Nov. 18, 2012 (2)

Cap-Haitien, looking down at the street from Joel’s balcony. (Joel and his wife hosted me, Nico and Pia.)

Facts and Figures: Haiti

(from Wikipedia)

Ayiti (land of high mountains) was the Taino or Amerindian name for the island of Hispaniola.

The island’s highest peak, Pic la Selle, is 8,793 feet high.

Haiti’s total area is 10,714 square miles

Haiti’s uniqueness:

a.)     First independent nation of Latin America and the Caribbean

b.)     First black-led republic in the world

c.)     Second republic in the Americas when it got independence in 1804 after a successful slave revolution that lasted for almost a decade.


Looking into the back alleyway, out of Joel’s backdoor. The neighbors in the street were arguing over the mud and rocks in the street, and one man was shoveling it away. The people on the landing are watching the proceedings.

Haiti has a history of devastating earthquakes similar to the Jan. 12, 2010 quake which registered at 7.0 and killed at least 220,00 people.

In 2012 Haiti filed an intention to seek associate membership in the African Union.

President Michel Martelly is a former singer.

The population is somewhere between 8.5 million and 9.1 million.

80-85% of the population of Haiti are predominantly West Africans. The remainder are primarily mulattoes.

2/3 of the population live in rural areas.


Population figures from 2006:

1.)     The average household contains 4.5 members.

2.)     The median age is 26.

3.)     People age 15 and younger make up 1/3 of the population.

4.)     52.7% of the population are women.

5.)     80-85% of Haitians are Roman Catholic. A significant portion of Haitians follow voodoo.

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 62.51 years

male: 61.15 years
female: 63.89 years


Public education is free (Note: I have heard this is still a work-in-progress), but private and parochial schools provide 75% of education programs that are offered.

Less than 65% of children of primary school age are actually enrolled. At the secondary level, the figure drops to 55%. Of those enrolled in primary school, 63% complete it.

Education is highly valued by Haitians, but few can afford to send their kids to secondary school.


In Port-au-Prince:

1.)     22.1 million population

2.)     Only 23% of adults have completed secondary school, with 16% passing the state graduation exam.

3.)     More than half of the children ages 5 to 17 didn’t attend school.

Post-Quake Fertility

Disasters often cause human populations to increase long-term, rather than decrease, by way of increased fertility far exceeding the deaths caused by the initial disaster, as shell-shocked mothers replace every lost child with far more than needed. In Haiti’s case, the fertility rate nearly tripled after the quake, as is likely to remain elevated (above pre-quake levels) for long after.



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