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Geography

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: 275 km
border countries: 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

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: none

Land use:
arable land: 20%
permanent crops: 13%
permanent pastures: 18%
forests and woodland: 5%
other: 44% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 750 sq km (1993 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
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

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Population: 6,780,501 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 43% (male 1,465,735; female 1,422,260)
15-64 years: 53% (male 1,733,636; female 1,881,367)
65 years and over: 4% (male 138,678; female 138,825) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.51% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 32.84 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 14.17 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: -3.61 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 98.98 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 51.4 years
male: 49.33 years
female: 53.58 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 4.67 children born/woman (1998 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Haitian(s)
adjective: Haitian

Ethnic groups: black 95%, mulatto plus white 5%

Religions: Roman Catholic 80%, Protestant 16% (Baptist 10%, Pentecostal 4%, Adventist 1%, other 1%), none 1%, other 3% (1982)
note: roughly one-half of the population also practices Voodoo

Languages: French (official) 20%, Creole

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

 
Government

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

Data code: HA

Government type: republic

National 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; 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 Rene Garcia PREVAL (since 7 February 1996)
head of government: Prime Minister Rosny SMARTH resigned June 1997; currently no prime minister; ratification of a new prime minister held up in political gridlock stemming from controversy over the 6 April 1997 elections
cabinet: Cabinet; chosen by the prime minister in consultation with the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 17 December 1995 (next to be held by December 2000); prime minister appointed by the president, ratified by the Congress
election results: Rene Garcia PREVAL elected president; percent of vote—Rene Garcia PREVAL 88%, Leon JEUNE 2.5%, Victor BENOIT 2.3%

Legislative branch: bicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale consists of the Senate (27 seats; members 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: Senate—last held 25 June 1995 with reruns on 13 August and runoffs on 17 September (election held for nine seats 6 April 1997; results disputed and runoffs postponed indefinitely); Chamber of Deputies—last held 25 June 1995 with reruns on 13 August and runoffs on 17 September (next Senate and Chamber elections to be held November 1998)
election results: Senate—percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—Lavalas Political Organization 7, Lavalas family-leaning 7, independent 2, non-active members 2, vacant 9; Chamber of Deputies—percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—Lavalas Political Organization (OPL) 32, antineoliberal bloc 24, minor parties and independents 22, vacant 5

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (Cour de Cassation)

Political parties and leaders: Lavalas Family (FL), Jean-Bertrand ARISTIDE; National Lavalas Political Organization (OPL), Gerard PIERRE-CHARLES; National Front for Change and Democracy (FNCD), Evans PAUL and Turneb DELPE; National Congress of Democratic Movements (KONACOM), Victor BENOIT; Movement for the Installation of Democracy in Haiti (MIDH), Marc BAZIN; National Progressive Revolutionary Party (PANPRA), Serge GILLES; Movement for National Reconstruction (MRN), Rene THEODORE; Haitian Christian Democratic Party (PDCH), Fritz PIERRE; Assembly of Progressive National Democrats (RDNP), Leslie MANIGAT; Mobilization for National Development (MDN), Hubert DE RONCERAY; Movement for the Organization of the Country (MOP), Gesner COMEAU and Jean MOLIERE; Open the Gate Party (PLB), Renaud BERNARDIN; Union of Patriotic Democrats (UPD), Rockefeller GUERRE; Generation 2004, Claude ROUMAIN; Alliance for the Liberation and Advancement of Haiti (ALAH), Reynold GEORGES; Haitian Democratic Party (PADEMH), Clark PARENT; National Alliance for Democracy and Progress; Haiti Can (Ayiti Kapab), Ernst VERDIEU

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

International organization participation: ACCT, ACP, Caricom (observer), CCC, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ITU, LAES, OAS, OPANAL, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); mission led by charge d' affairs
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)

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Timothy Michael CARNEY
embassy: 5 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 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

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Economy—overview: About 75% 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 or no job creation since President PREVAL took office in February 1996, although the informal economy is growing. Failure to reach agreements with international sponsors have denied Haiti badly needed budget and development assistance. Meeting aid conditions in 1998 will be especially challenging in the face of mounting popular criticism of reforms.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$7.1 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 1.1% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$1,070 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 44%
industry: 13%
services: 43% (1995)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 17% (1997 est.)

Labor force:
total: 3.6 million (1995)
by occupation: agriculture 66%, services 25%, industry 9%
note: shortage of skilled labor, unskilled labor abundant (1982)

Unemployment rate: 60% (1996 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $284 million
expenditures: $308 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY96/97 est.)

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

Industrial production growth rate: 2.5% (1995 est.)

Electricity—capacity: 153,000 kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 315 million kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 48 kWh (1995)

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

Exports:
total value: $90 million (f.o.b., 1996)
commodities: light manufactures 53%, coffee 17%, other agriculture 17%
partners: US 76.3%, EU 19.8% (1996)

Imports:
total value: $665 million (f.o.b., 1996)
commodities: machines and manufactures 34%, food and beverages 22%, petroleum products 14%, chemicals 10%, fats and oils 9%
partners: US 65.0%, EU 13.9% (1995)

Debt—external: $781 million (1995 est.)

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $NA

Currency: 1 gourde (G) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates: gourdes (G) per US$1 (end of period)—17.311 (December 1997), 17.311 (1997), 15.093 (1996), 16.160 (1995), 12.947 (1994), 12.805 (1993)

Fiscal year: 1 October—30 September

 
Communications

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Telephones: 50,000 (1990 est.)

Telephone system: domestic facilities barely adequate, international facilities slightly better
domestic: NA
international: satellite earth station—1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 33, FM 0, shortwave 2

Radios: 320,000 (1992 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 4 (1987 est.)

Televisions: 32,000 (1992 est.)

 
Transportation

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Railways:
total: 40 km (single track; privately owned industrial line)—closed in early 1990s
narrow gauge: 40 km 0.760-m gauge

Highways:
total: 4,160 km
paved: 1,011 km
unpaved: 3,149 km (1996 est.)

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

Airports: 14 (1997 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (1997 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 11
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 6 (1997 est.)

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