Haiti death toll: The science of measuring civilian death tolls is controversial and crucial - Los Angeles Times:
"Within days of the event, Haitian authorities estimated that more than 230,000 people had been killed and another 300,000 injured. A year later, the prime minister claimed instead that 316,000 citizens had died. Few outsiders questioned the numbers or their underlying methodologies at the time, despite the statistics appearing to have been plucked out of thin air.
In June, a consultancy group commissioned by the U.S. Agency for International Development offered a dramatically reduced death toll. The authors of the study claimed that between 46,000 and 85,000 Haitians had been killed and another 850,000 assembled in camps. Although the numbers were considerably more conservative than the Haitian government's figures, the authors did not adequately explain how they were generated.
There are reasons to be cautious about both the high and the low estimates."