Liberia Population: 4,299,944

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 History
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 an election 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 was convicted by the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague for 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 and remains challenged to rebuild Liberia's economy, particularly following the 2014-15 Ebola epidemic, and to reconcile a nation still recovering from 14 years of fighting. The UN Security Council in September 2015 passed Resolution 2239, which renewed the mandate for the UN Mission in Liberia for another year. In July 2016, the UN handed over peacekeeping responsibility to Liberia and reduced the UN troop presence, which now serves a support role.

 Geography
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: 1,667 km border countries (3): Guinea 590 km, Cote d'Ivoire 778 km, Sierra Leone 299 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:
Natural resources: iron ore, timber, diamonds, gold, hydropower
Land use: agricultural land: 28.1% arable land 5.2%; permanent crops 2.1%; permanent pasture 20.8% forest: 44.6%
other: 27.3% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 30 sq km (2012)
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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 People
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: 4,299,944 (July 2016 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 42.3% (male 917,354/female 901,627)
15-24 years: 18.9% (male 400,013/female 412,869)
25-54 years: 31.32% (male 669,630/female 677,321)
55-64 years: 4.3% (male 89,264/female 95,519)
65 years and over: 3.17% (male 66,658/female 69,689) (2016 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 82.9%
youth dependency ratio: 77.4%
elderly dependency ratio: 5.5%
potential support ratio: 18.2% (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 18.3 years
male: 18.1 years
female: 18.5 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.44% (2016 est.)
Birth rate: 33.9 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate: 9.5 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 49.7% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 3.36% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - population: MONROVIA (capital) 1.264 million (2015)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.97 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth: 19.2 note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2013 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 725 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 65.8 deaths/1,000 live births male: 69.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 61.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 59 years male: 57.3 years
female: 60.8 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate: 4.6 children born/woman (2016 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 20.2% (2013)
Health expenditures: 10% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density: 0.01 physicians/1,000 population (2008)
Hospital bed density: 0.8 beds/1,000 population (2010)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 88.6% of population
rural: 62.6% of population
total: 75.6% of population

unimproved:
urban: 11.4% of population
rural: 37.4% of population
total: 24.4% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 28% of population
rural: 5.9% of population
total: 16.9% of population

unimproved:
urban: 72% of population
rural: 94.1% of population
total: 83.1% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 1.09% (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 30,200 (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 1,900 (2015 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 5.8% (2014)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 15.3% (2013)
Education expenditures: 2.8% of GDP (2012)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 47.6%
male: 62.4%
female: 32.8% (2015 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 5.1% male: 3.4%
female: 6.6% (2010 est.)
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 Government
Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Liberia
conventional short form: Liberia
etymology: name derives from the Latin word "liber" meaning "free"; so named because the nation was created as a homeland for liberated African-American slaves
Government type: presidential 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: previous 1847 (at independence); latest drafted 19 October 1983, revised version adopted by referendum 3 July 1984, effective 6 January 1986; amended 2011; note - a series of amendment proposals approved by the Constitution Review Conference in early 2015 are pending government review (2016)
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 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, confirmed by the Senate elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 6-year term (eligible for a second term); election 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 in second round - Ellen JOHNSON SIRLEAF (UP) 90.7%, Winston TUBMAN (NDPL) 9.3%
Legislative branch: description: bicameral National Assembly consists of the Senate (30 seats; members directly elected in 15 two-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 9-year staggered terms with half the membership renewed at 3- and 6-year intervals; eligible for a second term; and the House of Representatives (73 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 6-year terms; eligible for a second term)

elections: Senate - last held on 20 December 2014 (originally scheduled for 14 October 2014, but postponed due to Ebola-virus epidemic; next to be held in fall 2020); House of Representatives - last held on 11 October 2011 (next to be held in 2017)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - CDC 29.8%, LP 11.5%, NPP 6.1%, PUP 4.9%, NDC 1.3%, other parties 11.8%, independent 24.3%; seats by party - UP 4, CDC 2, LP 2, ANC 1, NDC 1, NPP 1, PUP 1, independent 3; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - UP 17.8%, CDC 12.8%, LP 9.2%, NDC 5.7%, LTP 4.5%, PUP 3.9%, NPP 3.3%, MPC 2.4%, LDP 1.0%, NRP 0.8%, other parties 16.8% independent 19.7% ; seats by party - UP 24, CDC 11, LP 7, PUP 6, NDC 5, APD 3, NPP 3, MPC 2, LDP 1, LTP 1, NRP 1, independent 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] Alternative National Congress or ANC [Orishil GOULD] Congress for Democratic Change or CDC [George WEAH] Liberia Destiny Party or LDP [Nathaniel BARNES] Liberia Transformation Party or LTP [Julius SUKU] Liberty Party or LP [J. Fonati KOFFA] 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 National Reformist Party or NRP [Maximillian T. W. DIABE] National Union for Democratic Progress or NUDP [Victor BARNEY] People's Unification Party [Isobe GBORKORKOLLIE] 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), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSMA, NAM, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
National symbol(s): white star; national colors: red, white, blue
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 later became the third president of Liberia
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Jeremiah Congbeh SULUNTEH (since 2 May 2012)
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 Christine A. ELDER (since 23 June 2016)
embassy: U.S. Embassy, 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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 Economy
Liberia is a low income country that relies heavily on foreign assistance. It is richly endowed with water, mineral resources, forests, and a climate favorable to agriculture. Its principal exports are iron ore, rubber, gold and timber. The government has attempted to revive raw timber extraction and is encouraging oil exploration. In the 1990s and early 2000s, civil war and government mismanagement destroyed much of Liberia's economy, especially infrastructure in and around the capital. With the conclusion of fighting and the installation of a democratically elected government in 2006, businesses that had fled the country began to return. The country achieved high growth during 2010-13 due to favorable world prices for its commodities. However, in 2014 as the Ebolavirus began to spread, the economy declined and many businesses departed, taking capital and expertise with them. The epidemic forced the government to divert scarce resources to combat the spread of the virus, reducing funds available for needed public investment. The cost of addressing the Ebola epidemic will weigh heavily on public finances at the same time decreased economic activity reduces government revenue, although higher donor support will partly offset this loss. Revitalizing the economy in the future will depend on increasing investment and trade, higher global commodity prices, sustained foreign aid and remittances, development of infrastructure and institutions, and maintaining political stability and security.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $3.881 billion (2016 est.) $3.806 billion (2015 est.) $3.806 billion (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $2.168 billion (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 2% (2016 est.) 0% (2015 est.) 0.7% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $900 (2016 est.) $900 (2015 est.) $900 (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving: NA% (2016 est.) -41% of GDP (2015 est.) -2.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 134.1%
government consumption: 16.3%
investment in fixed capital: 19.5%
investment in inventories: -5.2%
exports of goods and services: 25%
imports of goods and services: -94.9% (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin: household consumption: 134.1%
government consumption: 16.3%
investment in fixed capital: 19.5%
investment in inventories: -5.2%
exports of goods and services: 25%
imports of goods and services: -94.9% (2014 est.)
Agriculture - products: rubber, coffee, cocoa, rice, cassava (manioc, tapioca), palm oil, sugarcane, bananas; sheep, goats; timber
Industries: mining (iron ore), rubber processing, palm oil processing, timber, diamonds
Industrial production growth rate: 2.4% (2016 est.)
Labor force: 1.654 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 70%
industry: 8%
services: 22% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate: 85% (2003 est.)
Population below poverty line: 63.8% (2007 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.4%
highest 10%: 30.1% (2007)
Budget: revenues: $613 million
expenditures: $743 million (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 28.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt: 11.8% of GDP (2016 est.) 5.7% of GDP (2015 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 6.3% (2016 est.) 7.7% (2015 est.)
Current account balance: -$661 million (2016 est.) -$707 million (2015 est.)
Exports: $363.9 million (2016 est.) $330.8 million (2015 est.)
Exports - commodities: rubber, timber, iron, diamonds, cocoa, coffee
Exports - partners: Poland 32.9%, China 20.7%, India 9.3%, US 5.1%, Greece 4.7%, France 4.3% (2015)
Imports: $1.25 billion (2016 est.) $2.232 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commodities: fuels, chemicals, machinery, transportation equipment, manufactured goods; foodstuffs
Imports - partners: Singapore 28.7%, China 16%, South Korea 15.3%, Japan 10.3%, Philippines 6.6% (2015)
Debt - external: $1.111 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $968 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $17.01 billion (31 December 2015 est.) $16.56 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $201 million (31 December 2013 est.) $201 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $NA
Exchange rates: Liberian dollars (LRD) per US dollar - 92.33 (2016 est.) 85.3 (2015 est.) 85.3 (2014 est.) 83.893 (2013 est.) 73.52 (2012 est.)
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 Energy
Electricity - production: 300 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 300 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2013 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2013 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 27,000 kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 100% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2016 es)
Refined petroleum products - production: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 6,600 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 6,611 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 600,000 Mt (2013 est.)
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 Communications
Cellular Phones in use: total: 3.652 million subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 87 (July 2015 est.)
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 85 per 100 persons in 2015

international: country code - 231; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2015)
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 av (2007)
Internet country code: .lr
Internet users: total: 248,000 percent of population: 5.9% (July 2015 est.)
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 Transportation
Airports: 29 (2013)
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 inoperable due to damage sustained 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: 2,559 (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, (2010)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Buchanan, Monrovia
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 Military
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)
Military expenditures: 0.82% of GDP (2012) 0.86% of GDP (2011) 0.82% of GDP (2010)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: although civil unrest continues to abate with the assistance of 6,500 UN Mission in Liberia peacekeepers, as of January 2013, 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): 19,875 (Cote d'Ivoire) (2016) IDPs: up to 23,000 (civil war from 1990-2004; post-election violence in March and April 2011; many dwell in slums in Monrovia) (2014)
stateless persons: 1 (2015)
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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