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Geography—note: shares island of Hispaniola with Dominican Republic (western one-third is Haiti, eastern two-thirds is the Dominican Republic)

total: 27,750 sq km
land: 27,560 sq km
water: 190 sq km

Area—comparative: slightly smaller than Maryland

Coastline: 1,771 km

Climate: tropical; semiarid where mountains in east cut off trade winds

Terrain: mostly rough and mountainous

Natural resources: none

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 

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.)

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.)

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

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

National capital: Port-au-Prince

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

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

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 

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—real growth rate: 1.1% (1997 est.)

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

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

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)

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.)

Currency: 1 gourde (G) = 100 centimes 

Military manpower—availability:
males age 15-49: 1,490,464 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—fit for military service:
males: 807,330 (1998 est.)

Military expenditures—dollar figure: $NA; note—mainly for police and security activities

Military expenditures—percent of GDP: NA%

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