Fast Facts

Population:
8,288,000
Capital:
Port-au-Prince; 1,961,000
Area:
27,750 square kilometers (10,714 square miles)
Language:
French, Creole
Religion:
Roman Catholic, Protestant, Voodoo
Currency:
Gourde
Life Expectancy:
51
GDP per Capita:
U.S. $1,400
Literacy Percent:
53
Flag: Haiti
Map: Haiti

Haiti, the first Caribbean state to achieve independence, occupies the western third of the island of Hispaniola. Mountainous with a tropical climate, it is the poorest country in the Americas due to decades of violence and instability. There is a huge income gap between the Creole-speaking black majority and the French-speaking mulattos (mixed African and European descent). Mulattos, only 5 percent of the population, control most of the wealth. Haiti became the first black republic in 1804 after a successful slave revolt against the French. As Haiti celebrated 200 years of independence, a rebellion toppled the government in February 2004.

ECONOMY

  • Industry: Sugar refining, flour milling, textiles, cement
  • Agriculture: Coffee, mangoes, sugarcane, rice; wood
  • Exports: Manufactures, coffee, oils, cocoa

—Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition

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