Liberia Population: 3,989,703


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Settlement of freed slaves from the US in what is today Liberia began in 1822; by 1847, the Americo-Liberians were able to establish a republic. William TUBMAN, president from 1944-71, did much to promote foreign investment and to bridge the economic, social, and political gaps between the descendants of the original settlers and the inhabitants of the interior. In 1980, a military coup led by Samuel DOE ushered in a decade of authoritarian rule. In December 1989, Charles TAYLOR launched a rebellion against DOE's regime that led to a prolonged civil war in which DOE was killed. A period of relative peace in 1997 allowed for elections that brought TAYLOR to power, but major fighting resumed in 2000. An August 2003 peace agreement ended the war and prompted the resignation of former president Charles TAYLOR, who faces war crimes charges in The Hague related to his involvement in Sierra Leone's civil war. After two years of rule by a transitional government, democratic elections in late 2005 brought President Ellen JOHNSON SIRLEAF to power. She subsequently won reelection in 2011 in a second round vote that was boycotted by the opposition and remains challenged to build Liberia's economy and reconcile a nation still recovering from 14 years of fighting. The United Nations Security Council in September 2012 passed Resolution 2066 which calls for a reduction of UN troops in Liberia by half by 2015, bringing the troop total down to fewer than 4000, and challenging Liberia's security sector to fill the gaps.

Facing the Atlantic Ocean, the coastline is characterized by lagoons, mangrove swamps, and river-deposited sandbars; the inland grassy plateau supports limited agriculture
Location: Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Cote d'Ivoire and Sierra Leone
Geographic coordinates: 6 30 N, 9 30 W
Area: total: 111,369 sq km
land: 96,320 sq km
water: 15,049 sq km

Size comparison: slightly larger than Tennessee
Land Boundaries: total: 1,585 km
border countries: Guinea 563 km, Cote d'Ivoire 716 km, Sierra Leone 306 km
Coastline: 579 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 200 nm
Climate: tropical; hot, humid; dry winters with hot days and cool to cold nights; wet, cloudy summers with frequent heavy showers
Terrain: mostly flat to rolling coastal plains rising to rolling plateau and low mountains in northeast
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Wuteve 1,380 m
Natural resources: iron ore, timber, diamonds, gold, hydropower
Land use: arable land: 4.04%
permanent crops: 1.62%
other: 94.34% (2011)
Irrigated land: 21 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards: dust-laden harmattan winds blow from the Sahara (December to March)
Current Environment Issues: tropical rain forest deforestation; soil erosion; loss of biodiversity; pollution of coastal waters from oil residue and raw sewage
International Environment Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Marine Life Conservation
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Nationality: noun: Liberian(s)
adjective: Liberian
Ethnic groups: Kpelle 20.3%, Bassa 13.4%, Grebo 10%, Gio 8%, Mano 7.9%, Kru 6%, Lorma 5.1%, Kissi 4.8%, Gola 4.4%, other 20.1% (2008 Census)
Languages: English 20% (official), some 20 ethnic group languages few of which can be written or used in correspondence
Religions: Christian 85.6%, Muslim 12.2%, Traditional 0.6%, other 0.2%, none 1.4% (2008 Census)
Population: 3,989,703 (July 2013 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 43.6% (male 876,696/female 863,873)
15-24 years: 17.8% (male 345,357/female 363,746)
25-54 years: 31.3% (male 622,806/female 624,707)
55-64 years: 4.3% (male 84,252/female 87,250)
65 years and over: 3% (male 60,288/female 60,728) (2013 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 84.9 %
youth dependency ratio: 79.3 %
elderly dependency ratio: 5.6 %
potential support ratio: 17.8 (2013)
Median age: total: 17.9 years
male: 17.7 years
female: 18.1 years (2013 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.56% (2013 est.)
Birth rate: 35.75 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Death rate: 10.12 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 48.2% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 3.43% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - population: MONROVIA (capital) 882,000 (2009)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.01 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2013 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth: 19.1 (2007 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 770 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Infant mortality rate: total: 70.93 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 75.25 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 66.47 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 57.81 years
male: 56.2 years
female: 59.47 years (2013 est.)
Total fertility rate: 4.92 children born/woman (2013 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 11.4% (2007)
Health expenditures: 11.9% of GDP (2010)
Physicians density: 0.01 physicians/1,000 population (2008)
Hospital bed density: 0.8 beds/1,000 population (2010)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 88% of population
rural: 60% of population
total: 73% of population

urban: 12% of population
rural: 40% of population
total: 27% of population (2010 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 29% of population
rural: 7% of population
total: 18% of population

urban: 71% of population
rural: 93% of population
total: 82% of population (2010 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 1.5% (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 37,000 (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 3,600 (2009 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 4.8% (2008)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 20.4% (2007)
Education expenditures: 2.8% of GDP (2008)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 60.8%
male: 64.8%
female: 56.8% (2010 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 11 years
male: 13 years
female: 9 years (2000)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 5.1%
male: 3.4%
female: 6.6% (2010)
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Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Liberia
conventional short form: Liberia
Government type: republic
Capital: name: Monrovia
geographic coordinates: 6 18 N, 10 48 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 15 counties; Bomi, Bong, Gbarpolu, Grand Bassa, Grand Cape Mount, Grand Gedeh, Grand Kru, Lofa, Margibi, Maryland, Montserrado, Nimba, River Cess, River Gee, Sinoe
Independence: 26 July 1847
National holiday: Independence Day, 26 July (1847)
Constitution: 6 January 1986
Legal system: mixed legal system of common law (based on Anglo-American law) and customary law
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Ellen JOHNSON SIRLEAF (since 16 January 2006); Vice President Joseph BOAKAI (since 16 January 2006); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Ellen JOHNSON SIRLEAF (since 16 January 2006); Vice President Joseph BOAKAI (since 16 January 2006)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate (For more information visit the World Leaders website )

elections: president elected by popular vote for a six-year term (eligible for a second term); elections last held on 11 October and 8 November 2011 (next to be held in 2017)

election results: Ellen JOHNSON SIRLEAF reelected president; percent of vote, second round - Ellen JOHNSON SIRLEAF 90.7%, Winston TUBMAN 9.3%
Legislative branch: bicameral National Assembly consists of the Senate (30 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve nine-year terms) and the House of Representatives (73 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve six-year terms)

elections: Senate - last held on 11 October 2011 (next to be held in 2014); House of Representatives - last held on 11 October 2011 (next to be held in 2017)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UP 10, NPP 6, CDC 3, APD 2, NUDP 2, LDP 1, LP 1, NDC 1, NDPL 1, independents 3; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UP 24, CDC 11, LP 7, NUDP 6, NDC 5, APD 3, NPP 3, MPC 2, LDP 1, LTP 1, NRP 1, independents 9
Judicial branch: highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of a chief Justice and 4 associate justices) note - the Supreme Court has jurisdiction for all constitutional cases judge selection and term of office: chief justice and associate justices appointed by the president of Liberia with consent of the Senate; judges can serve until age 70

subordinate courts: judicial circuit courts; special courts including criminal, civil, labor, traffic; magistrate and traditional or customary courts
Political parties and leaders: Alliance for Peace and Democracy or APD [Marcus S. G. DAHN] Congress for Democratic Change or CDC [Geraldine DOE-SHERIFF] Liberia Destiny Party or LDP [Nathaniel BARNES] Liberty Party or LP [Isreal ARKINSAYAN] Liberia Transformation Party or LTP [Julius SUKU] Movement for Progressive Change or MPC [Simeon FREEMAN] National Democratic Coalition or NDC [Dew MAYSON] National Democratic Party of Liberia or NDPL [D. Nyandeh SIEH] National Patriotic Party or NPP [Theophilus C. GOULD] National Reformist Party or NRP [Maximillian T. W. DIABE] National Union for Democratic Progress or NUDP [Emmanuel LOMAX] Unity Party or UP [Varney SHERMAN]
Political pressure groups and leaders: other: demobilized former military officers
International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, AU, ECOWAS, EITI (compliant country), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
National symbol(s): white star
National anthem: name: "All Hail, Liberia Hail!"
lyrics/music: Daniel Bashiel WARNER/Olmstead LUCA

note: lyrics adopted 1847, music adopted 1860; the anthem's author would become the third president of Liberia
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Jeremiah Congbeh SULUNTEH
chancery: 5201 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011
telephone: [1] (202) 723-0437
FAX: [1] (202) 723-0436
consulate(s) general: New York
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Deborah R. MALAC
embassy: U.S. Embassy, P.O. Box 98, 502 Benson Street, Monrovia
mailing address: P.O. Box 98, Monrovia
telephone: [231] 77-677-7000
FAX: [231] 77-677-7370
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Liberia is a low income country heavily reliant on foreign assistance for revenue. Civil war and government mismanagement destroyed much of Liberia's economy, especially the infrastructure in and around the capital, Monrovia. Many businesses fled the country, taking capital and expertise with them, but with the conclusion of fighting and the installation of a democratically-elected government in 2006, several have returned. Liberia has the distinction of having the highest ratio of direct foreign investment to GDP in the world. Richly endowed with water, mineral resources, forests, and a climate favorable to agriculture, Liberia had been a producer and exporter of basic products, primarily raw timber and rubber and is reviving those sectors. Local manufacturing, mainly foreign owned, had been small in scope. President JOHNSON SIRLEAF, a Harvard-trained banker and administrator, has taken steps to reduce corruption, build support from international donors, and encourage private investment. Embargos on timber and diamond exports have been lifted, opening new sources of revenue for the government and Liberia shipped its first major timber exports to Europe in 2010. The country reached its Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative completion point in 2010 and nearly $5 billion of international debt was permanently eliminated. This new status will enable Liberia to establish a sovereign credit rating and issue bonds. Liberia's Paris Club creditors agreed to cancel Liberia's debt as well. The IMF has completed the sixth review of Liberia's extended credit facility, bringing total disbursements to over $379 million. The African Development Bank approved a grant of $48 million in 2011 to support economic governance and competitiveness. Rebuilding infrastructure and raising incomes will depend on generous financial and technical assistance from donor countries and foreign investment in key sectors, such as infrastructure and power generation. The country has achieved high growth during 2010-12 due to favorable world prices for its commodities.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $2.719 billion (2012 est.) $2.509 billion (2011 est.) $2.326 billion (2010 est.)

note: data are in 2012 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $1.735 billion (2012 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 8.3% (2012 est.) 7.9% (2011 est.) 6.1% (2010 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $700 (2012 est.) $600 (2011 est.) $600 (2010 est.)

note: data are in 2012 US dollars
Gross national saving: NA (2012 est.) -36.6% of GDP (2011 est.) -30.6% of GDP (2010 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 125.6%
government consumption: 15.2%
investment in fixed capital: 25%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 27.5%
imports of goods and services: -93.3% (2011 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin: household consumption: 125.6%
government consumption: 15.2%
investment in fixed capital: 25%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 27.5%
imports of goods and services: -93.3% (2011 est.)
Agriculture - products: rubber, coffee, cocoa, rice, cassava (manioc), palm oil, sugarcane, bananas; sheep, goats; timber
Industries: rubber processing, palm oil processing, timber, diamonds
Industrial production growth rate: NA%
Labor force: 1.372 million (2007)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 70%
industry: 8%
services: 22% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate: 85% (2003 est.)
Population below poverty line: 80% (2000 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.4%
highest 10%: 30.1% (2007)
Budget: revenues: $481.5 million
expenditures: $522.3 million (2012 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 27.8% of GDP (2012 est.)
Public debt: 2.6% of GDP (2012 est.) 0.4% of GDP (2011 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 6.9% (2012 est.) 8.5% (2011 est.)
Current account balance: -$587.5 million (2012 est.) -$754.3 million (2011 est.)
Exports: $774.8 million (2012 est.) $645.7 million (2011 est.)
Exports - commodities: rubber, timber, iron, diamonds, cocoa, coffee
Exports - partners: China 24.2%, US 15.4%, Spain 11.1%, Thailand 4.5%, Cote dIvoire 4.4%, Malaysia 4.1%, France 4% (2012)
Imports: $2.275 billion (2012 est.) $2.068 billion (2011 est.)
Imports - commodities: fuels, chemicals, machinery, transportation equipment, manufactured goods; foodstuffs
Imports - partners: South Korea 26.4%, China 24.1%, Singapore 23%, Japan 15.9% (2012)
Debt - external: $348 million (31 December 2012 est.) $447.6 million (31 December 2011 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $3.574 billion (31 December 2012 est.) $2.912 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $201 million (31 December 2012 est.) $201 million (31 December 2011 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $NA
Exchange rates: Liberian dollars (LRD) per US dollar - 73.515 (2012 est.) 72.227 (2011 est.) 71.403 (2010 est.)
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Electricity - production: 335 million kWh (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 167
Electricity - consumption: 311.6 million kWh (2009 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 197,000 kW (2009 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 100% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 3,533 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 4,041 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2012 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 738,600 Mt (2010 est.)
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Telephones in use: 3,200 (2011)
country comparison to the world: 213
Cellular Phones in use: 2.03 million (2011)
Telephone system: general assessment: the limited services available are found almost exclusively in the capital Monrovia; fixed-line service stagnant and extremely limited; telephone coverage extended to a number of other towns and rural areas by four mobile-cellular network operators

domestic: mobile-cellular subscription base growing and teledensity reached 50 per 100 persons in 2011

international: country code - 231; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2010)
Broadcast media: 3 private TV stations; satellite TV service available; 1 state-owned radio station; about 15 independent radio stations broadcasting in Monrovia, with another 25 local stations operating in other areas; transmissions of 2 international broadcasters are available (2007)
Internet country code: .lr
Internet hosts: 7 (2012)
Internet users: 20,000 (2009)
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Airports: 29 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 117
Airports (paved runways): total 2
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 27

1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 8
under 914 m: 14 (2013)
Pipelines: oil 4 km (2013)
Railways: total 429 km
standard gauge: 345 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 84 km 1.067-m gauge

note: most sections of the railways were inoperable because of damage suffered during the civil wars from 1980 to 2003, but many are being rebuilt (2008)
Roadways: total 10,600 km
paved: 657 km
unpaved: 9,943 km (2000)
Merchant marine: total 2,771

by type: barge carrier 5, bulk carrier 662, cargo 143, carrier 2, chemical tanker 248, combination ore/oil 8, container 937, liquefied gas 92, passenger 2, passenger/cargo 2, petroleum tanker 526, refrigerated cargo 102, roll on/roll off 5, specialized tanker 10, vehicle carrier 27

foreign-owned: 2,581 (Angola 1, Argentina 1, Australia 1, Belgium 1, Bermuda 4, Brazil 20, Canada 2, Chile 9, China 4, Croatia 1, Cyprus 9, Denmark 8, Egypt 3, Germany 1185, Gibraltar 5, Greece 505, Hong Kong 48, India 8, Indonesia 4, Israel 34, Italy 47, Japan 110, Latvia 5, Lebanon 1, Monaco 8, Netherlands 31, Nigeria 4, Norway 38, Poland 13, Qatar 5, Romania 3, Russia 109, Saudi Arabia 20, Singapore 22, Slovenia 7, South Korea 2, Sweden 12, Switzerland 25, Syria 1, Taiwan 94, Turkey 16, UAE 37, UK 32, UK 22, Ukraine 10, Uruguay 1, US 53) (2010)
Ports and terminals: Buchanan, Monrovia
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Military branches: Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL): Army, Navy, Air Force
Military service age and obligation: 18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)
Manpower available for military service: males age 16-49: 815,826
females age 16-49: 828,484 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 16-49: 524,243
females age 16-49: 544,349 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually: male: 36,585
female: 38,516 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures: 0.8% of GDP (2011)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: although civil unrest continues to abate with the assistance of 18,000 UN Mission in Liberia peacekeepers, as of January 2007, Liberian refugees still remain in Guinea, Cote d'Ivoire, Sierra Leone, and Ghana; Liberia, in turn, shelters refugees fleeing turmoil in Cote d'Ivoire; despite the presence of over 9,000 UN forces in Cote d'Ivoire since 2004, ethnic conflict continues to spread into neighboring states who can no longer send their migrant workers to Ivorian cocoa plantations; UN sanctions ban Liberia from exporting diamonds and timber
Refugees and internally displaced persons: refugees (country of origin): 58,710 (Cote d'Ivoire) (2013) IDPs: undetermined (civil war from 1990-2004; unclear how many have found durable solutions; many dwell in slums in Monrovia) (2012)
Illicit drugs: transshipment point for Southeast and Southwest Asian heroin and South American cocaine for the European and US markets; corruption, criminal activity, arms-dealing, and diamond trade provide significant potential for money laundering, but the lack of well-developed financial system limits the country's utility as a major money-laundering center
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