Haiti Factsheet 2016


  • Haiti has a population of 10.5 million.
  • Over half – or 54% – of the population is aged under 25.
  • Life expectancy in Haiti is 63.5 years. In Ireland, life expectancy is 80.3 years.



  • Haiti ranks at 163 of 188 on the Human Development Index.
  • Haiti is one of the most unequal countries in the world: the richest 20% of its population holds more than 64% of its total wealth, while the poorest 20% hold hardly 1%.
  • 2.5 million people in Haiti – or 24.7% of the population – are experiencing extreme poverty, meaning they live under $1.25 a day.
  • Poverty is largely rural, affecting 75.2% of those in rural areas and 40.8% in urban areas.
  • The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Haiti is just $824 per capita. This compares with an average GDP of $9,091 per capita in nearby Latin American and Caribbean countries, and a GDP of $54,374 per capita here in Ireland.
  • 30% of the population in Haiti continues to have significant challenges in meeting their basic food needs: 165,000 are in severe food insecurity, and 860,000 would require urgent assistance if their situation worsened any further.


Water and Sanitation

  • Just 27.6% – of the population in Haiti has access to improved sanitation facilities (World Bank, 2015). In fact, 80.8% of the rural population and 66.4% of the urban population only have unimproved sanitation access.
  • Over half – or 52.4% – of the rural population and 35.1% of the urban population only have access to unimproved drinking water sources.
  • Over 762,000 cases of cholera and almost 9,000 deaths as a result of the disease have been reported in Haiti since 2010, the epidemic spreading as a result of poor sanitation.



  • 60% of the health system was destroyed during the 2010 earthquake, and 10% of Haiti’s health staff were either killed or left the country in the aftermath of the event.  This left a huge gap in health service provision, which still has to be fully closed.
  • Every year, malaria affects almost one in twenty – or 500,000 – people in Haiti. Still, just 23% of children under five sleep under a treated mosquito net.
  • 69 children out of every 1,000 never see their fifth birthday. This compares to the world average of 46.
  • An estimated 1 in 285 births in Haiti will result in a woman’s death.




  • 4,992 schools in Haiti were affected by the 2010 earthquake, with 80% of these forced into closure due to the damage incurred.
  • The adult literacy rate in Haiti is just 49%.
  • Just 73% of children in rural areas in Haiti and 86% in urban areas are enrolled in primary education.
  • Only one third of all children aged 14 in Haiti are in the appropriate grade for their age.
  • Just 29% of people in Haiti aged over 25 attended secondary school; in fact, people of that age group received just 4.9 years of education on average.
  • Almost 80% of teachers in Haiti have not received any pre-service training.



  • The 2010 earthquake damaged or destroyed 175,682 homes in Haiti, leaving 2.1 million people homeless.
  • 60,801 people affected by the 2010 earthquake are still living in 45 camps or camp-like situations across the island. On average, 82 people are forced to share one toilet in these camps.
  • Following the earthquake, an estimated 302,000 children were displaced to departments other than the one they lived in previously.
  • Only 11% of people in the Haitian countryside have access to energy compared with 63% in the island’s cities.



  • Employment is extremely vulnerable in Haiti: over two-thirds of the labour force do not have formal jobs.
  • The working population includes an especially high proportion of self-employed (34.7%) and family (7.8%) workers, reflecting the insecurity of the labour market.
  • Employment is still not always enough to empower people to meet their basic needs: 44.9% of workers still live on less than $1.25 a day.


Sources: World Bank, 2015; CIA Factbook, 2015; United Nations Development Programme, 2015; Millenium Development Goals Report, 2014; World Food Programme, 2015; Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 2016; Médecins Sans Frontiers, 2015; Partners in Health, 2014; UNICEF, 2015; USAID, 2015; Amnesty International, 2015; TAP Haiti, 2015.