Official Name: Repiblik d' Ayiti (Haitan Creole): Republic d'Haiti (French) (Republic of Haiti). Form of government: republic whit two legislative houses (Senate{30, statutory number}: Chamber of Deputies (99). Chief of state: President Rene Preval )from 200). Head of government: Prime Minister Michele Pierre-Louis (from 2008). Capital: Port-au-Prince. Official languages: Haitan Creole; French. Official Religions: Roman Catholism has special recognition per concordat with Vatican; voodoo became officially sanctioned per government decree of April 2003.Monetary unit:1 gourde (G) =100 centimes; valuation (1 Jul 2009) US $1= G 39.03.


Area: 10.695 sq mi, 27,700 sq km. Population (2008): 9,751,000. Density (2008): persons per sq mi 911.7, persons per sq km 352.0. Urban (2007) : 40.1%. Sex distribution (2005): male 49.29%; female 50.71%. Age breakdown (2005): under 15, 42.6%;15-29, 30.5%; 30-44, 14.2%; 45-59, 7.5%;60-74, 4.2%; 75 and over, 1.0%. Ethnic composition (2000): black 94.2%; mulatto 5.4% ; other 0.4%. Religious affiliation (2003). Roman 54.7%(about 80% of all roman catholics are practice voodoo); Protestant and independent Christian 28.5%, of which Baptist 15.4%, Pentecostal 7.9%; voodoo 2.1%, nonreligious 10.2%; other/unknown 4.5%. Major cities (2003): Port-au-Prince 703,023(metropolitan area 1,977,036); carrefour (1999) 336,222;Delmas (1999) 284,079; Cap-Haitien 111,094; Gonaives 104,825.Location:western third of the island of Hisoaniola, bordered by the North Atlantic Ocean, the Carribean Sea and the Dominican Republic

Vital statistics

Birth Rate per 1,000 population (2007): 27.9(world avg 20.3). Death rate per 1,000 population (2007) :9.2 (world avg. 8.6). Natural increase rate per 1,000 population (2007) 18.7 (world avg 11.7). Total fertility rate( avg. births per childbearing woman; 2007):6.50.Life expectancy at birth (2007):male 59.1 years; female 62.8 years.

National Economy

Budget (2007) Revenue:G 25,323,750,000(custom duties 53.1%; sales tax 27.5%; individual taxes on income and profits 17.8%). Expenditures:G 29,534,070,000(current expenditures 77.1%, of which wages and salaries 33.9% transfers 4.2%, interest 2.3%; capital expenditures 22.9%). Gross national income(2007): US $ 5,366,000,000 (US$560 per capita). Production (metric tons except as noted). Agriculture and fishing(2007):sugarcane 1,000,000, cassava 330,000, bananas 293,000;livestock(number of live animals ) 1,900,000 goats, 1, 450,000 cattle, 1,000,000 pigs, fisheries production (2006) 10,000(from aquaculture, none). Mining and quarrying(2006) sand 2,000,000 cu m. Manufacturing (value added in g, 000,000 at prices of 1986-87;2002) food and beverages 484.5;textiles, wearing apparel, and footwear 195.7; chemicals and rubber products 63.8. Energy production (consumption): electricity (kw-hr;2007)241, 990,000 (215,400,000 (estimate); petroleum products (metric tons; 2005)none (527,000). Population economically active (2003): total 3,467,000 activity rate of total population 41.8%(participation rates:ages 15-64, 69.5%; female 41.5%; unemployed (official estimate) 32.7%). Public Debt (external, outstanding;December 2007): US $ 1,478,000,000. Selected balance of payments data. Receipts from (US$000,000): tourism (2006) 135; remittances (2007) 1,185; foreign direct investment (2004-06 avg.) 64; official development assitance (2006) 581.Disbursements for (US$ 000,000):tourism (2006) 56;remittances (2007) 68.

Foreign Trade

Imports (2006): US$ 1,623,600,000 (food products 21.9%; refined petroleum products 19.7%; machinary and transportation equipment 17.1%). Major Import sources (2004): US 52.9%; Dominican Republic 6.0%; Japan 2.9%. Exports (2006) : US$511,500,000(reexports to US 88.4%; mangoes 1.8%; cacao 1.5%; essential oils 1.3%; coffee 1.0%).Major export destinations (2004):US 81.8%; Dominican Republic 7.2%; Canada 4.2%.

Transportation and Communications

Transport.Railroads:none. Roads (1999):total lenth 4,160 km(paved 24%). Vehicles (1999): passenger cars 93,000, trucks and buses 61,600. Communications, in total units (unites per 1,000 persons).Telephone landlines (2006): 150,000 (17); cellular telephone subscribers (2007):2,200,000(229); personal computers (2005):16,000 (1.9); total internet users (2007):1,000,000 (104).

Education and health

Educational attainment (2000). Percentage of population ages 25 and ove rgaiving:no formal schooling/unknown 46.1%; incomplete primary education 28.9%;primary 5.3%; incomplete secondary 15.6%;secondary 1.8%; higher 2.3%. Literacy (2007): percentage of total population ages 15 and over literate 62.1%; females literate 64.0%.

Health: physicians (1999) 1,910 (1 per 4,000 persons); hospital beds (2000) 6, 431 ( 1 per 1,234 persons); infant mortality rate per 1,000 live births (2007) 71.0; undernourished population (2002-04) 3,800,000(46% of total population based on the consumption of a minimum daily requirement of 1,940 calories).


Total active duty personnel: The Haitan army was disbanded in 1995. The national police force had 2,000 personnel in late 2007; peacekeeping forces (July 2008): 7,105 UN troops and 1,935 UN personnel.


Haiti gained its independence when the former slaves of the island rebelled agianst French rule in 1791-1804. The new republic encompassed the entire island of Hispaniola, but the eastern portion was resoted to Spain in 1809 . The island was reunited under Haitan Pres. Jean-Pierre Boyer(1818-43); after his overthrow the eastern portion revolted and formed the Dominican Republic. Haiti's government was marked by instability, with frequent coups and assassinations. It was occupied by the US in 1915-34. In 1957 the dictator Francois (Papa Doc) Duvalier came power. Despite an economic decline and civil unrest, Duvalier ruled until his death in 1971. He was succeeded by his son, Jean-Claude (Baby Doc) Duvalier, who was forced into exile in 1986.Haiti's first free presidential elections, held in 1990, were won by Jean-Bertrand Aristride. He was deposed by a military coup in 1991, after which tens of thousands of Haitans attempted to flee to the US in small boats. The military government stepped down in 1994, and Aristide returned from exile and resumed the presidency. Economic and political instability continued to plague Haiti in the early 21st century.

Recent Developments

Skyrocketing food and fuel prices hit Haitit hard in 2008, owing to dependence on costly imports in a country where 78% of the population lived in less than US$2 a day. Rsilient crime, especially urban kidnapping, and the government's instablilty to improve material conditions of the populations dampened hopes for a brighter future. Remittances, reaching US$1.83 billion, or 30% of GDP, in 2007, where expected to stagnate or decline. A new coalition government led by Michele Pierre-Louis, a respected educator and social activist, confronted a country ravaged by two hurrucanes and two tropical storms within a 23 day period (16 August -7 September). The storms displaced hundreds of thousands of people, left 800 dead and caused massive food deficits, this setting back national efforts to address dependence on costly imported rice. The renewal in mid-October of the one-year mandate of the UN stabilization Mission in Haiti( MINUSTAH) offered relief, however, particularly in view of its capabilities in disaster response and in reinforcing public safety.