Haiti vs. the Dominican Republic
Comparing Two Sister Countries
They say the grass is always greener on the other side, for Haiti this saying seems to be true. Haiti and the Dominican Republic share the island of Hispaniola, but are completely different in many ways. Haiti is the poorest countries in the western hemisphere and almost all of its people live in poverty, while the Dominican Republic is one of the wealthier countries. In 1960, both countries had the same per capita real GDP but in the last 50 years, the Dominican Republic has more than tripled its growth compared to Haiti. While these two countries are similar in geography and historical institutions, the growth between the two is drastically different. Throughout this paper, I will compare both countries economic growth and why two countries with the same geographic area are so different.
Up until the 1960’s, the Dominican Republic and Haiti had very similar economic stance and were relatively growing at the same pace. But suddenly, over the next decade, the Dominican Republic rapidly increased, while Haiti barely grew at all. One reason, according to Jared Diamond’s book “Collapse”, is that because Haiti resides on the western side of the island and has a lower rainfall percentage resulting in deforestation and loss of soil fertility, which effects the agricultural industry and hinders their growth. Another factor is that Haiti has less than half the space that the Dominican Republic does, but in the 1960’s Haiti had a larger population. Throughout the 1960’s, it seemed as Haiti was beating the Dominican Republic in population, but if you look at graph 1, you can see that as soon as the 1970’s came about Haiti’s population growth slow down compared to the Dominican Republic. Because Haiti occupies a smaller portion of the island compared to the Dominican Republic, it has a higher population density in a smaller area, which also contributes to the poor soil fertility and deforestation,...
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