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Haiti Flag

Country Profile

Capital City: Port-au-Prince (pop. 2 million)

Other Cities: Cap Haitien (pop. 600 000), Cayes, Gonaïves, Jacmel, Saint-Marc, Jérémie.

Local Time: UTC -5h


Location: Caribbean, western one-third of the island of Hispaniola, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean.
Area: 27 750 sq. km. (10 714 sq. mi.);
Ile de la Gonave and Ile de la Tortue comprise Haiti's principal offshore territories. Terrain: Rugged mountains with small coastal plains and river valleys, and a large east-central elevated plateau.
Border countries: Dominican Republic

Climate: Tropical, semiarid, high humidity in many coastal areas, mountains in east cut off trade winds.

Type: Republic with an elected government.
Independence: January 1,1804 (from France).
Constitution of the Republic of Haiti: March 1987.

Nationality: Noun and adjective--Haitian(s).
Population (2003 est.): 8.3 million.
Ethnic groups: African descent 95%, African and European descent 5%.
Religions: Roman Catholic 80%, Protestant 16%, voudou (voodoo) practices pervasive, recognized by the government sinze 2003.
Languages: Creole and French (official).
Literacy: 50% (est.)


Currency: Gourde (HTG)

Natural resources: Bauxite, copper, calcium carbonate, gold, marble. Agricultural Products: coffee, mangoes, sugarcane, rice, corn, cacao, sorghum, pulses, other fruits and vegetables.

Agriculture products: Coffee, mangoes, sugarcane, rice, corn, sorghum, wood.

Sugar refining, flour milling, textiles, cement, light assembly industries based on imported parts.

Exports partners:
USA 83.8%, Dominican Republic 6.5%, Canada 3.2% (2003)

Imports partners: USA 53.5%, Dominican Republic 5.9%, Colombia 2.9% (2003)

Internet Links

Official Sites of Haiti

Diplomatic Missions
Embassy of the Republic of Haiti

Consulat Général

Haiti Consulate General in Chicago

Haiti's Diplomatic Missions

Map of Haiti

Map of Central America and the Caribbean



Background:  One of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere,
Haiti has been plagued by political violence for most of its history. Over
three decades of dictatorship followed by military rule ended in 1990
when Jean-Bertrand ARISTIDE was elected president. Most of his term was
usurped by a military takeover, but he was able to return to office in
1994 and oversee the installation of a close associate to the presidency
in 1996. ARISTIDE won a second term as president in 2000, and took office
early in 2001. However, a political crisis stemming from fraudulent
legislative elections in 2000 has not yet been resolved.

Geography Haiti

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 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

Coastline:  1,771 km

Maritime claims:  contiguous zone: 24 NM territorial sea: 12 NM
continental shelf: to depth of exploitation exclusive economic zone:
200 NM

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,

Land use:  arable land: 20% permanent crops: 13% other: 67% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land:  750 sq km (1998 est.)

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, Desertification, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life
Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection signed, but not ratified: Hazardous
Wastes, Nuclear Test Ban

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

People Haiti

Population:  7,063,722 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 2002 est.)

Age structure:  0-14 years: 39.5% (male 1,414,052; female 1,377,693)
15-64 years: 56.3% (male 1,924,867; female 2,049,952) 65 years and over:
4.2% (male 142,657; female 154,501) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate:  1.42% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:  31.42 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:  14.88 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:  -2.31 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:  at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.03
male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female 65 years and over:
0.92 male(s)/female total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate:  93.35 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:   51.29 years (2002 est.)  male: Total fertility
rate:  4.3 children born/woman (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  5.17% (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:  210,000 (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:  23,000 (1999 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% (1982) note: roughly half
of the population also practices Voodoo

Languages:  French (official), Creole (official)

Literacy:  definition: age 15 and over can read and write total
population: 45% male: 48% female: 42.2% (1995 est.)

Government Haiti

Country name:   Republic of Haiti conventional short form: Government
type:  elected government

Capital:  Port-au-Prince

Administrative divisions:  9 departments (departements, singular -
departement); Artibonite, Centre, Grand 'Anse, 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; suspended June 1988, with most
articles reinstated March 1989; in October 1991, government claimed to
be observing the constitution; return to constitutional rule, October 1994

Legal system:  based on Roman civil law system; accepts compulsory
ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage:  18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:  chief of state: President Jean-Bertrand ARISTIDE
(since 7 February 2001) head of government: Prime Minister Yvon NEPTUNE
(since 4 March 2002); note - former Prime Minister CHERESTAL resigned
in January 2002 cabinet:  elections: president elected by popular vote
for a five-year term; election last held 26 November 2000 (next to be
held NA 2005); prime minister appointed by the president, ratified by
the National Assembly election results: Jean-Bertrand ARISTIDE elected
president; percent of vote - Jean-Bertrand ARISTIDE 92%

Legislative branch:  bicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale
consists of the Senate (27 seats; members elected by popular vote
to serve six-year terms; one-third elected every two years) and the
Chamber of Deputies (83 seats; members are elected by popular vote to
serve four-year terms) elections:  9 July boycotted by the opposition;
seven seats still disputed; election for remaining one-third held on 26
November 2000 (next to be held NA 2002); Chamber of Deputies - last held
21 May 2000, with runoffs on 30 July boycotted by the opposition; one
vacant seat rerun 26 November 2000 (next to be held NA 2004) election
results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party -
FL 26, independent 1; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party -
NA%; seats by party - FL 73, MOCHRENA 3, PLB 2, OPL 1, vacant 1, other
minor parties and independents 3

Judicial branch:  Supreme Court or Cour de Cassation

Political parties and leaders:  Alliance for the Liberation and
Advancement of Haiti or ALAH [Reynold GEORGES]; Assembly of Progressive
National Democrats or RDNP [Leslie MANIGAT]; Convergence (opposition
coalition composed of ESPACE, OPL, and MOCHRENA) [Gerard PIERRE-CHARLES,
Evans PAUL, Luc MESADIEU, Victor BENOIT]; Democratic Consultation Group
coalition or ESPACE [Evans PAUL, Victor Benoit] composed of the following
parties: National Congress of Democratic Movements or KONAKOM, National
Progressive Revolutionary Party or PANPRA, Generation 2004, and Haiti
Can; Haitian Christian Democratic Party or PDCH [Marie-France CLAUDE];
Haitian Democratic Party or PADEM [Clark PARENT]; Lavalas Family or FL
[Jean-Bertrand ARISTIDE]; Mobilization for National Development or MDN
[Hubert DE RONCERAY]; Movement for National Reconstruction or MRN [Rene
THEODORE]; Movement for the Installation of Democracy in Haiti or MIDH
[Marc BAZIN]; Movement for the Organization of the Country or MOP [Gesner
COMEAU and Jean MOLIERE]; National Cooperative Action Movement or MKN
[Volrick Remy JOSEPH]; National Front for Change and Democracy or FNCD
[Evans PAUL and Turneb DELPE]; New Christian Movement for a New Haiti
or MOCHRENA [Luc MESADIEU]; Open the Gate or PLB [Renaud BERNARDIN];
Struggling People's Organization or OPL [Gerard PIERRE-CHARLES]

Political pressure groups and leaders:  Autonomous Haitian Workers or
CATH; Confederation of Haitian Workers or CTH; Federation of Workers
Trade Unions or FOS; National Popular Assembly or APN; Papaye Peasants
Movement or MPP; Popular Organizations Gathering Power or PROP; Roman
Catholic Church

International organization participation:  ACCT, ACP, Caricom, CCC, ECLAC,
IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ITU, LAES, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW (signatory),

Diplomatic representation in the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador
(vacant); Charge d'Affaires Louis Harold JOSEPH consulate(s) general:
Boston, Chicago, Miami, New York, and San Juan (Puerto Rico) FAX: [1]
(202) 745-7215 telephone: [1] (202) 332-4090 chancery: 2311 Massachusetts
Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

Diplomatic representation from the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador
Brian Dean CURRAN embassy: 5 Harry S Truman Boulevard, Port-au-Prince
mailing address: P. O. Box 1761, Port-au-Prince telephone: [509] 222-0354,
222-0269, 222-0200, 223-0327 FAX: [509] 23-1641

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)

Economy Haiti

Economy - overview:  About 80% of the population lives in abject
poverty. Nearly 70% of all Haitians depend on the agriculture sector,
which consists mainly of small-scale subsistence farming and employs
about two-thirds of the economically active work force. The country
has experienced little job creation since the former President
PREVAL took office in February 1996, although the informal economy
is growing. Following legislative elections in May 2000, fraught with
irregularities, international donors - including the US and EU - suspended
almost all aid to Haiti. The economy shrank an estimated 1.2% in 2001,
and the contraction will likely intensify in 2002 unless a political
agreement with donors is reached and aid restored.

GDP:  purchasing power parity - $12 billion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:  -1.2% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita:  purchasing power parity - $1,700 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:  agriculture: 30% industry: 20% services:
50% (2001 est.)

Population below poverty line:  80% (1998 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:  lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices):  14% (2001 est.)

Labor force:  3.6 million (1995) note: shortage of skilled labor,
unskilled labor abundant (2001)

Labor force - by occupation:  agriculture 66%, services 25%, industry 9%

Unemployment rate:  widespread unemployment and underemployment; more
than two-thirds of the labor force do not have formal jobs (2001)

Budget:  revenues: $273 million expenditures: $361 million, including
capital expenditures of $NA (FY00/01 est.)

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

Industrial production growth rate:  0.6% (1997 est.)

Electricity - production:  522 million kWh (2000)

Electricity - production by source:  fossil fuel: 68.97% hydro: 31.03%
other: 0% (2000) nuclear: 0%

Electricity - consumption:  485.46 million kWh (2000)

Electricity - exports:  0 kWh (2000)

Electricity - imports:  0 kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products:  coffee, mangoes, sugarcane, rice, corn,
sorghum; wood

Exports:  $326.6 million (f.o.b., 2001)

Exports - commodities:  manufactures, coffee, oils, cocoa

Exports - partners:  US 90%, EU 6% (2000)

Imports:  $977.5 million (c.i.f., 2001)

Imports - commodities:  food, manufactured goods, machinery and transport
equipment, fuels, raw materials

Imports - partners:  US 60%, EU 10.5%, Dominican Republic 3.7% (2000)

Debt - external:  $1.2 billion (1999)

Economic aid - recipient:  $730.6 million (1995)

Currency:  gourde (HTG)

Currency code:  HTG

Exchange rates:  gourdes per US dollar - 26.674 (January 2002), 26.339
(2001), 22.524 (2000), 17.965 (1999), 16.505 (1998), 17.311 (1997)

Fiscal year:  1 October - 30 September

Communications Haiti

Telephones - main lines in use:  60,000 (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular:  0 (1995)

Telephone system:  general assessment: domestic facilities barely
adequate; international facilities slightly better domestic: coaxial
cable and microwave radio relay trunk service international: satellite
earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations:  AM 41, FM 26, shortwave 0 (1999)

Radios:  415,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations:  2 (plus a cable TV service) (1997)

Televisions:  38,000 (1997)

Internet country code:  .ht

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):  3 (2000)

Internet users:  6,000 (2000)

Transportation Haiti

Railways:   40 km 0.760-m gauge; single-track note: Highways:  total:
4,160 km paved: 1,011 km unpaved: 3,149 km (1996)

Waterways:  NEGL; less than 100 km navigable

Ports and harbors:  Cap-Haitien, Gonaives, Jacmel, Jeremie, Les Cayes,
Miragoane, Port-au-Prince, Port-de-Paix, Saint-Marc

Merchant marine:  none (2002 est.)

Airports:  12 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:  total: 2 2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 914 to
1,523 m: 1 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:  total: 10 914 to 1,523 m: 4 under 914 m:
6 (2001)

Military Haiti

Military branches:  Haitian National Police (HNP) note: the regular
Haitian Army, Navy, and Air Force have been demobilized but still exist
on paper until or unless they are constitutionally abolished

Military manpower - military age:  18 years of age (2002 est.)

Military manpower - availability:  males age 15-49: 1,691,585 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:  males age 15-49: 919,275
(2002 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:  males: 87,049
(2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure:  $50 million (FY00)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:  1.3% (FY00)

Transnational Issues Haiti

Disputes - international:  claims US-administered Navassa Island

Illicit drugs:  major Caribbean transshipment point for cocaine en
route to the US and Europe; vulnerable to money laundering and pervasive

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002

L'Agence Haïtienne de Presse

Haïti en Marche

Haitian Times

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Arts & Culture
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Business & Economy
Banque de la République d'Haïti

Country Guides

Haïti Tourisme

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Haiti Guide

Windows on Haiti


Education and Research
Haitian Scientific Society (HSS)

Haiti Sanctions and Environment Case

Key Dates in Haiti's History

Haitian History

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Issues Haiti
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Situation in Haiti


Port Haiti

Newsgroup of Haiti




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