Artibonite (Haitian Creole: Latibonit) is one of the ten departments of Haiti. With an area of 4,887 km2, it is Haiti's largest department. As of 2015, its estimated population was 1,727,524. The region is the country's main rice-growing area. The main cities are Gonaïves (the capital) and Saint-Marc. In February 2004 an insurgency tried unsuccessfully to declare Artibonite's independence. The department has been in a state of an economic decline since insurgencies and coups have reduced the nation's stability. Since the election of President René Garcia Preval, the production of rice and other crops has been on an increase.
Artibonite's geography is diverse, with the Montagnes Noires, along with a part of the Central Plateau occupying the northern part of the department, and the Chaîne des Matheux and lowlands along the Artibonite valley stretching to the shore of the Golfe de la Gonâve occupying the south.
The coast of Artibonite is flat and marshy at the mouths of the L'Estère and Artibonite rivers. Elsewhere, it is rather rocky. Artibonite ranks third to Western and Southern Departments in the length of its coastline. Artibonite is known as "Haiti's breadbasket" because it is one of the nation's agricultural products, particularly famous for its rice. Manufacturing, trading, and tourism are also major contributors to the state's economy.
The Department of Artibonite is subdivided into five arrondissements, which are further subdivided into sixteen communes.
- Dessalines Arrondissement
- Grande Saline
- Petite Rivière de l'Artibonite
- Gonaïves Arrondissement
- Gros-Morne Arrondissement
- Marmelade Arrondissement
- Saint-Marc Arrondissement
- La Chapelle