Country Listing

Haiti Table of Contents




Figure 12. Population Distribution by Age and Sex, 1982

Source: Based on information from République d'Haïti, Santé et Population en Haiti, Port-au- Prince, Institut Haïtien de Statistique et d'Informatique, 1986, 8.

Demographic Profile

The estimated population of Haiti in 1989 was 6.1 million, with an average population density of 182 people per square kilometer. Some 75 percent of the population lived in rural areas, while only 25 percent remained in urban areas; this was one of the lowest urban-to-rural population ratios in Latin America and the Caribbean. The estimated annual population growth rate between 1971 and 1982 was 1.4 percent. The crude mortality rate in 1982 was estimated to be 16.5 percent, with a crude birth rate of 36 percent (see table 11, Appendix A). A profile of the population reveals that the majority of Haitians are young (see fig. 12).

Haiti has conducted only a few censuses throughout its history. A survey taken during 1918 and 1919 indicated that there were about 1.9 million people in the country. The first formal census, taken in 1950, showed that the population had reached 3.1 million. The second census, in 1971, indicated a population of 4.2 million. Critics have argued that these censuses, along with one taken in 1982 (the final results of which were still unavailable as of 1989), were deficient and that they seriously undercounted the population.

Urban areas, particularly Port-au-Prince, grew significantly in the 1970s and the 1980s. The annual population growth rate of metropolitan Port-au-Prince was estimated to be 3.5 percent between 1971 and 1982, substantially above the 1.4 percent national rate for that period. The growth rate for other urban areas was estimated at 2.4 percent. Metropolitan Port-au-Prince, which includes the capital and the suburbs of Delmas and Carrefour, was by far the largest urban area, in 1982, with a population of 763,188, or about 61 percent of the total urban population. The population of the second largest city, CapHaïtien , was estimated to be 64,400 in 1982. The next two largest towns, Gonaïves and Les Cayes, had estimated populations of slightly more than 34,000. Six other towns had populations greater than 10,000.

The rural population, which grew about 1 percent a year between 1971 and 1982, was estimated to be 3.8 million in 1982, 3.4 million in 1971, and 2.7 million in 1950. In 1982 there were about 464 people per square kilometer in rural areas, one of the highest population densities in the Western Hemisphere.

Data as of December 1989