Haiti: The Poorest Country in the Western Hemisphere

Haiti Fast Facts: 6 Things You Probably Shouldn’t Know

Haiti: the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, but with a population of roughly 9.7 million, it’s also the most important.

What Is Haiti?

Haiti is a small country in the Western Hemisphere, slightly bigger than the state of Utah. Its capital, Port-au-Prince, is the second-largest city in the Americas, after Mexico City. It’s also known as the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean” and the “Pearl of the Caribbean,” but there isn’t much to call it a pearl.

Haiti is about as poor as the country can be. Its total population was around 20,100 in 2015, but it ranked 126 out of 145 countries on the 2016 Human Development Index, down from its 14th place in 2000.

Its economy has remained stagnant for the past three decades. It has the 6th-worst credit rating on the World Bank’s list, and it ranks 149th out of 160 countries on the 2018 Corruption Perception Index. On the other hand, there’s been a lot of improvement in other areas in Haiti.

Here’s a quick look at Haiti’s economy by age, gender, urbanization, employment, and income per capita.


Haiti is a young country. The average age is 37.6 years, and almost half of all households are headed by an elderly person. The average life expectancy is just 45.8 years.

The World Bank’s projections of economic growth in the next 25 years suggest that life expectancy will increase by almost 5 years.

The Gini Index (a measurement of income inequality, where a value of 0 means perfect equality, and a value of 1 means utter inequality) is slightly higher among younger residents of the country – but it’s still higher than the U.S. and other developed countries.


Haiti is the only country

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