Africa :: LIBERIA
  • Introduction :: LIBERIA

  • 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. Liberia is scheduled to hold presidential and legislative elections in October 2017. Constitutional term limits bar
  • Geography :: LIBERIA

  • Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Cote d'Ivoire and Sierra Leone
    6 30 N, 9 30 W
    Africa
    total: 111,369 sq km
    land: 96,320 sq km
    water: 15,049 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 105
    slightly larger than Tennessee
    total: 1,667 km
    border countries (3): Guinea 590 km, Cote d'Ivoire 778 km, Sierra Leone 299 km
    579 km
    territorial sea: 200 nm
    tropical; hot, humid; dry winters with hot days and cool to cold nights; wet, cloudy summers with frequent heavy showers
    mostly flat to rolling coastal plains rising to rolling plateau and low mountains in northeast
    mean elevation: 243 m
    elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Mount Wuteve 1,447 m
    iron ore, timber, diamonds, gold, hydropower
    agricultural land: 28.1%
    arable land 5.2%; permanent crops 2.1%; permanent pasture 20.8%
    forest: 44.6%
    other: 27.3% (2011 est.)
    30 sq km (2012)
    more than half of the population lives in urban areas, with approximately one-third living within an 80-km radius of Monrovia
    dust-laden harmattan winds blow from the Sahara (December to March)
    tropical rain forest deforestation; soil erosion; loss of biodiversity; pollution of coastal waters from oil residue and raw sewage
    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
    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

  • 4,689,021 (July 2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 125
    noun: Liberian(s)
    adjective: Liberian
    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)
    English 20% (official), some 20 ethnic group languages few of which can be written or used in correspondence
    Christian 85.6%, Muslim 12.2%, Traditional 0.6%, other 0.2%, none 1.4% (2008 Census)
    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 15,000 Ivoirian refugees were still living in Liberia because of instability.
    0-14 years: 43.82% (male 1,038,452/female 1,016,491)
    15-24 years: 19.56% (male 457,806/female 459,289)
    25-54 years: 30.33% (male 699,879/female 722,244)
    55-64 years: 3.43% (male 82,616/female 78,003)
    65 years and over: 2.86% (male 65,979/female 68,262) (2017 est.)
    total dependency ratio: 83.2
    youth dependency ratio: 77.6
    elderly dependency ratio: 5.5
    potential support ratio: 18.1 (2015 est.)
    total: 18.3 years
    male: 18.1 years
    female: 18.5 years (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 211
    2.5% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 22
    38.3 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 10
    7.6 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    -5.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 196
    more than half of the population lives in urban areas, with approximately one-third living within an 80-km radius of Monrovia
    urban population: 50.5% of total population (2017)
    rate of urbanization: 3.24% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    MONROVIA (capital) 1.264 million (2015)
    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.)
    19.2 years
    note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2013 est.)
    725 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 8
    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.)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    total population: 59 years
    male: 57.3 years
    female: 60.8 years (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 202
    5.06 children born/woman (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 22
    20.2% (2013)
    10% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 25
    0.01 physicians/1,000 population (2008)
    0.8 beds/1,000 population (2010)
    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.)
    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.)
    1.6% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 31
    43,000 (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    2,800 (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 45
    degree of risk: very high
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and yellow fever
    water contact disease: schistosomiasis
    aerosolized dust or soil contact disease: Lassa fever
    animal contact disease: rabies (2016)
    5.8% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 161
    15.3% (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 28
    2.8% of GDP (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 144
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 47.6%
    male: 62.4%
    female: 32.8% (2015 est.)
    total number: 177,160
    percentage: 21% (2007 est.)
    total: 6%
    male: 4.3%
    female: 7.6% (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 126
  • Government :: LIBERIA

  • 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
    presidential republic
    name: Monrovia
    geographic coordinates: 6 18 N, 10 48 W
    time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    15 counties; Bomi, Bong, Gbarpolu, Grand Bassa, Grand Cape Mount, Grand Gedeh, Grand Kru, Lofa, Margibi, Maryland, Montserrado, Nimba, River Cess, River Gee, Sinoe
    26 July 1847
    Independence Day, 26 July (1847)
    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; note - a series of amendment proposals approved by the Constitution Review Conference in early 2015 are pending a referendum ahead of October 2017 elections (2017)
    mixed legal system of common law (based on Anglo-American law) and customary law
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    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
    18 years of age; universal
    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 on 10 October 2017)
    election results: Ellen JOHNSON SIRLEAF reelected president in second round; percent of vote - Ellen JOHNSON SIRLEAF (UP) 90.7%, Winston TUBMAN (NDPL) 9.3%
    description: bicameral National Assembly consists of the Senate (30 seats; members directly elected in 15 2-seat districts by simple majority vote to serve 9-year staggered terms with one seat in each district up for election after 3 years followed by a 6-year hiatus; eligible for a second term; and the 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 (originally scheduled for 14 October 2014 but postponed due to Ebola-virus epidemic; next to be held in October 2020); House of Representatives - last held on 11 October 2011 (next to be held on 10 October 2017)
    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
    House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - UP 17.8%, CDC 12.8%, LP 9.2%, NDC 5.7%, LTP 4.5%, NUDP 3.9%, NPP 3.3%, MPC 2.4%, APD 2.1%,LDP 1.0%, NRP 0.8%, other 16.8% independent 19.7%; 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, independent 9
    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
    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 or PUP [Isobe GBORKORKOLLIE]
    Unity Party or UP [Varney SHERMAN]
    other: demobilized former military officers
    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)
    chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Jeff Gongoer DOWANA (since 12 April 2017)
    chancery: 5201 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011
    telephone: [1] (202) 723-0437
    FAX: [1] (202) 723-0436
    consulate(s) general: New York
    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
    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
    white star; national colors: red, white, blue
    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

  • 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 is expected to be a key driver of growth, as a new mining project begins its first full year of production, and iron ore exports are also expected to improve as Arcelor Mittal opens new mines at Mount Gangra. The completion of the rehabilitation of the Mount Coffee Hydroelectric Dam in 2017 will increase 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. Scheduled presidential and legislative elections in October 2017 will generate 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.
    $3.762 billion (2016 est.)
    $3.807 billion (2015 est.)
    $3.806 billion (2014 est.)
    note: data are in 2016 dollars
    country comparison to the world: 179
    $2.111 billion (2016 est.)
    -1.2% (2016 est.)
    0% (2015 est.)
    0.7% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 200
    $900 (2016 est.)
    $900 (2015 est.)
    $900 (2014 est.)
    note: data are in 2016 dollars
    country comparison to the world: 226
    NA% (2016 est.)
    -41% of GDP (2015 est.)
    -2.3% of GDP (2014 est.)
    household consumption: 128.8%
    government consumption: 16.7%
    investment in fixed capital: 19.5%
    investment in inventories: 6.7%
    exports of goods and services: 17.5%
    imports of goods and services: -89.2% (2016 est.)
    agriculture: 44.7%
    industry: 6.8%
    services: 48.5% (2016 est.)
    rubber, coffee, cocoa, rice, cassava (manioc, tapioca), palm oil, sugarcane, bananas; sheep, goats; timber
    mining (iron ore and gold), rubber processing, palm oil processing, diamonds
    -4.7% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 191
    1.654 million (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    agriculture: 70%
    industry: 8%
    services: 22% (2000 est.)
    2.8% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    54.1% (2014 est.)
    lowest 10%: 2.4%
    highest 10%: 30.1% (2007)
    32 (2014)
    38.2 (2007)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    revenues: $560.2 million
    expenditures: $600.2 million (2016 est.)
    26.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 102
    -1.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    36.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
    32.1% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 130
    calendar year
    8.8% (2016 est.)
    7.7% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 202
    3.2% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    13.59% (31 December 2016 est.)
    13.61% (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 54
    $398.4 million (30 November 2016 est.)
    $463.7 million (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 171
    $609.8 million (30 November 2016 est.)
    $685.1 million (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 178
    $622.4 million (30 November 2016 est.)
    $564.3 million (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 169
    $NA
    -$530 million (2016 est.)
    -$718 million (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 102
    $370.4 million (2016 est.)
    $499.4 million (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 178
    rubber, timber, iron, diamonds, cocoa, coffee
    Poland 18.5%, Switzerland 9.7%, UAE 9.4%, Netherlands 8.9%, Germany 6.1%, US 5.9%, South Africa 5%, China 4.4%, Ghana 4.2% (2016)
    $1.885 billion (2016 est.)
    $2.541 billion (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 164
    fuels, chemicals, machinery, transportation equipment, manufactured goods; foodstuffs
    South Korea 38.3%, Singapore 18%, China 15.9%, Japan 10.9% (2016)
    $501.4 million (30 November 2016 est.)
    $383.8 million (30 November 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 178
    $17.01 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $16.56 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 84
    $201 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    $201 million (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    Liberian dollars (LRD) per US dollar -
    102.5 (2016 est.)
    88.5 (2015 est.)
    85.3 (2014 est.)
    83.89 (2013 est.)
    73.52 (2012 est.)
  • Energy :: LIBERIA

  • population without electricity: 3,900,000
    electrification - total population: 10%
    electrification - urban areas: 17%
    electrification - rural areas: 3% (2013)
    70.07 million kWh
    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. 81.3% have no access to electricity. LEC accounts for roughly 70 million kWh of ouput. (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 204
    39 million kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 210
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 217
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 206
    60,000 kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 188
    63.3% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 123
    0% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 128
    36.7% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 64
    0% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 192
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 160
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 153
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 151
    0 bbl (1 January 2016 es)
    country comparison to the world: 159
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 164
    6,600 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 166
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 171
    6,611 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 155
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 157
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 201
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 138
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 147
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)
    country comparison to the world: 203
    600,000 Mt (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 178
  • Communications :: LIBERIA

  • total subscriptions: 8,000
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 198
    total: 3,834,600
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 89 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 136
    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 approached 90 per 100 persons in 2016
    international: country code - 231; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2015)
    8 private and 1 government-owned TV station; satellite TV service available; 1 state-owned radio station; 19 independent radio stations broadcasting in Monrovia, with another 77 local stations operating in other areas; transmissions of 4 international broadcasters are available (2017)
    .lr
    total: 314,717
    percent of population: 7.3% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 158
  • Transportation :: LIBERIA

  • A8 (2016)
    29 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    total: 2
    over 3,047 m: 1
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2017)
    total: 27
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
    914 to 1,523 m: 8
    under 914 m: 14 (2013)
    oil 4 km (2013)
    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)
    country comparison to the world: 119
    total: 10,600 km
    paved: 657 km
    unpaved: 9,943 km (2000)
    country comparison to the world: 134
    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, 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, Ukraine 10, Uruguay 1, US 53) (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 2
    major seaport(s): Buchanan, Monrovia
  • Military and Security :: LIBERIA

  • 0.62% of GDP (2016)
    0.66% of GDP (2015)
    0.71% of GDP (2014)
    0.78% of GDP (2013)
    0.87% of GDP (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL): Army, Navy, Air Force (2014)
    18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)
  • Transnational Issues :: LIBERIA

  • 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 almost 15,000 Ivoirian refugees, as of May 2017; in 2017, Liberia's 3 refugee camps will be converted into "settlements" and remaining Ivoirian refugees will be integrated into local communities
    refugees (country of origin): 11,937 (Cote d'Ivoire) (2017)
    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)
    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