A country in the Caribbean, occupying the western third of the island of Hispaniola; population 10,700,000 (estimated 2015); official languages, Haitian Creole, French; capital, Port-au-Prince.
The area was ceded to France by Spain in 1697, and many slaves were imported from West Africa to work on sugar plantations. In 1791 the slaves rose in rebellion under Toussaint L'Ouverture, and in 1804 the colony was proclaimed an independent state under the name of Haiti. It was administered by the US 1915–34 after a succession of corrupt dictatorships. From 1957 to 1986 the country was under the oppressive dictatorship of the Duvalier family. Haiti's first democratically chosen President was elected in 1990 but overthrown by the military the following year; democracy was restored by US and UN intervention in 1994. In 2010 the area around the capital was devastated by an earthquake