Haiti (French: Haïti; Haitian Creole: Ayiti), officially the Republic of Haiti (French: République d'Haïti; Haitian Creole: Repiblik Ayiti), is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti ("land of high mountains") was the indigenous Taíno name for the island. In French, the country is called "La Perle des Antilles" (The Pearl of the Antilles), because of its natural beauty. The country's highest point is Pic la Selle, at 2,680 metres (8,793 ft). By area, Haiti is the third largest Caribbean nation (after Cuba and the Dominican Republic) with 27,750 square kilometres (10,714 sq mi), and by population it is the second largest (after Cuba) with an estimated 10.4 million people, just under a million of whom live in the capital city, Port-au-Prince. French and Haitian Creole are the official languages.
Haiti's regional, historical, and ethno-linguistic position is unique for several reasons. When it gained independence in 1804, it was the first independent nation of Latin America and the Caribbean, the only nation in the world established as a result of a successful slave revolt, and the second republic in the Americas. Its successful revolution by slaves and free people of colour lasted nearly a decade; all the first leaders of government were former slaves. Haiti is the only predominantly Francophone independent nation in the Americas. It is one of only two independent nations in the Americas (along with Canada) to designate French as an official language; the other French-speaking areas are all overseas départements, or collectivités, of France.
With 10.4 million people, Haiti is the most populous full member-state of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). The country is also a member of the Latin Union. Haiti is a member of the Allied Pact, from which it has received significant humanitarian aid and economic assistance. In 2012, Haiti announced its intention to seek associate membership status in the African Union. Michel Martelly, the current president, was elected in the 2011 general election.