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General information
Common nameHaiti
Local name 
MottoLiberté, Égalité, Fraternité
AnthemLa Dessalinienne
The Dessalines Song
Largest citycapital
Official languagesFrench, Haitian Creole
Ethnic groups95% black, 5% mulatto and white
GovernmentUnitary semi-presidential republic
PresidentMichel Martelly
Prime MinisterGarry Conille
French colony declared
(Treaty of Ryswick)
30 October 1697
Independence declared1 January 1804
Independence recognized from France17 April 1825
Total Area10714 sq mi (27749.3 km2) (140th)
Water %0.7
Population Est.9,719,932 (87th)
Density (pop.)350.2/km2 (907.22/sq mi)
GDP PPP$11.477 billion (2010)
GDP (PPP) per capita$1,164
GDP (nominal)$6.632 billion (2010)
GDP (nominal) per capita$673
Other information
Gini59.2 (2001) (very high)
HDI(-) 0.404 (2010) (low) (145th)
CurrencyGourde (HTG)
Drives on theright
Calling code509

     Home | Country | Haiti

Haiti c-enaudio=En-us-Haiti.oggˈheɪti (French Haïti -fra.iti; Haitian Creole Ayiti -htajiti), officially the Republic of Haiti ( ; ), is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti (land of high mountains) was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island. The country's highest point is Pic la Selle, at 2680 m (8792.7 ft). The total area of Haiti is 27750 km2 (10714.3 sqmi) and its capital is Port-au-Prince. Haitian Creole and French are the official languages.

Haiti's regional, historical, and ethno-linguistic position is unique for several reasons. It was the first independent nation in Latin America and the first black-led republic in the world when it gained independence as part of a successful slave revolution in 1804. Despite having common cultural links with its Hispano-Caribbean neighbors, Haiti is the only predominantly Francophone independent nation in the Americas. It is one of only two independent nations in the Americas (along with Canada) that designate French as an official language; the other French-speaking areas are all overseas départements, or collectivités, of France.

Haiti is the poorest country in the Americas as per the Human Development Index. It has experienced political violence throughout its history. Most recently, in February 2004, an armed rebellion forced the resignation and exile of previous President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and a provisional government took control with security provided by the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). Michel Martelly, the current president, was elected in the Haitian general election, 2011.

A 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti and devastated Port-au-Prince on January 12, 2010. Although the exact number was difficult to determine, the highest reliable death count was estimated at 220,000. Haitian government estimates were higher. The Presidential palace, Parliament and many other important structures were destroyed, along with countless homes and businesses, leaving many homeless. Due to its severity, the country has yet to recover from this and subsequent disasters.

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