Main Content

Africa :: Liberia Print
Page last updated on October 09, 2020
  • Introduction :: Liberia
  • Background field listing
    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 but was 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. Constitutional term limits barred President JOHNSON SIRLEAF from running for re-election. Legal challenges delayed the 2017 presidential runoff election, which was eventually won by George WEAH. In March 2018, the UN completed its 15-year peacekeeping mission in Liberia.
  • Geography :: Liberia
  • Location field listing
    Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Cote d'Ivoire and Sierra Leone
    Geographic coordinates field listing
    6 30 N, 9 30 W
    Map references field listing
    Area field listing
    total: 111,369 sq km
    land: 96,320 sq km
    water: 15,049 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 105
    Area - comparative field listing
    slightly larger than Virginia
    Area comparison map: Area comparison map
    Land boundaries field listing
    total: 1,667 km
    border countries (3): Guinea 590 km, Cote d'Ivoire 778 km, Sierra Leone 299 km
    Coastline field listing
    579 km
    Maritime claims field listing
    territorial sea: 200 nm
    Climate field listing
    tropical; hot, humid; dry winters with hot days and cool to cold nights; wet, cloudy summers with frequent heavy showers
    Terrain field listing
    mostly flat to rolling coastal plains rising to rolling plateau and low mountains in northeast
    Elevation field listing
    mean elevation: 243 m
    lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Mount Wuteve 1,447 m
    Natural resources field listing
    iron ore, timber, diamonds, gold, hydropower
    Land use field listing
    agricultural land: 28.1% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 5.2% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 2.1% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 20.8% (2011 est.)
    forest: 44.6% (2011 est.)
    other: 27.3% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land field listing
    30 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution field listing
    more than half of the population lives in urban areas, with approximately one-third living within an 80-km radius of Monrovia as shown in this population distribution map
    Natural hazards field listing
    dust-laden harmattan winds blow from the Sahara (December to March)
    Environment - current issues field listing
    tropical rain forest deforestation; soil erosion; loss of biodiversity; hunting of endangered species for bushmeat; pollution of coastal waters from oil residue and raw sewage; pollution of rivers from industrial run-off; burning and dumping of household waste
    Environment - international agreements field listing
    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
    Geography - note field listing
    facing the Atlantic Ocean, the coastline is characterized by lagoons, mangrove swamps, and river-deposited sandbars; the inland grassy plateau supports limited agriculture
  • People and Society :: Liberia
  • Population field listing
    5,073,296 (July 2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 124
    Nationality field listing
    noun: Liberian(s)
    adjective: Liberian
    Ethnic groups field listing
    Kpelle 20.3%, Bassa 13.4%, Grebo 10%, Gio 8%, Mano 7.9%, Kru 6%, Lorma 5.1%, Kissi 4.8%, Gola 4.4%, Krahn 4%, Vai 4%, Mandingo 3.2%, Gbandi 3%, Mende 1.3%, Sapo 1.3%, other Liberian 1.7%, other African 1.4%, non-African .1% (2008 est.)
    Languages field listing
    English 20% (official), some 20 ethnic group languages few of which can be written or used in correspondence
    Religions field listing
    Christian 85.6%, Muslim 12.2%, Traditional 0.6%, other 0.2%, none 1.5% (2008 est.)
    Demographic profile field listing

    Liberia’s high fertility rate of nearly 5 children per woman and large youth cohort – more than 60% of the population is under the age of 25 – will sustain a high dependency ratio for many years to come. Significant progress has been made in preventing child deaths, despite a lack of health care workers and infrastructure. Infant and child mortality have dropped nearly 70% since 1990; the annual reduction rate of about 5.4% is the highest in Africa.

    Nevertheless, Liberia’s high maternal mortality rate remains among the world’s worst; it reflects a high unmet need for family planning services, frequency of early childbearing, lack of quality obstetric care, high adolescent fertility, and a low proportion of births attended by a medical professional. Female mortality is also increased by the prevalence of female genital cutting (FGC), which is practiced by 10 of Liberia’s 16 tribes and affects more than two-thirds of women and girls. FGC is an initiation ritual performed in rural bush schools, which teach traditional beliefs on marriage and motherhood and are an obstacle to formal classroom education for Liberian girls.

    Liberia has been both a source and a destination for refugees. During Liberia’s 14-year civil war (1989-2003), more than 250,000 people became refugees and another half million were internally displaced. Between 2004 and the cessation of refugee status for Liberians in June 2012, the UNHCR helped more than 155,000 Liberians to voluntarily repatriate, while others returned home on their own. Some Liberian refugees spent more than two decades living in other West African countries. Liberia hosted more than 125,000 Ivoirian refugees escaping post-election violence in 2010-11; as of mid-2017, about 12,000 Ivoirian refugees were still living in Liberia as of October 2017 because of instability.

    Age structure field listing
    0-14 years: 43.35% (male 1,111,479/female 1,087,871)
    15-24 years: 20.35% (male 516,136/female 516,137)
    25-54 years: 30.01% (male 747,983/female 774,615)
    55-64 years: 3.46% (male 89,150/female 86,231)
    65 years and over: 2.83% (male 70,252/female 73,442) (2020 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios field listing
    total dependency ratio: 77.6
    youth dependency ratio: 71.7
    elderly dependency ratio: 5.9
    potential support ratio: 17 (2020 est.)
    Median age field listing
    total: 18 years
    male: 17.7 years
    female: 18.2 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 216
    Population growth rate field listing
    2.71% (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    Birth rate field listing
    37.3 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 13
    Death rate field listing
    7 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    Net migration rate field listing
    -2.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 174
    Population distribution field listing
    more than half of the population lives in urban areas, with approximately one-third living within an 80-km radius of Monrovia as shown in this population distribution map
    Urbanization field listing
    urban population: 52.1% of total population (2020)
    rate of urbanization: 3.41% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    Major urban areas - population field listing
    1.517 million MONROVIA (capital) (2020)
    Sex ratio field listing
    at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.96 male(s)/female
    total population: 1 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
    Mother's mean age at first birth field listing
    19.2 years (2013 est.)

    note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

    Maternal mortality rate field listing
    661 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 10
    Infant mortality rate field listing
    total: 47.4 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 51.7 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 43.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 27
    Life expectancy at birth field listing
    total population: 64.7 years
    male: 62.5 years
    female: 67 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 200
    Total fertility rate field listing
    4.9 children born/woman (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    Contraceptive prevalence rate field listing
    31.2% (2016)
    Drinking water source field listing
    improved: urban: 93.8% of population
    rural: 67.9% of population
    total: 81% of population
    unimproved: urban: 6.2% of population
    rural: 32.1% of population
    total: 19% of population (2017 est.)
    Current Health Expenditure field listing
    8.2% (2017)
    Physicians density field listing
    0.04 physicians/1,000 population (2015)
    Hospital bed density field listing
    0.8 beds/1,000 population (2010)
    Sanitation facility access field listing
    improved: urban: 64.1% of population
    rural: 23.5% of population
    total: 44.1% of population
    unimproved: urban: 35.9% of population
    rural: 76.5% of population
    total: 55.9% of population (2017 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate field listing
    1.3% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 39
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS field listing
    39,000 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 68
    HIV/AIDS - deaths field listing
    1,800 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 49
    Major infectious diseases field listing
    degree of risk: very high (2020)
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and yellow fever
    water contact diseases: schistosomiasis
    animal contact diseases: rabies
    aerosolized dust or soil contact diseases: Lassa fever
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate field listing
    9.9% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    Children under the age of 5 years underweight field listing
    15.3% (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 42
    Education expenditures field listing
    3.8% of GDP (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    Literacy field listing
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 48.3%
    male: 62.7%
    female: 34.1% (2017)
    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 field listing
    total: 2.3%
    male: 2.4%
    female: 2.2% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 174
  • Government :: Liberia
  • Country name field listing
    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 field listing
    presidential republic
    Capital field listing
    name: Monrovia
    geographic coordinates: 6 18 N, 10 48 W
    time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    etymology: named after James Monroe (1758-1831), the fifth president of the United States and supporter of the colonization of Liberia by freed slaves; one of two national capitals named for a US president, the other is Washington, D.C.
    Administrative divisions field listing
    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 field listing
    26 July 1847
    National holiday field listing
    Independence Day, 26 July (1847)
    Constitution field listing
    history: previous 1847 (at independence); latest drafted 19 October 1983, revised version adopted by referendum 3 July 1984, effective 6 January 1986
    amendments: proposed by agreement of at least two thirds of both National Assembly houses or by petition of at least 10,000 citizens; passage requires at least two-thirds majority approval of both houses and approval in a referendum by at least two-thirds majority of registered voters; amended 2011
    International law organization participation field listing
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    Citizenship field listing
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Liberia
    dual citizenship recognized: no
    residency requirement for naturalization: 2 years
    Suffrage field listing
    18 years of age; universal
    Executive branch field listing
    chief of state: President George WEAH (since 22 January 2018); Vice President Jewel HOWARD-TAYLOR (since 22 January 2018); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
    head of government: President George WEAH (since 22 January 2018); Vice President Jewel HOWARD-TAYLOR (since 22 January 2018)
    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 10 October 2017 with a run-off on 26 December 2017) (next to be held on 10 October 2023); the runoff originally scheduled for 7 November 2017 was delayed due to allegations of fraud in the first round, which the Supreme Court dismissed
    election results: George WEAH elected president in second round; percent of vote in first round - George WEAH (Coalition for Democratic Change) 38.4%, Joseph BOAKAI (UP) 28.8%, Charles BRUMSKINE (LP) 9.6%, Prince JOHNSON (MDR) 8.2%, Alexander B. CUMMINGS (ANC) 7.2%, other 7.8%; percentage of vote in second round - George WEAH 61.5%, Joseph BOAKAI 38.5%
    Legislative branch field listing
    description: bicameral National Assembly consists of:
    The Liberian Senate (30 seats; members directly elected in 15 2-seat districts by simple majority vote to serve 9-year staggered terms; each district elects 1 senator and elects the second senator 3 years later, followed by a 6-year hiatus, after which the first Senate seat is up for election)
    House of Representatives (73 seats; members directly elected in single-seat districts by simple majority vote to serve 6-year terms; eligible for a second term)
    elections: Senate - last held on 20 December 2014 ; byelection to fill the senate seats vacated by WEAH and HOWARD-TAYLOR was held on 31 July 2018 (next general election to be held on 31 December 2020)
    House of Representatives - last held on 10 October 2017 (next to be held in October 2023)
    election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - CDC 29.8%, UP 10.3%, LP 11.5%, NPP 6.1%, PUP 4.9%, ANC 4.2%, NDC 1.3%, other 7.6%, independent 24.3%; seats by party - UP 4, CDC 2, LP 2, ANC 1, NDC 1, NPP 1, PUP 1, independent 3; composition - men 27, women 3, percent of women 10%
    House of Representatives - percent of vote by party/coalition - Coalition for Democratic Change 15.6%, UP 14%, LP 8.7%, ANC 6.1%, PUP 5.9%, ALP 5.1%, MDR 3.4%, other 41.2%; seats by coalition/party - Coalition for Democratic Change 21, UP 20, PUP 5, LP 3, ALP 3, MDR 2, independent 13, other 6; composition - men 64, women 9, percent of women 12.3%; total Parliament percent of women 11.7%
    Judicial branch field listing
    highest courts: 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 field listing
    Alliance for Peace and Democracy or APD [Marcus S. G. DAHN]
    All Liberian Party or ALP [Benoi UREY]
    Alternative National Congress or ANC [Orishil GOULD]
    Coalition for Democratic Change [George WEAH] (includes CDC, NPP, and LPDP)Congress for Democratic Change or CDC [George WEAH]
    Liberia Destiny Party or LDP [Nathaniel BARNES]
    Liberia National Union or LINU [Nathaniel BLAMA]
    Liberia Transformation Party or LTP [Julius SUKU]
    Liberian People Democratic Party or LPDP [Alex J. TYLER]
    Liberian People's Party or LPP
    Liberty Party or LP [J. Fonati KOFFA]
    Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction or MDR [Prince Y. JOHNSON]
    Movement for Economic Empowerment [J. Mill JONES, Dr.]
    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 [Jewel HOWARD TAYLOR]
    National Reformist Party or NRP [Maximillian T. W. DIABE]
    National Union for Democratic Progress or NUDP [Victor BARNEY]
    People's Unification Party or PUP [Isobe GBORKORKOLLIE]
    Unity Party or UP [Varney SHERMAN]
    United People's Party [MacDonald WENTO]
    Victory for Change Party [Marcus R. JONES]
    International organization participation field listing
    Diplomatic representation in the US field listing
    Ambassador George PATTEN (since 11 January 2019)
    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 field listing
    chief of mission: Charge d'Affaires Alyson GRUNDER (since 21 March2020)
    telephone: [231] 77-677-7000
    embassy: U.S. Embassy, 502 Benson Street, Monrovia
    mailing address: P.O. Box 98, Monrovia
    FAX: [231] 77-677-7370
    Flag description field listing
    11 equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white; a white five-pointed star appears on a blue square in the upper hoist-side corner; the stripes symbolize the signatories of the Liberian Declaration of Independence; the blue square represents the African mainland, and the star represents the freedom granted to the ex-slaves; according to the constitution, the blue color signifies liberty, justice, and fidelity, the white color purity, cleanliness, and guilelessness, and the red color steadfastness, valor, and fervor

    note: the design is based on the US flag

    National symbol(s) field listing
    white star; national colors: red, white, blue
    National anthem field listing
    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

  • Economy :: Liberia
  • Economy - overview field listing

    Liberia is a low-income country that relies heavily on foreign assistance and remittances from the diaspora. It is richly endowed with water, mineral resources, forests, and a climate favorable to agriculture. Its principal exports are iron ore, rubber, diamonds, and gold. Palm oil and cocoa are emerging as new export products. 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. Much of the conflict was fueled by control over Liberia’s natural resources. 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 the period 2010-13 due to favorable world prices for its commodities. However, during the 2014-2015 Ebola crisis, the economy declined and many foreign-owned businesses departed with their capital and expertise. 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 coincided with decreased economic activity reducing government revenue, although higher donor support significantly offset this loss. During the same period, global commodities prices for key exports fell and have yet to recover to pre-Ebola levels.

    In 2017, gold was a key driver of growth, as a new mining project began its first full year of production; iron ore exports are also increased as Arcelor Mittal opened new mines at Mount Gangra. The completion of the rehabilitation of the Mount Coffee Hydroelectric Dam increased electricity production to support ongoing and future economic activity, although electricity tariffs remain high relative to other countries in the region and transmission infrastructure is limited. Presidential and legislative elections in October 2017 generated election-related spending pressures.

    Revitalizing the economy in the future will depend on economic diversification, increasing investment and trade, higher global commodity prices, sustained foreign aid and remittances, development of infrastructure and institutions, combating corruption, and maintaining political stability and security.

    GDP (purchasing power parity) field listing
    $6.112 billion (2017 est.)
    $5.965 billion (2016 est.)
    $6.064 billion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 173
    GDP (official exchange rate) field listing
    $3.285 billion (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate field listing
    2.5% (2017 est.)
    -1.6% (2016 est.)
    0% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 129
    GDP - per capita (PPP) field listing
    $1,300 (2017 est.)
    $1,300 (2016 est.)
    $1,300 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 221
    Gross national saving field listing
    NA% (2017)
    -21.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
    1.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 184
    GDP - composition, by end use field listing
    household consumption: 128.8% (2016 est.)
    government consumption: 16.7% (2016 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 19.5% (2016 est.)
    investment in inventories: 6.7% (2016 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 17.5% (2016 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -89.2% (2016 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin field listing
    agriculture: 34% (2017 est.)
    industry: 13.8% (2017 est.)
    services: 52.2% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products field listing
    rubber, coffee, cocoa, rice, cassava (manioc, tapioca), palm oil, sugarcane, bananas; sheep, goats; timber
    Industries field listing
    mining (iron ore and gold), rubber processing, palm oil processing, diamonds
    Industrial production growth rate field listing
    9% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 19
    Labor force field listing
    1.677 million (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 128
    Labor force - by occupation field listing
    agriculture: 70%
    industry: 8%
    services: 22% (2000 est.)
    Unemployment rate field listing
    2.8% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 31
    Population below poverty line field listing
    54.1% (2014 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share field listing
    lowest 10%: 2.4%
    highest 10%: 30.1% (2007)
    Budget field listing
    revenues: 553.6 million (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 693.8 million (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues field listing
    16.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 174
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) field listing
    -4.3% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 161
    Public debt field listing
    34.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
    28.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 154
    Fiscal year field listing
    calendar year
    Inflation rate (consumer prices) field listing
    12.4% (2017 est.)
    8.8% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 207
    Current account balance field listing
    -$627 million (2017 est.)
    -$464 million (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 125
    Exports field listing
    $260.6 million (2017 est.)
    $169.8 million (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 185
    Exports - partners field listing
    Germany 36.2%, Switzerland 14.2%, UAE 8.8%, US 6.8%, Indonesia 4.7% (2017)
    Exports - commodities field listing
    rubber, timber, iron, diamonds, cocoa, coffee
    Imports field listing
    $1.166 billion (2017 est.)
    $1.296 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 179
    Imports - commodities field listing
    fuels, chemicals, machinery, transportation equipment, manufactured goods; foodstuffs
    Imports - partners field listing
    Singapore 29.8%, China 24.4%, South Korea 17.5%, Japan 9.4% (2017)
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold field listing
    $459.8 million (31 December 2017 est.)
    $528.7 million (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 154
    Debt - external field listing
    $1.036 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $938.9 million (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 165
    Exchange rates field listing
    Liberian dollars (LRD) per US dollar -
    109.4 (2017 est.)
    93.4 (2016 est.)
    93.4 (2015 est.)
    85.3 (2014 est.)
    83.893 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Liberia
  • Electricity access field listing
    population without electricity: 4 million (2017)
    electrification - total population: 19.8% (2016)
    electrification - urban areas: 34% (2016)
    electrification - rural areas: 1.3% (2016)
    Electricity - production field listing
    300 million kWh (2016 est.)

    note: according to a 2014 household survey, only 4.5% of Liberians use Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) power, 4.9% use a community generator, 4.4% have their own generator, 3.9% use vehicle batteries, and 0.8% use other sources of electricity, and 81.3% have no access to electricity; LEC accounts for roughly 70 million kWh of ouput.

    country comparison to the world: 184
    Electricity - consumption field listing
    279 million kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 187
    Electricity - exports field listing
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 159
    Electricity - imports field listing
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 168
    Electricity - installed generating capacity field listing
    151,000 kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 173
    Electricity - from fossil fuels field listing
    57% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 138
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 128
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants field listing
    43% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 46
    Electricity - from other renewable sources field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 198
    Crude oil - production field listing
    0 bbl/day (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 163
    Crude oil - exports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 155
    Crude oil - imports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 153
    Crude oil - proved reserves field listing
    0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 158
    Refined petroleum products - production field listing
    0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 166
    Refined petroleum products - consumption field listing
    8,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 164
    Refined petroleum products - exports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 172
    Refined petroleum products - imports field listing
    8,181 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 152
    Natural gas - production field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 158
    Natural gas - consumption field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 168
    Natural gas - exports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 139
    Natural gas - imports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 149
    Natural gas - proved reserves field listing
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 159
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy field listing
    1.163 million Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 164
  • Communications :: Liberia
  • Telephones - fixed lines field listing
    total subscriptions: 8,000
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 197
    Telephones - mobile cellular field listing
    total subscriptions: 3,117,002
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 66 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    Telecommunication systems field listing
    general assessment: the limited services available are found almost exclusively in the capital, Monrovia; fixed-line service is stagnant and extremely limited; telephone coverage recently extended to a number of other towns and rural areas by four mobile-cellular network operators; Liberia is almost entirely a wireless telecommunications market; a number of operators avoid paying dues and operate despite regulations; govt. regulatory impose SIM card registration in an attempt to reduce crime, but makes mobile penetration seem low; the high cost and limited bandwidth of connections means that Internet access is expensive and data rates are very low (2020)
    domestic: fixed-line less than 1 per 100; mobile-cellular subscription base growing and teledensity approached 66 per 100 persons (2018)
    international: country code - 231; landing point for the ACE submarine cable linking 20 West African countries and Europe; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2019)
    note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
    Broadcast media field listing
    8 private and 1 government-owned TV station; satellite TV service available; 1 state-owned radio station; approximately 20 independent radio stations broadcasting in Monrovia, with approximately 80 more local stations operating in other areas; transmissions of 4 international (including the British Broadcasting Corporation and Radio France Internationale) broadcasters are available (2019)
    Internet country code field listing
    Internet users field listing
    total: 383,819
    percent of population: 7.98% (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 159
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions field listing
    total: 8,000
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 174
  • Military and Security :: Liberia
  • Military and security forces field listing
    Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL): Army, Liberia Air Wing, Liberian Coast Guard (2019)
    Military expenditures field listing
    0.5% of GDP (2019)
    0.4% of GDP (2018)
    0.4% of GDP (2017)
    0.4% of GDP (2016)
    0.5% of GDP (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 147
    Military and security service personnel strengths field listing
    the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) have approximately 2,000 personnel (1,950 Army, including the air wing; 60 Coast Guard) (2019 est.)
    Military equipment inventories and acquisitions field listing
    the AFL has almost no hardware as nearly all aircraft, equipment, materiel, and facilities were damaged or destroyed during the country's civil war; it has received little new equipment outside of ammunition, small arms, and trucks from China in 2008 and boats donated to the Coast Guard by the US in 2011 and 2016 (2019)
    Military deployments field listing
    110 Mali (MINUSMA) (April 2020)
    Military service age and obligation field listing
    18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)
  • Transportation :: Liberia
  • Civil aircraft registration country code prefix field listing
    A8 (2016)
    Airports field listing
    29 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 116
    Airports - with paved runways field listing
    total: 2 (2019)
    over 3,047 m: 1
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
    Airports - with unpaved runways field listing
    total: 27 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 5 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 8 (2013)
    under 914 m: 14 (2013)
    Pipelines field listing
    4 km oil (2013)
    Railways field listing
    total: 429 km (2008)
    standard gauge: 345 km 1.435-m gauge (2008)
    narrow gauge: 84 km 1.067-m gauge (2008)

    note: most sections of the railways inoperable due to damage sustained during the civil wars from 1980 to 2003, but many are being rebuilt

    country comparison to the world: 117
    Roadways field listing
    total: 10,600 km (2018)
    paved: 657 km (2018)
    unpaved: 9,943 km (2018)
    country comparison to the world: 135
    Merchant marine field listing
    total: 3,496
    by type: bulk carrier 1,161, container ship 854, general cargo 145, oil tanker 761, other 575 (2019)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    Ports and terminals field listing
    major seaport(s): Buchanan, Monrovia
  • Transnational Issues :: Liberia
  • Disputes - international field listing

    as the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) continues to drawdown prior to the 1 March 2018 closure date, the peacekeeping force is being reduced to 434 soldiers and two police units; some Liberian refugees still remain in Guinea, Cote d'Ivoire, Sierra Leone, and Ghana; Liberia shelters 8,804 Ivoirian refugees, as of 2019

    Refugees and internally displaced persons field listing
    refugees (country of origin): 8,101 (Cote d'Ivoire) (2020)
    Illicit drugs field listing
    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