a cable TV service) (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.ht
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
7 (2007)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
650,000 (2006)
   Transportation    Haiti Top of Page
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
14 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 3 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 10
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 9 (2007)
Roadways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 4,160 km
paved: 1,011 km
unpaved: 3,149 km (1999)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing
Cap-Haitien
   Military    Haiti Top of Page
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
no regular military forces - small coast guard; the regular Haitian Armed Forces (FAdH) - Army, Navy, and Air Force - have been demobilized but still exist on paper unless they are constitutionally abolished (2007)
Manpower available for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 1,626,491
females age 18-49: 1,637,657 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 948,320
females age 18-49: 931,972 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 98,554
females age 18-49: 97,690 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0.4% (2006)
   Transnational Issues    Haiti Top of Page
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
since 2004, about 8,000 peacekeepers from the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) maintain civil order in Haiti; despite efforts to control illegal migration, Haitians cross into the Dominican Republic and sail to neighboring countries; Haiti claims US-administered Navassa Island
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
Caribbean transshipment point for cocaine en route to the US and Europe; substantial bulk cash smuggling activity; Colombian narcotics traffickers favor Haiti for illicit financial transactions; pervasive corruption; significant consumer of cannabis

This page was last updated on 6 March, 2008


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