Haiti Fast Facts
Haiti is the world’s poorest country. More than a quarter of Haitians live in poverty, and some 14 percent suffer from food insecurity in their homes. Haiti does not have a government – people live in their communities and organize the economy.
In January of 2017, there were 5.5 million people living in poverty in Haiti. More than half the country’s population lives in the rural provinces that lack water and sanitation facilities; lack access to electricity; and rely on food insecure markets.
Haiti’s economic recovery has been hampered by poor governance while the Haitian private sector has been reluctant to invest in the country. Most of the country’s private development organizations have refused to invest in the country.
Haiti has the highest unemployment rate in the world at more than 40% and more than one in five people are illiterate. There are about 500,000 people living without electricity; 90% of the population is dependent on mobile phones; food insecurity is widespread; and life expectancy has fallen by over ten years. The country has made little progress in addressing those challenges.
Haiti is home to the largest democracy in the developing world, with a multi-party political system and representative government. It has a multi-ethnic population, including the largest majority of African descent in the Americas.
Haiti has developed a broad array of institutions, including a strong public health program. An estimated 60% of people use at least one modern health center in the country.
Haiti has a robust and diverse economy driven by tourism and international trade. The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) is over $16 billion, of which half is from tourism. It is among the 10 most traveled countries in the world and the second largest exporter of coffee (after Brazil).
A large and growing migrant population has become an integral part of the Haitian economy. This population includes many highly educated people from the diaspora. The Haitian diasporas has helped to develop Haiti as an economy with an international market.
Haiti’s main export is coffee. It produces between 1 million and 4 million metric tons of coffee annually. Its production also makes it the second largest exporter of coffee in the world (after Brazil).
A small number of enterprises, mainly in sugar, cement, soap, cement production, and trade, account for the majority of the GDP