Area: Covering the western third of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, Haiti measures 10,695 square miles.
Environment: The climate varies from tropical to semiarid, where mountains give shelter from the trade winds. Haiti can experience severe tropical storms between June and October. Its terrain is rough and mountainous (Chaine de la Selle 2,680 metres), but there is serious soil erosion and pollution.
Population:About 8.5 million. Life expectancy: 51 years. There is a high prevalence of AIDS/HIV.
Ethnic groups:Afro-Caribbean 90%; Mulatto (Eurafrican) 9.9%; Euro-American 0.1%.
Languages:French and Creole (official languages).
Literacy: Under 50%.
Natural resources: Some minerals; some hydroelectric capacity.
Economy:About 80% of the population live in complete poverty; nearly 70% depend on small-scale subsistence farming. Exports include coffee and cocoa. Following rigged elections in May 2000, international donors suspended economic aid to Haiti.
Religions: Over 75% of the population profess to be Roman Catholic, and over 20% Protestant, but well over half the population practise voodoo. There are over 0.5 million Seventh Day Adventists and some 16,500 adherents of Bahai.
Protestant denominations: Various Baptist, Holiness, Pentecostal, Charismatic and Methodist churches. Nearly 2 million people profess to be evangelical.