Liberia

Country Summary

2023 population pyramid

Introduction

Background

Freed slaves from the US began being settled in what is today Liberia in 1822. By 1847, the Americo-Liberians were able to establish a republic. A military coup in 1980 ushered in a decade of authoritarian rule followed by a civil war. A 2003 peace agreement ended the war, and elections were held in 2005.

Geography

Area

total: 111,369 sq km
land: 96,320 sq km
water: 15,049 sq km

Climate

tropical; hot, humid; dry winters with hot days and cool to cold nights; wet, cloudy summers with frequent heavy showers

Natural resources

iron ore, timber, diamonds, gold, hydropower

People and Society

Population

total: 5,437,249
male: 2,711,324
female: 2,725,925 (2024 est.)

Ethnic groups

Kpelle 20.2%, Bassa 13.6%, Grebo 9.9%, Gio 7.9%, Mano 7.2%, Kru 5.5%, Lorma 4.8%, Krahn 4.5%, Kissi, 4.3%, Mandingo 4.2%, Vai 3.8%, Gola 3.8%, Gbandi 2.9%, Mende 1.7%, Sapo 1%, Belle 0.7%, Dey 0.3%, other Liberian ethnic group 0.4%, other African 3%, non-African 0.2% (2022 est.)

Languages

English 20% (official) and 27 indigenous languages, including Liberian English (encompassing several varieties of English spoken by Liberians)

Religions

Christian 84.9%, Muslim 12%, Traditional 0.5%, other 0.1%, none 2.6% (2022 est.)

Population growth rate

2.32% (2024 est.)

Government

Government type

presidential republic

Capital

name: Monrovia

Executive branch

chief of state: President Joseph BOAKAI (since 22 January 2024) 
head of government: President Joseph BOAKAI (since 22 January 2024)

Legislative branch

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)

Economy

Economic overview

low-income West African economy; food scarcity, especially in rural areas; high poverty and inflation; bad recession prior to COVID-19 due to Ebola crisis; growing government debt; longest continuously operated rubber plantation; large informal economy

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$7.747 billion (2022 est.)
$7.391 billion (2021 est.)
$7.04 billion (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$1,500 (2022 est.)
$1,400 (2021 est.)
$1,400 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

cassava, rice, sugarcane, oil palm fruit, bananas, rubber, vegetables, plantains, taro, maize (2022)

Industries

mining (iron ore and gold), rubber processing, palm oil processing, diamonds

Exports

$1.22 billion (2022 est.)
$1.041 billion (2021 est.)
$731.658 million (2020 est.)

Exports - partners

Switzerland 28%, France 8%, Germany 8%, UK 8%, Poland 6% (2022)

Exports - commodities

gold, ships, iron ore, rubber, refined petroleum (2022)

Imports

$1.961 billion (2022 est.)
$1.739 billion (2021 est.)
$1.371 billion (2020 est.)

Imports - partners

China 42%, South Korea 23%, Japan 15%, Germany 5%, Brazil 3% (2022)

Imports - commodities

ships, refined petroleum, additive manufacturing machines, centrifuges, rice (2022)

Exchange rates

Liberian dollars (LRD) per US dollar -
Exchange rates:
152.934 (2022 est.)
166.154 (2021 est.)
191.518 (2020 est.)
186.43 (2019 est.)
144.056 (2018 est.)


Page last updated: Thursday, June 13, 2024