Liberia

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid

Introduction

Background

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. 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

5,358,483 (2022 est.)

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%, 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

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 1.5% (2008 est.)

Population growth rate

2.73% (2022 est.)

Government

Government type

presidential republic

Capital

name: Monrovia

Executive branch

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)

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)

$6.85 billion (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$1,400 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

cassava, sugar cane, oil palm fruit, rice, bananas, vegetables, plantains, rubber, taro, maize

Industries

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

Exports

$550 million (2019 est.)

Exports - partners

Guyana 32%, Poland 10%, Switzerland 8%, Japan 7%, China 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

ships, iron, gold, rubber, crude petroleum (2019)

Imports

$1.24 billion (2019 est.)

Imports - partners

China 41%, Japan 21%, South Korea 18% (2019)

Imports - commodities

ships, refined petroleum, iron structures, boat propellers, centrifuges (2019)


Page last updated: Friday, May 13, 2022