Haiti is situated in the Caribbean, on the western one-third of the island of Hispaniola – the eastern two-thirds being the Dominican Republic.

The First Peoples of Hispaniola were the Taino. In 1492, Christopher Columbus discovered the island, and within 25 years Spanish settlers had wiped out most of the Taino. By the end of the 17th century the French had taken over the western third of the island – the section that has now become Haiti. The French colony brought in many slaves from Africa. In the late 18th century, the slaves revolted and took power in 1804. Most of its history since then has been one of political and economic instability – with Haiti taking the position of the poorest country in the western hemisphere.

A massive earthquake struck Haiti in January 2010 - over 300,000 people were killed and 1.5 million left homeless. Recently a severe hurricane has also impacted the country and its people.


Primary school enrollment over the past few years has risen to 90%, according to The World Bank. This is a significant improvement from just a few short years ago. However, school fees continue to be prohibitively expensive for low-income families.

The average adult Haitian has less than 5 years of schooling, resulting in half of them being illiterate. Even with increased participation in schools, literacy rates continue to be poor, with early grade reading assessments from USAID revealing that roughly 75 percent of children at the end of first grade, and nearly half of students finishing second grade, could not read a single word.

Around 90 percent of primary schools are privately managed by non-governmental organizations (NGOs), churches, communities, and for‐profit operators, with minimal government oversight. Half of public sector teachers in Haiti lack basic qualifications and almost 80 percent of teachers have not received any pre‐service training.

Haiti Statistics

  • Language:

    French, Creole
  • Area:

    27,750 sq km
  • Capital:

  • Population:

    % below the poverty line:
    80% lives under the poverty line
  • Currency:

    Gourde (Creole: goud)
  • Life expectancy:

    63.8 years
  • Industry:

    Textiles, sugar refining, flour milling, cement, light assembly using imported parts
  • Agriculture:

    Mainly small-scale subsistence farming; coffee, mangoes, cocoa, sugarcane, rice, corn, sorghum; wood, vetiver
  • Terrain:

    Mostly rough and mountainous
  • Climate:

    Tropical; semiarid where mountains in east cut off trade winds; lies in the middle of the hurricane belt and subject to severe storms from June to October; occasional flooding and earthquakes; periodic droughts
  • Economy:

    Widespread unemployment and underemployment; more than two-thirds of the labor force do not have formal jobs
Kyandra dorleans
Sep 27, 2017 at 5:38 pm

Hi I am currently from Haiti and I moved to Lynn Ma,

I just wanna say thanks for this infomation. This really helped me a lot

I used some of these info to help me with my project, for Social studies and of corse I picked Haiti cuz that is where I am from

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