Haiti Economy - 2021


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Economic overview

Haiti is a free market economy with low labor costs and tariff-free access to the US for many of its exports. Two-fifths of all Haitians depend on the agricultural sector, mainly small-scale subsistence farming, which remains vulnerable to damage from frequent natural disasters. Poverty, corruption, vulnerability to natural disasters, and low levels of education for much of the population represent some of the most serious impediments to Haiti’s economic growth. Remittances are the primary source of foreign exchange, equivalent to more than a quarter of GDP, and nearly double the combined value of Haitian exports and foreign direct investment.

Currently the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with close to 60% of the population living under the national poverty line, Haiti’s GDP growth rose to 5.5% in 2011 as the Haitian economy began recovering from the devastating January 2010 earthquake that destroyed much of its capital city, Port-au-Prince, and neighboring areas. However, growth slowed to below 2% in 2015 and 2016 as political uncertainty, drought conditions, decreasing foreign aid, and the depreciation of the national currency took a toll on investment and economic growth. Hurricane Matthew, the fiercest Caribbean storm in nearly a decade, made landfall in Haiti on 4 October 2016, with 140 mile-per-hour winds, creating a new humanitarian emergency. An estimated 2.1 million people were affected by the category 4 storm, which caused extensive damage to crops, houses, livestock, and infrastructure across Haiti’s southern peninsula.

US economic engagement under the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA) and the 2008 Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement Act (HOPE II) have contributed to an increase in apparel exports and investment by providing duty-free access to the US. The Haiti Economic Lift Program (HELP) Act of 2010 extended the CBTPA and HOPE II until 2020, while the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 extended trade benefits provided to Haiti in the HOPE and HELP Acts through September 2025. Apparel sector exports in 2016 reached approximately $850 million and account for over 90% of Haitian exports and more than 10% of the GDP.

Investment in Haiti is hampered by the difficulty of doing business and weak infrastructure, including access to electricity. Haiti's outstanding external debt was cancelled by donor countries following the 2010 earthquake, but has since risen to $2.6 billion as of December 2017, the majority of which is owed to Venezuela under the PetroCaribe program. Although the government has increased its revenue collection, it continues to rely on formal international economic assistance for fiscal sustainability, with over 20% of its annual budget coming from foreign aid or direct budget support.

Real GDP growth rate

1.2% (2017 est.)

1.5% (2016 est.)

1.2% (2015 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

14.7% (2017 est.)

13.4% (2016 est.)

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$32.724 billion (2019 est.)

$33.284 billion (2018 est.)

$32.738 billion (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$8.608 billion (2017 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$2,905 (2019 est.)

$2,992 (2018 est.)

$2,981 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Gross national saving

12% of GDP (2018 est.)

10.9% of GDP (2017 est.)

29.3% of GDP (2015 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 22.1% (2017 est.)

industry: 20.3% (2017 est.)

services: 57.6% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 99.1% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 10% (2016 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 32.6% (2016 est.)

investment in inventories: -1.4% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 20% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -60.3% (2017 est.)

note: figure for household consumption also includes government consumption

Ease of Doing Business Index scores

Overall score: 40.7 (2020)

Starting a Business score: 36.4 (2020)

Trading score: 76.9 (2020)

Enforcement score: 51.6 (2020)

Agricultural products

sugar cane, cassava, mangoes/guavas, plantains, bananas, yams, avocados, maize, rice, vegetables


textiles, sugar refining, flour milling, cement, light assembly using imported parts

Industrial production growth rate

0.9% (2017 est.)

Labor force

4.594 million (2014 est.)

note: shortage of skilled labor; unskilled labor abundant

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 38.1%

industry: 11.5%

services: 50.4% (2010)

Unemployment rate

40.6% (2010 est.)

note: widespread unemployment and underemployment; more than two-thirds of the labor force do not have formal jobs

Population below poverty line

58.5% (2012 est.)

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

41.1 (2012 est.)

59.2 (2001)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 0.7%

highest 10%: 47.7% (2001)


revenues: 1.567 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 1.65 billion (2017 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

18.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-1% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Public debt

31.1% of GDP (2017 est.)

33.9% of GDP (2016 est.)

Fiscal year

1 October - 30 September

Current account balance

-$348 million (2017 est.)

-$83 million (2016 est.)


$980.2 million (2017 est.)

$995 million (2016 est.)

Exports - partners

United States 81%, Canada 7% (2019)

Exports - commodities

clothing and apparel, eels, essential oils, perfumes, mangoes, cocoa beans (2019)


$3.618 billion (2017 est.)

$3.183 billion (2016 est.)

Imports - partners

United States 39%, China 22%, Turkey 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, rice, clothing and apparel, palm oil, poultry meats (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$2.361 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$2.11 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

Debt - external

$2.762 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$2.17 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

Exchange rates

gourdes (HTG) per US dollar -

65.21 (2017 est.)

63.34 (2016 est.)

63.34 (2015 est.)

50.71 (2014 est.)

45.22 (2013 est.)

NOTE: The information regarding Haiti on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Haiti 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Haiti 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.