Republic of Haiti
LOCATION AND SIZE.
Haiti occupies the western third of the island of Hispaniola, between the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Haiti has an area of 27,750 square kilometers (10,714 square miles), slightly smaller than Maryland. It shares a border of 275 kilometers (171 miles) with the Dominican Republic and has a coastline of 1,771 kilometers (1,100 miles). Its capital and largest city, Port-au-Prince, is in a bay on the country's southwestern coast.
Haiti's population was estimated at 6,867,995 in July 2000, showing a growth rate of 1.39 percent and a total rise of 36 percent since the last official census of 1982, when the population stood at 5,053,792. The country's demographic statistics reveal the effect of extreme poverty and an HIV/AIDS epidemic. These conditions have reduced life expectancy to 49.2 years, contributed to high infant mortality and general death rates, and slowed population growth. At current growth rates, Haiti's population will stand at approximately 7 million in 2010.
Despite slow growth rates, Haiti is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, estimated at 270 persons per square kilometer (699 per square mile) in 1997. Land shortages and urban overcrowding have led to many Haitians attempting to emigrate , either to the neighboring Dominican Republic or to the United States. The net migration rate stood at 2.97 persons per 1,000 in 2000. The capital, Port-au-Prince, had an estimated population of 850,000 in 1995, but much settlement in slum areas is unregulated, and the population probably exceeds 1 million.
Haiti's population is a young one, with 41 percent estimated to be between 0 and 14 years of age in 2000. Most Haitians are of African descent, with approximately 95 percent of the population defined as black. The remaining 5 percent is comprised of mulattos (people of mixed European and African ancestry), and a small community descended from immigrants from the Middle East.
Haiti has no territories or colonies.
The Haitian gourde. One gourde equals 100 centimes. There are coins of 5, 10, 20, and 50 centimes. There are notes of 1, 2, 5, 10, 50, 100, 250, and 500 gourdes.
Manufactured goods (clothing, sports goods), coffee, oils, mangos.
Food, machinery and transport equipment, fuels.
GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT:
US$9.2 billion (purchasing power parity, 1999 est.).
BALANCE OF TRADE:
Exports: US$322 million (f.o.b., 1999). Imports: US$762 million (c.i.f., 1999).