Despite its designation as the poorest country in the western hemisphere, Haiti is incredibly rich in history.
Occupying the western third of the island of Hispaniola, Haiti was the first Caribbean nation to receive its independence following a slave rebelion. Hait's independence came at a huge economical cost that impacts the country and her people 200+ years later.
Size: 27,750 square kilometers
Language: French, Creole
Religion: Roman Catholic, Protestant, Voodoo
Life Expectancy: 51
GDP per Capita: $1400USD
Literacy Rate: 53%
Chief Industries: Sugar refining, flour milling, textiles, cement
Agriculture: Coffee, mangoes, sugarcane, rice
Exports: Manufactures, coffee, oils, cocoa
(Source: National Geographic)
Little Known Facts About Haiti:
- More than 10% of Haitian children die before age five.
- Eighty percent of Haitians live below the poverty line and 54% live in abject poverty. The average per capital income is $480 USD per year.
- The United States did not recognize Haiti as an indpendent nation until 1862 even though it was freed in 1804.
- Only about 40% of school-aged children attend school regularly
- The typical Haitian woman will have five children in her lifetime. Less than 20% of married women use birth control.
- Approximately 1% of Haiti's population owns more than 50% of the nation’s wealth.
- The infant mortality rate in Haiti is high at 74 deaths per 1,000 births. The maternal mortality rate is also high: about 520 deaths per 100,000 births (compared to just 14 in the U.S.).
- Haiti has the highest incidence of HIV/AIDS in the Western Hemisphere. One in 50 people are infected.
- Even before the 2010 earthquake, only 54% of Haitians had access to sanitation facilities (toilets, indoor plumbing, sewer systems). Less than half had a regular source of safe drinking water.
- Haiti is the second oldest independent nation in the Western Hemisphere, after the United States.
Check out more little known facts about Haiti.