[Country map of 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

Map references: Central America and the Caribbean

total area: 27,750 sq km
land area: 27,560 sq km
comparative area: slightly larger than Maryland

Land boundaries: total 275 km, Dominican Republic 275 km

Coastline: 1,771 km

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

International disputes: claims US-administered Navassa Island

Climate: tropical; semiarid where mountains in east cut off trade winds

Terrain: mostly rough and mountainous

Natural resources: bauxite

Land use:
arable land: 20%
permanent crops: 13%
meadows and pastures: 18%
forest and woodland: 4%
other: 45%

Irrigated land: 750 sq km (1989 est.)

current issues: extensive deforestation (much of the remaining forested land is being cleared for agriculture and use as fuel); soil erosion; inadequate supplies of potable water
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
international agreements: party to - Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation; signed, but not ratified - Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban

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


Population: 6,539,983 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 46% (female 1,490,939; male 1,535,607)
15-64 years: 50% (female 1,692,032; male 1,557,568)
65 years and over: 4% (female 133,291; male 130,546) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.5% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 38.64 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 18.65 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: -4.99 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 107.5 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 44.77 years
male: 43.04 years
female: 46.59 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 5.82 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Haitian(s)
adjective: Haitian

Ethnic divisions: black 95%, mulatto and European 5%

Religions: Roman Catholic 80% (of which an overwhelming majority also practice Voodoo), Protestant 16% (Baptist 10%, Pentecostal 4%, Adventist 1%, other 1%), none 1%, other 3% (1982)

Languages: French (official) 10%, Creole

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1982)
total population: 35%
male: 37%
female: 32%

Labor force: 2.3 million
by occupation: agriculture 66%, services 25%, industry 9%
note: shortage of skilled labor, unskilled labor abundant (1982)


conventional long form: Republic of Haiti
conventional short form: Haiti
local long form: Republique d'Haiti
local short form: Haiti

Digraph: HA

Type: republic

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, most articles reinstated March 1989; October 1991, government claims to be observing the Constitution

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 1991), ousted in a coup in September 1991 but, with US military support, returned to power on 15 October 1994; election last held 16 December 1990 (next to be held by December 1995); results - Rev. Jean-Bertrand ARISTIDE 67.5%, Marc BAZIN 14.2%, Louis DEJOIE 4.9%
head of government: Prime Minister Smarck MICHEL (since October 1994)
cabinet: Cabinet; chosen by prime minister in consultation with the president

Legislative branch: bicameral National Assembly (Assemblee Nationale)
Senate: elections last held 18 January 1993, widely condemned as illegitimate (next to be held 25 June 1994); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (27 total) FNCD 12, MIDH-PANPRA 8, PAIN 2, MRN 1, RDNP 1, PNT 1, independent 2
Chamber of Deputies: elections last held 16 December 1990, with runoff held 20 January 1991 (next to be held 25 June 1995); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (83 total) FNCD 27, MIDH-PANPRA 17, PDCH 7, PAIN 6, RDNP 6, MDN 5, PNT 3, MKN 2, MODELH 2, MRN 1, independents 5, other 2

Judicial branch: Court of Appeal (Cour de Cassation)

Political parties and leaders: National Front for Change and Democracy (FNCD), Evans PAUL, including National Cooperative Action Movement (MKN), Volvick Remy JOSEPH; National Congress of Democratic Movements (CONACOM), Victor BENOIT; Movement for the Installation of Democracy in Haiti (MIDH), Marc BAZIN; National Progressive Revolutionary Party (PANPRA), Serge GILLES; National Patriotic Movement of November 28 (MNP-28), Dejean BELIZAIRE; National Agricultural and Industrial Party (PAIN), Louis DEJOIE; Movement for National Reconstruction (MRN), Rene THEODORE; Haitian Christian Democratic Party (PDCH), Joseph DOUZE; Assembly of Progressive National Democrats (RDNP), Leslie MANIGAT; National Party of Labor (PNT), Thomas DESULME; Mobilization for National Development (MDN), Hubert DE RONCERAY; Democratic Movement for the Liberation of Haiti (MODELH), Francois LATORTUE; Haitian Social Christian Party (PSCH), Gregoire EUGENE; Movement for the Organization of the Country (MOP), Gesner COMEAU and Jean MOLIERE; Democratic Unity Confederation (KID), Evans PAUL; National Lavalas Political Organization (OPL), Gerard PIERRE/CHARLES

Other political or pressure groups: Roman Catholic Church; Confederation of Haitian Workers (CTH); Federation of Workers Trade Unions (FOS); Autonomous Haitian Workers (CATH); National Popular Assembly (APN); Revolutionary Front for Haitian Advancement and Progress (FRAPH)


Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Jean CASIMIR
chancery: 2311 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 332-4090 through 4092
FAX: [1] (202) 745-7215
consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Miami, New York, and San Juan (Puerto Rico)

US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador William Lacy SWING
embassy: Harry Truman Boulevard, Port-au-Prince
mailing address: P. O. Box 1761, Port-au-Prince
telephone: [509] 22-0354, 22-0368, 22-0200, 22-0612
FAX: [509] 23-1641

Flag: 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)


Overview: About 75% of the population live in abject poverty. Agriculture is mainly small-scale subsistence farming and employs two-thirds of the work force. The majority of the population does not have ready access to safe drinking water, adequate medical care, or sufficient food. The lack of employment opportunities remains one of the most critical problems facing the economy, along with soil erosion and political instability. International trade sanctions in response to the September 1991 coup against President ARISTIDE further damaged the economy. The restoration of President ARISTIDE, the lifting of sanctions in late 1994, and foreign aid will alleviate some economic problems. Haiti will continue to depend heavily on foreign aid.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $5.6 billion (1994 est.)

National product real growth rate: -15% (1994 est.)

National product per capita: $870 (1994 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 52% (FY93/94 est.)

Unemployment rate: 50% (1994 est.)

revenues: $56 million
expenditures: $131 million, including capital expenditures of $6 million (1994 est.)

Exports: $173.3 million (f.o.b., 1993 est.)
commodities: light manufactures 65%, coffee 19%, other agriculture 8%, other 8%
partners: US 81%, Europe 12% (1993)

Imports: $476.8 million (f.o.b., 1993 est.)
commodities: machines and manufactures 34%, food and beverages 22%, petroleum products 14%, chemicals 10%, fats and oils 9%
partners: US 51%, Europe 16%, Latin America 18% (1993)

External debt: $871 million (September 1994)

Industrial production: growth rate -2% (1991 est.); accounts for 15% of GDP

capacity: 150,000 kW
production: 590 million kWh
consumption per capita: 86 kWh (1993)

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

Agriculture: accounts for 28% of GDP and employs two-thirds of work force; mostly small-scale subsistence farms; commercial crops - coffee, mangoes, sugarcane, wood; staple crops - rice, corn, sorghum; shortage of wheat flour

Illicit drugs: transshipment point for cocaine and marijuana en route to the US and Europe

Economic aid:
recipient: US commitments, including Ex-Im (1970-89), $700 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $770 million

Currency: 1 gourde (G) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates: gourdes (G) per US$1 - 14.10 (1 December 1994), 12.00 (1 July 1993), 8.4 (December 1991), fixed rate of 5.000 through second quarter of 1991

Fiscal year: 1 October - 30 September


total: 40 km (single track; privately owned industrial line)
narrow gauge: 40 km 0.760-m gauge

total: 4,000 km
paved: 950 km
unpaved: otherwise improved 900 km; unimproved earth 2,150 km

Inland waterways: negligible; less than 100 km navigable

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

Merchant marine: none

total: 14
with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
with paved runways under 914 m: 6
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 5


Telephone system: 36,000 telephones; domestic facilities barely adequate, international facilities slightly better
local: NA
intercity: NA
international: 1 INTELSAT (Atlantic Ocean) earth station

broadcast stations: AM 33, FM 0, shortwave 2
radios: NA

broadcast stations: 4
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, Police
note: the regular Haitian Army, Navy and Air Force are currently suspended and replaced by the Interim Public Security Force (IPSF)

Manpower availability: males age 15-49 1,323,034; males fit for military service 716,233; males reach military age (18) annually 64,371 (1995 est.)

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $34 million, 1.5% of GDP (1988 est.)