Demographics of Liberia

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There are 16 ethnic groups that make up Liberia's indigenous population. The Kpelle in central and western Liberia is the largest ethnic group. Americo-Liberians, who are descendants of freed slaves that arrived in Liberia early in 1821, make up an estimated 5% of the population. There also is a sizable number of Lebanese, Indians, and other West African nationals who make up a significant part of Liberia's business community. Because of the civil war and its accompanying problem of insecurity, the number of Westerners in Liberia is low and confined largely to Monrovia and its immediate surroundings. The Liberian constitution restricts citizenship only to people of Negro descent.

Liberia was traditionally noted for its hospitality and academic institutions, iron mining and rubber industry booms, cultural skills and arts and craft works. But political upheavals beginning in the 1980s and the brutal 7-year civil war (1989-96) brought about a steep decline in the living standards of the country, including its education and infrastructure.

File:Liberia-demography.png
Demographics of Liberia, Data of FAO, year 2005 ; Number of inhabitants in thousands.

Population: 3,164,156 (July 2000 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 43% (male 681,136; female 680,501)
15-64 years: 54% (male 826,751; female 867,402)
65 years and over: 3% (male 54,334; female 54,032) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.94% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 47.22 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 16.58 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: -11.22 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)
note: by the end of 1999, all Liberian refugees, who had fled the domestic strife, were assumed to have returned

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.01 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 134.63 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 51.02 years
male: 49.6 years
female: 52.49 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 6.43 children born/woman (2000 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Liberian(s)
adjective: Liberian

Ethnic groups: indigenous African tribes 95% (including Kpelle, Bassa, Gio, Kru, Grebo, Mano, Krahn, Gola, Gbandi, Loma, Kissi, Vai, and Bella), Americo-Liberians 2.5% (descendants of immigrants from the U.S. who had been slaves), Congo People 2.5% (descendants of immigrants from the Caribbean who had been slaves)

Religions: Christian 55%, indigenous beliefs 25%, Muslim 20%

Languages: English 20% (official), some 20 ethnic group languages, of which a few can be written and are used in correspondence

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 38.3%
male: 53.9%
female: 22.4% (1995 est.)
note: these figures are increasing because of the improving school system

See also : Liberia