Quick Facts about Haiti


The native Taino Amerindians - who inhabited the island of Hispaniola when it was discovered by COLUMBUS in 1492 - were virtually annihilated by Spanish settlers within 25 years. In the early 17th century, the French established a presence on Hispaniola. In 1697, Spain ceded to the French the western third of the island, which later became Haiti. The French colony, based on forestry and sugar-related industries, became one of the wealthiest in the Caribbean but only through the heavy importation of African slaves and considerable environmental degradation. In the late 18th century, Haiti's nearly half million slaves revolted under Toussaint L'OUVERTURE. After a prolonged struggle, Haiti became the first black republic to declare independence in 1804. The poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti has been plagued by political violence for most of its history. After an armed rebellion led to the forced resignation and exile of President Jean-Bertrand ARISTIDE in February 2004, an interim government took office to organize new elections under the auspices of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). Continued violence and technical delays prompted repeated postponements, but Haiti finally did inaugurate a democratically elected president and parliament in May of 2006. A massive magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti in January 2010 with an epicenter about 15 km southwest of the capital, Port-au-Prince. An estimated 2 million people lived within the zone of heavy to moderate structural damage. The earthquake was assessed as the worst in this region over the last 200 years and massive international assistance will be required to help the country recover.


Tropical; semiarid where mountains in east cut off trade winds. 


9,719,932 (July 2011 est.)

Country comparison to the world: 87

Note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected.

Age structure

0-14 years: 35.9% (male 1,748,677/female 1,742,199)

15-64 years: 60.1% (male 2,898,251/female 2,947,272)

65 years and over: 3.9% (male 170,584/female 212,949) (2011 est.)

Median age:

Total: 21.4 years

Male: 21.1 years

Female: 21.6 years (2011 est.)


Roman Catholic 80%, Protestant 16% (Baptist 10%, Pentecostal 4%, Adventist 1%, other 1%), none 1%, other 3%

Note: roughly half of the population practices voodoo.


French (official), Creole (official)


People Groups: 9 (11% unreached)

Challenges for Prayer

Haiti must find release from the bondages of its past. The Spanish genocide against the indigenous Arawaks, and the cruel slavery instituted and maintained by the Spanish and then the French, form a tragic background. The tyrannies, cruelties and use of voodoo as a means of control have fostered a spirit of fear that permeates every level of society. More recent interventions by foreign powers have not banished the endemic problems. Pray that:

a) The powerful spirits underlying voodooism might be bound in the name of Jesus. Pray that the ubiquitous influence and enduring legacy of voodoo might be made subordinate to the authority of Christ – especially in the lives of Christians.

b) Haitians who call themselves Christian might experience the transforming nature of a personal relationship with Christ. Only through the regeneration and power of the Holy Spirit will the heritage of voodoo be overcome.

c) This nation might enjoy stability, safety and sustained development by removing the systemic evils holding it back and by instilling biblical values and practices on every level of society. 

From: http://www.operationworld.org/country/hait/owtext.html


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