Social Changes

Population Factors:

The historical bar graph displays the population of Haiti from 1960 to 2006.  The population is measured in millions.  The population has continuously increased since 1960.  There has been no drop in the population which leads me to believe that there have not been diseases or disasters that have significantly affected the people of Haiti.  The population was 3.8 million in 1960 and by 2006 it had more than doubled to reach 9.4 million people.  From 1960 through 1995, the population steadily increased each year by 300,000-600,000 people.  The most drastic increase was 1995 to 2006.  In the years 1995 to 2000, the population increased by 800,000 people.  In the years 2000 to 2006, the population increased by 1.4 million people.  This graph does not take into account the Haiti earthquake in 2010.  I would assume there has been a significant drop in the population, but no official count has been released.  The population of the Dominican Republic, Haiti’s neighbor, was 8.9 in 2006.  Haiti’s population seems to be average to somewhat on the high side compared to its neighbors. 

This graph portray the Total Fertility Rate of women in Haiti.  The Total Fertility Rate is the average number of babies each woman gives birth to in the country.  The fertility rate is important because it is a determinant of whether the population increases or decreases.  It takes 2.1 children per woman to replace their parents.  This means that on average, each woman needs to have 2.1 children for the population to stay the same.  The bars show an unsteady Total Fertility Rate from 1960 to 2007.  The Total Fertility Rate decreases from 6.3 children per woman in 1960 to 3.8 children in 2007.  The rate steadily decreases each year until 2005, where it stays 3.8 until 2007.  Haiti's population has been growing because 3.8 is enough children to replace the older generation.

This graph displays the life expectancy of the people of Haiti from 1960 until 2007.  Life expectancy determines how many years people live.  The life expectancy was extremely low in 1960.  People lived to be only 42 years old.  1962 to 1967 had the most significant change of about almost 3 years.  In general, the graph continuously increases every year by about half a year to 2 years.  Between 1960 and 2007, life expectancy increased by 18.5 years.  This is a significant increase, but not compared to the rest of the world.  The average life expectancy of the United States is 78.4 years.  The average life expectancy of people in the Dominican Republic is 72.5 years.  This is considerably larger than their connecting neighbor, Haiti.  This is because the quality of life in the Dominican Republic is better because it is a major tourist attraction and vacation spot.  Living conditions for the population are better.
I would give Haiti a B- for population. The population is increasing, total fertility rate is dropping, and life expectancy is increasing.  If life expectancy is increasing, this must mean Haitians are living healthier lives and are trying to improve life conditions.  The total fertility rate is dropping, which is necessary.  Some women have too many children and cannot afford to feed them or provide the basic necessities for life.  It seems as if Haiti has a control on population. However, Haiti is very small.  It is one of the most densely population countries in the world, with 580 people per square mile.  This causes people to emigrate to neighboring countries or the US.  If the total fertility rate continues to drop in the future, Haiti may be able to control population.


This graph shows a negative correlation between GDP per capita and illiteracy rates.  Haiti has a low GDP per capita and a high illiteracy rate.  It is in one of the worst positions on the chart, with 50.2% illiteracy.  Their GDP per capita is $667.  Many countries have a lower GDP per capita but their illiteracy rate in almost 0.  The GDP per capita does not have to be very high in order to experience low illiteracy rates.  Haiti is a poor country.  Many children only receive at most a few years of education because they need to help the family survive.  This results in high illiteracy rates.  This is evident in the chart below.

Number per 100 population , 2007, phones: 26

Number per 100 population , 2007, Internet users:10

Primary school attendance ratio 2003–2008, net, male: 48%

Primary school attendance ratio 2003–2008, net, female: 52%

Secondary school attendance ratio 2003–2008, net, male: 18%

Secondary school attendance ratio 2003–2008, net, female: 21%


Education Years Compared to GDP Per Capita

This graph compares years of education to GDP per capita.  Its citizens have on average less than 3 years of schooling compared to about 5 for the Dominican Republic and about 8 for Chile The impact of a poor GDP is felt in the citizens’ ability to obtain an education.  Unfortunately, the lack of education of its citizens will make it significantly harder for the nation as a whole to rise from its level of poverty.   Many large corporations are moving their facilities out of the United States in order to produce their products more cheaply due to lower employee costs.  But Haiti will not benefit from this for a number of reasons, one of which is the poor education of its citizens.  Foreign countries will not find the level of skill they need for their employees in Haiti A low GDP hurts the education level of its citizens and the low education level of its citizens makes it that much harder for Haiti to raise its GDP.  

I would give Haiti a D in education.  On average, half of the children are receiving only 3 years of formal education.  Illiteracy rates are over 50%.  The reason for this is many children need to work in order to help feed their families and provide basic living necessities.  Providing for your family is more important than education, but if education does not improve Haiti will never climb out of the poverty trap.

Health and Wellness:

Percent Undernourished: 58%

Percent w/ Access to Water: 58%

HIV/AIDS prevalence rate: 2.2%

TB case rate (per 100,000): 306 (Haiti has the highest TB rate per person in Latin America)

Contraceptive prevalence (% of women 15-49): 32%

Births attended by skilled health staff: 26%

In 2008, Haiti was a model for combating AIDS, malaria, and TB.  Rates fell from 9.4% in 1993 to 2.2% in 2008 with help from the United States.  However, the earthquake in January destroyed health facilities.  Mass rape occurred after the earthquake because of lack of protection and shelter.  It is estimated that AIDS has now affected around 200,000 people.  

Recently, there has been a cholera outbreak in Haiti.   It causes vomiting and severe diarrhea, quickly causing dehydration and death.  The death toll is up to 1,500 people.



Percent of Population Using Improved
Sanitation Facilities

From year to year, the availability of improved sanitation facilities has been decreasing. This refers to the percentage of the population that has access to adequate waste disposal.  In 2006, only 19% of the population had access to sanitation facilities.  These numbers do not take into account the earthquake of 2010, so the numbers now are probably much lower.  After the earthquake, Haiti does not have the resources or capabilities to maintain proper sewage systems.  This lack of sanitation is causing disease outbreaks and epidemics that cannot be solved without better sanitation.

I would also give Haiti a D in health and wellness.  It severely lacks in sanitation facilities which is a main reason for all the disease outbreaks.  58% of the population is undernourished and only 58% have access to drinking water.  That does not mean that this water is clean.  Most Haitians live in dire poverty and do not have the money to feed themselves or their families.  80% of the diseases in Haiti are caused by lack of clean water and basic sanitation.  Health care systems were extremely weakened by the effects of the earthquake.  

Environmental Issues:

People in Haiti routinely cut down trees for fuel.  Most of the time it is turned into charcoal.  Only 3% of the trees are left in Haiti. The disappearance of trees has made flooding and landslides unbearable in the rainy seasons.  Deforestation leads to soil erosion.  

Soil Erosion

1/3 of Haiti's top soil is no longer arable due to soil erosion.  The erosion has caused major mud slides in Haiti during the rainy season, causing people to flee their homes because of the destruction.  The erosion clogs the irrigation systems causing unsanitary conditions.

I give Haiti a D for environmental issues.  Deforestation and soil erosion are causing people to starve and lose their homes.  Trees give off oxygen which reduces carbon dioxide in the air and are necessary for life.  Mud slides make it impossible for any type of vegetation to grow in certain areas of Haiti.  Farming is in severe decline. This is a major problem and a solution needs to be found immediately in order for Haiti to become somewhat sustainable and sanitary.

Measures of Migration:

Indicator 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010
Estimated number of international migrants at mid-year 19 084 22 203 25 832 30 054 34 966
Population at mid-year (thousands) 7 108 7 861 8 648 9 410 10 188
Estimated number of female migrants at mid-year 8 478 9 599 11 168 12 993 15 116
Estimated number of male migrants at mid-year 10 606 12 604 14 664 17 061 19 850
Every year, the number of Haitians migrating out of Haiti is rising.  People are in search of a better life mainly in the United States, Cuba, the neighboring Dominican Republic, or other parts of the Caribbean.  There are no records on how many Haitians are living and working in the Dominican Republic.  The chart above is probably not completely accurate because those numbers are recorded Haitians.  Most migrants are not reported.  The numbers are significantly increasing since the earthquake.  The driving force behind people moving out of Haiti is poverty.  The United States has tightened their boarders because of fear of mass migration after the earthquake.  The US is still sending millions to Haiti relief funds.