Literacy in Haiti


Today, numerous Haitian children lack access to quality education. Schools in Haiti face challenges maintaining student attendance which leads to poor student achievement, dropping out, and lower literacy levels.   Uneducated parents are often unable to send more than one of their children to school at a time, and often choose boys over girls.  Cycles of poverty can occur generation after generation and thwart economic and social progress.  Haiti’s literacy is the lowest in the Western Hemisphere.

Caribbean Country Literacy Rate Total Population

Dominican Republic
Puerto Rico


Haitian Literacy Rate by Age Range

15-24 years  83%83%82%
25 years and older62%65%58%
65 years and older15%21%10%

School Involvement

  • 35% of girls over six never go to school
  • 50% of primary school age children are not enrolled in school
  • 30% of children attending school leave before the third grade
  • 60% of all school children will leave school after the sixth grade
  • 200,000 children are not in school
  • <1% of Haitians have graduated from college

Factors Affecting Students’ School Completion

  • 78% of the population live on less than $2 USD a day: most families average $240 USD per year
  • Families have several students of school age to enroll
  • $100.00 USD per year. . .estimated annual tuition for a student
  • $35.00 USD per year. . .estimated cost of uniforms and materials
  • Limited books and materials in mother tongue of Kreyòl in K3 to grade 3 for first learning
  • Little access to school libraries
  • 85% of teachers lack basic qualifications
  • 90% of schools are run with little oversight

Sources:  CIA World Data Book, UNESCO, World Data Bank, Summits Education