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Haiti Facts for Kids

Haiti is a sovereign state known officially as the Republic of Haiti, formerly called Hayti.

It is located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles with extensive islands within the Caribbean Sea and the Dominican Republic shares a group of these islands with them.

Haiti Facts for Kids

  • The total land area of Haiti is 27,750 sq km (10,714 sq miles)
  • The largest city and also the capital city is Port-au-Prince.
  • The official language of Haiti is the French language with some fraction speaking Haitian Creole, it is the only other country apart from Canada to have its official language as French.
  • Haiti has a population of 10,646,714 (est in 2017) making it the most populated country in the Caribbean community and it is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
  • The Network Readiness Index (NRI) ranked Haiti has the lowest among North American countries.
  • The rating shows the technology and information development of a country and proves that mobile phones and internet connections are only made for the Rich minority and Business interests in the capital of Haiti.
  • Haiti gained independence from France on 1 January 1804, making it the second oldest country to ever gain independence in the western hemisphere after the United State of America.
  • The national anthem called the “La Dessalinienne (the Dessalines Song)”.
  • The National holiday is the Independence Day (1 January)
  • The national sport is football (soccer) and they competed in the world cup in 1974.
  • The national animal is the Hispaniola trogon while the national flower is the hibiscus flower.
  • The people of Haiti are called Haitians with the religion of the country being the Roman Catholic (Christianity)
  • The currency used is the Haitian gourde (G) or (HTG).
  • The national resources of the country are Bauxite, gold, marble, arable land, hydropower, copper and calcium carbonate.
  • The major industries are the Sugar Refining, Cement, Light assembly using imported parts, flour milling and textiles.
  • Haiti’s exportation makes about $960.1 million (est. in 2017) in a year on manufactures, oils, mangoes, apparel and coffee.
  • The country spends about $3.621 billion (est. in 2017) on machinery and transport equipment, fuels, raw materials, manufactured goods and food.
  • The Pic La Selle standing above sea level at 2,680 meters (8,793 feet) is Haiti’s highest peak with Haiti having the most mountains of any Caribbean nation and the mountaintop fortress “The Citadel” being in the north part of Haiti is the largest in the western hemisphere.
  • Christopher Columbus discovered Haiti and named it Hispaniola. There is a monument to his name at Haiti’s capital in the central square. The cathedral of Santa Maria is where he is also buried. Columbus first thought when he found the island that it was India or Asia.
  • Haitian’s have a love for gambling and are known to use voodoo to ask for lottery numbers
  • Cockfighting is a popular game in Haiti and the winning cock could gain you $67, which is roughly the average monthly salary for Haitian.
  • In old times, pirates considered Haiti a safe place and a great place to mine gold with the Haitian’s working as laborers.
  • Haiti sold slaves to other countries that made them really rich.
  • Anemia is very common in children between the age of six months to five years old. Half of the Children of Haiti are unvaccinated with more than 10% of them dying before the age of five (5). In 2010 to 2015, 8,900 people died in the country and 733,000 others were affected from a cholera outbreak. More than 430,000 orphans are in Haiti; this is because of the high rate of violence and HIV.
  • Most rivers in Haiti are polluted with human and other waste because of these, the sanitation and water supply are major difficult challenges for the people. This leads to diseases like hookworm and typhoid being rampant in the island
  • 200,000 Haitian lives were taken during the 2010 earthquake disaster. It is said that the extent of damage was so massive that it will take decades for Haiti to rebuild infrastructures like governance, security, health and Agriculture.
  • Smallpox was discovered in Haiti in 1507
  • The majorities of the people of Haiti are jobless and are forced to work in harsh conditions. With farmers having difficulties in taking their goods to the market because of the poor conditions of the road.
  • Between 1804 and 1915, the country had more than seventy dictators rule them.