Sources of Haitian Names
I drew the names of educated Haitians from lists of university applicants that Haitian universities made available online. The lists were drawn up in 2006-2011, and represented 6,909 individuals, of whom I identified 4,874 as male and 1,114 as female. The lists didn't contain the applicants' gender, so I assigned gender myself, using Internet searches of sites such as Facebook when a name was ambiguous.
The data also didn't include applicants' birthdates. In calculating an age range, I assumed that the average undergraduate applicant was at least 18 upon application. An upper age range is difficult to assign to the applicants for three reasons:
- Educational delay is common in Haiti, even among relatively privileged students.
- Because competition for admission to university is fierce, applicants sometimes apply several years in a row. Applicants can't be assumed to have just completed secondary school, or even to have graduated one or two years ago.
- Some of the applications may have been for graduate positions.
I assumed an upper age of 25 for the sake of convenience, but this assumption is completely untested and open to challenge. However, if the average applicant was 18 to 25 in 2006-2011, then most of the people on the list were born in 1981 to 1993.
Working-Class and Rural Haitians
I compiled the names of working-class and rural Haitians from child sponsorship sites and the blogs of relief organizations. While the data source is riddled with issues—selection bias, inaccuracies inserted by non-Haitian volunteers, ethical questions—it's one of the vanishingly few sources of information about the names of the 80% of Haitians who are functionally illiterate and/or not online. (Or rather, it's one of the vanishingly few sources available to people who can't fly to Haiti.)
In February 2013, I collected the names of 2,883 children, of whom I identified 1,578 as boys and 1,271 as girls. When birthdate or age data was available, I collected that as well. Of the 2,250 children whose birth years were known or estimatable, the youngest children were born in 2013 and the oldest, participants in programs for the developmentally disabled, were born in 1982. However, there were only 162 young adults over the age of 18, or 7.2% of the people whose birth year was known.