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Haiti, See : Flags, Maps

Haiti (Central America and Caribbean)

Introduction ::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.

Geography ::Haiti


View Larger Map

Location:

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:
19 00 N, 72 25 W

Map references:

Central America and the Caribbean

Area:

total: 27,750 sq km country comparison to the world: 147 land: 27,560 sq km

water: 190 sq km

Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than Maryland

Land boundaries:

total: 360 km

border countries: Dominican Republic 360 km

postcard - Haiti

Coastline:

1,771 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: to depth of exploitation

Climate:

tropical; semiarid where mountains in east cut off trade winds

Terrain:

mostly rough and mountainous

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m

highest point: Chaine de la Selle 2,680 m

Natural resources:

bauxite, copper, calcium carbonate, gold, marble, hydropower

Haiti Two Years After

Land use:

arable land: 28.11%

permanent crops: 11.53%

other: 60.36% (2005)

Irrigated land:

920 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

14 cu km (2000)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 0.99 cu km/yr (5%/1%/94%)

per capita: 116 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards:

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:

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:

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:

shares island of Hispaniola with Dominican Republic (western one-third is Haiti, eastern two-thirds is the Dominican Republic)

People ::Haiti

Population:

9,719,932 country comparison to the world: 87 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, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (2011 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 38.1% (male 1,735,917/female 1,704,383)

15-64 years: 58.5% (male 2,621,059/female 2,665,447)

65 years and over: 3.4% (male 120,040/female 188,690) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 21.1 years

male: 20.9 years

female: 21.4 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

0.787% country comparison to the world: 139 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.)

Birth rate:

24.4 births/1,000 population (2011 est.) country comparison to the world: 68

Death rate:

8.21 deaths/1,000 population country comparison to the world: 98 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.)

Net migration rate:

-8.32 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.) country comparison to the world: 210

Urbanization:

urban population: 47% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 4.5% annual rate of change (2005-10 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 (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 54.02 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 43 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 country comparison to the world: 179 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.) country comparison to the world: 64

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

2.2% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 28

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

120,000 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 43

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

7,200 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 38

Major infectious diseases:

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 (2009)

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.)

Education expenditures:

1.4% of GDP (1991) country comparison to the world: 177

Government ::Haiti

Country name:

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:

republic

Capital:

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:

10 departments (departements, singular - departement); Artibonite, Centre, Grand'Anse, Nippes, Nord, Nord-Est, Nord-Ouest, Ouest, Sud, Sud-Est

Independence:

1 January 1804 (from France)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 1 January (1804)

Constitution:

approved March 1987

note: 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:

based on Roman civil law system; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: President Rene PREVAL (since 14 May 2006)

head of government: Prime Minister Jean-Max BELLERIVE (since 7 November 2009)

cabinet: Cabinet chosen by the prime minister in consultation with the president (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (may not serve consecutive terms); election last held on 28 November 2010; runoff scheduled for 16 January 2011 (next to be held in 2015); prime minister appointed by the president, ratified by the National Assembly

election results: 2010 results not final, initial results are under OAS review; Mirlande MANIGAT 31.37%, Jude CELESTIN 22.48%, Michel MARTELLY 21.84%, all others less than 10% each

Legislative branch:

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 elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms); note - in reestablishing the Senate in 2006, 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 on 28 November 2010 with run-off elections scheduled for 16 January 2011 (next regular election, for one third of seats, to be held in 2012); Chamber of Deputies - last held on 28 November 2010 with run-off elections schedule for 16 January 2011 (next regular election to be held in 2014)

election results: 2010 election results are not final; 2006 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; 2006 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:

Supreme Court or Cour de Cassation

Political parties and leaders:

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]; Fanmi Lavalas or FL [Rudy HERIVEAUX]; 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]; 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:

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; Protestant Federation of Haiti; Roman Catholic Church

International organization participation:

ACP, AOSIS, Caricom, CDB, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM,
IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ITSO, ITU,
ITUC, LAES, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OIF, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, PetroCaribe, RG,
UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO,
WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Louis Harold 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)

consulate(s): Orlando (Florida)

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Kenneth H. MERTEN

embassy: Tabarre 41, Route de Tabarre, Port-au-Prince

mailing address: use mailing address

telephone: [509] 229-8000
FAX: [509] 229-8028

Flag description:

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); the colors are taken from the French Tricolor and represent the union of blacks and mulattoes

National anthem:

name: "La Dessalinienne" (The Dessalines Song)

lyrics/music: Justin LHERISSON/Nicolas GEFFRARD

note: adopted 1904; the anthem is named for Jean-Jacques DESSALINES, a leader in the Haitian Revolution and first ruler of an independent Haiti

Economy ::Haiti

Economy - overview:

Haiti's economy suffered a severe setback when a 7.1 magnitude earthquake damaged its capital city, Port-au-Prince, in January 2010. Already the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere with 80% of the population living under the poverty line and 54% in abject poverty, the damage to Port-au-Prince caused the country's GDP to contract an estimated 8% in 2010. 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. US economic engagement under the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement (HOPE) Act, passed in December 2006, has boosted apparel exports and investment by providing tariff-free access to the US. Congress voted in 2010 to extend the legislation until 2020 under the Haitian Economic Lift Act (HELP); the apparel sector accounts for three-quarters of Haitian exports and nearly one-tenth of GDP. Remittances are the primary source of foreign exchange, equaling nearly a quarter of GDP and more than twice the earnings from exports. Haiti suffers from a lack of investment because of 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. Haiti received debt forgiveness for over $1 billion of its debt through the Highly-Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) initiative in 2009. The remainder of its outstanding external debt was cancelled by donor countries in early 2010 but has since climbed back to about $500 million. The government relies on formal international economic assistance for fiscal sustainability.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$11.18 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 145 $12.15 billion (2009 est.)

$11.81 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$6.495 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

-8% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 213 2.9% (2009 est.)

0.8% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$1,200 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 205 $1,200 (2009 est.)

$1,200 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 23%

industry: 20%

services: 57% (2009 est.)

Labor force:

3.643 million country comparison to the world: 95 note: shortage of skilled labor, unskilled labor abundant (2007)

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 66%

industry: 9%

services: 25% (1995)

Unemployment rate:

NA% est.)

note: widespread unemployment and underemployment; more than two-thirds of the labor force do not have formal jobs

Population below poverty line:

80% (2003 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 0.7%

highest 10%: 47.7% (2001)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

59.2 (2001) country comparison to the world: 7

Investment (gross fixed):

28.9% of GDP (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 21

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

4.6% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 134 2% (2009 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

17.25% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 29 17.81% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$787.2 million (31 December 2010 est) country comparison to the world: 144 $800 million (31 December 2009 est)

Stock of broad money:

$3.137 billion (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 131 $2.958 billion (31 December 2008)

Stock of domestic credit:

$1.632 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 132 $1.698 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$NA

Agriculture - products:

coffee, mangoes, sugarcane, rice, corn, sorghum; wood

Industries:

textiles, sugar refining, flour milling, cement, light assembly based on imported parts

Industrial production growth rate:

-8% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 165

Electricity - production:

665 million kWh (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 153

Electricity - consumption:

273 million kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 168

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 187

Oil - consumption:

12,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 145

Oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 148

Oil - imports:

12,280 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 134

Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 171

Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 101

Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 145

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 173

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 165

Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 169

Current account balance:

-$781 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 126 -$627 million (2009 est.)

Exports:

$559 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 163 $551 million (2009 est.)

Exports - commodities:

apparel, manufactures, oils, cocoa, mangoes, coffee

Exports - partners:

US 79.76%, Dominican Republic 7.24%, Canada 2.96% (2009)

Imports:

$2.446 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 146 $2.032 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - commodities:

food, manufactured goods, machinery and transport equipment, fuels, raw materials

Imports - partners:

US 33.11%, Dominican Republic 23.53%, Netherlands Antilles 10.75%,
China 5.36% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$1.021 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 109 $790 million (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - external:

$494 million (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 162 $1.362 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange rates:

gourdes (HTG) per US dollar - 41.198 (2010), 41.195 (2009), 39.216 (2008), 37.138 (2007), 40.232 (2006)

Communications ::Haiti

Telephones - main lines in use:

108,300 (2009) country comparison to the world: 142

Telephones - mobile cellular:

3.648 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 108

Telephone system:

general assessment: telecommunications infrastructure is among the least developed in Latin America and the Caribbean; domestic facilities barely adequate; international facilities slightly better

domestic: mobile-cellular telephone services are expanding rapidly due, in part, to the introduction of low-cost GSM phones; mobile-cellular teledensity reached 40 per 100 persons in 2009

international: country code - 509; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Broadcast media:

several television stations, including 1 government-owned; cable TV subscription service is available; government-owned radio network; more than 250 private and community radio stations operating with about 50 FM stations in Port-au-Prince alone (2007)

Internet country code:

.ht

Internet hosts:

273 (2010) country comparison to the world: 185

Internet users:

1 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 99

Transportation ::Haiti

Airports:

14 (2010) country comparison to the world: 148

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 4

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 3 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 10

914 to 1,523 m: 2

under 914 m: 8 (2010)

Roadways:

total: 4,160 km country comparison to the world: 155 paved: 1,011 km

unpaved: 3,149 km (2000)

Ports and terminals:

Cap-Haitien, Gonaives, Jacmel, Port-au-Prince

Military ::Haiti

Military branches:

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 until or unless they are constitutionally abolished (2009)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 2,283,915

females age 16-49: 2,250,220 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 1,573,371

females age 16-49: 1,591,942 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 110,514

female: 108,208 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

0.4% of GDP (2006) country comparison to the world: 167

Transnational Issues ::Haiti

Disputes - international:

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:

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

World

Hellenica World

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