Liberia 1989Liberia

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Liberia - Introduction 1989
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Background: Years of civil strife have destroyed much of Liberia's economic infrastructure, made civil administration nearly impossible, and brought economic activity virtually to a halt. The deterioration of economic conditions has been greatly exacerbated by the flight of most business people with their expertise and capital.

Liberia - Geography 1989
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Geographic coordinates

Map reference


Land boundaries:
1,585 km total
Guinea 563 km, Ivory Coast 716 km, Sierra Leone 306 km

Coastline: 579 km

Maritime claims
Continental shelf: 200 meters or to depth of exploitation
Territorial sea: 200 nm

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

Terrain: mostly flat to rolling coastal plains rising to rolling plateau and low mountains in northeast


Natural resources: iron ore, timber, diamonds, gold
Land use

Land use: 1% arable land; 3% permanent crops; 2% meadows and pastures; 39% forest and woodland; 55% other; includes NEGL% irrigated

Irrigated land

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


Liberia - People 1989
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Population: 2,555,883 (July 1989), growth rate 3.4% (1989)

Nationality: noun - Liberian(s; adjective - Liberian

Ethnic groups: 95% indigenous African tribes, including Kpelle, Bassa, Gio, Kru, Grebo, Mano, Krahn, Gola, Gbandi, Loma, Kissi, Vai, and Bella; 5% descendants of repatriated slaves known as Americo-Liberians

Languages: English (official; more than 20 local languages of the Niger-Congo language group; English used by about 20%

Religions: 70% traditional, 20% Muslim, 10% Christian

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate

Birth rate: 45 births/1000 population (1989)

Death rate: 13 deaths/1000 population (1989)

Net migration rate: 2 migrants/1000 population (1989)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: West Africa's largest tropical rain forest, subject to deforestation

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 119 deaths/1000 live births (1989)

Life expectancy at birth: 53 years male, 56 years female (1989)

Total fertility rate: 6.6 children born/woman (1989)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Literacy: 20%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Liberia - Government 1989
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Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Liberia

Government type: republic

Capital: Monrovia

Administrative divisions: 13 counties; Bomi, Bong, Grand Bassa, Grand Cape Mount, Grand Jide, Grand Kru, Lofa, Margibi, Maryland, Montserrado, Nimba, Rivercess, Sino

Dependent areas

Independence: 26 July 1847

National holiday: Independence Day, 26 July (1847)

Constitution: 6 January 1986

Legal system: judicial powers invested in People's Supreme Court and lower courts

International law organization participation


Suffrage: universal at age 18

Executive branch: Chief of State and Head of Government - President Gen. Dr. Samuel Kanyon DOE (since 12 April 1980; Vice President Harry F. MONIBA (since 6 January 1986)

Legislative branch: executive powers held by president, assisted by appointed Cabinet; legislative powers held by bicameral legislature; independent judiciary

Judicial branch

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: AfDB, CCC, ECA, ECOWAS, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICO, IDA, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMF, IMO, INTERPOL, IPU, IRC, ITU, Mano River Union, NAM, OAU, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WMO

Diplomatic representation
In the us: Ambassador Eugenia A. WORDSWORTH-STEVENSON; Chancery at 5,201 16th Street NW, Washington DC 20,011; telephone (202) 723-0437 through 0440; there is a Liberian Consulate General in New York; US - Ambassador James K. BISHOP; Embassy at 111 United Nations Drive, Monrovia (mailing address is P. O. Box 98, Monrovia, or APO New York 9,155; telephone Õ231å 222,991 through 222,994

Flag descriptionflag of Liberia: 11 equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white; there is a white five-pointed star on a blue square in the upper hoist-side corner; the design was based on the US flag

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Liberia - Economy 1989
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Economy overview: In 1988 the Liberian economy posted its best year in a decade, thanks to a resurgence of the rubber industry and rapid growth in exports of forest products. Richly endowed with water, mineral resources, forests, and a climate favorable to agriculture, Liberia is a producer and exporter of basic products. Local manufacturing, mainly foreign-owned, is small in scope. Liberia imports primarily machinery and parts, transportation equipment, petroleum products, and foodstuffs. Persistent budget deficits, the flight of capital, and deterioration of transport and other infrastructure continue to hold back economic progress. In 1987 the United States agreed to a financial management partnership whereby US advisers are helping to improve public administration and fiscal management. The European Community is sponsoring a program to improve port handling and turnaround time.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: rubber, rice, oil palm, cassava, coffee, cocoa; imports of rice, wheat, and livestock are necessary for basic diet

Industries: rubber processing, food processing, construction materials, furniture, palm oil processing, mining (iron ore, diamonds)

Industrial production growth rate: 2.0% (1986)

Labor force:
510,000, including 220,000 in the monetary economy; 70.5% agriculture, 10.8%
services, 4.5%
industry and commerce, 14.2% other; non-African foreigners hold about 95% of the top-level management and engineering jobs; 52% of population of working age

Labor force

Unemployment rate: NA%

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Budget: revenues $217.5 million; expenditures $248.1 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1988)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $458 million (f.o.b., 1987)
Commodities: iron ore 61%, rubber 20%, timber 11%, coffee
Partners: US, EC, Netherlands

Imports: $259 million (c.i.f., 1986)
Commodities: rice, mineral fuels, chemicals, machinery, transportation equipment, other foodstuffs
Partners: US, EC, Japan, China, Netherlands, ECOWAS

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $1.5 billion (July 1988)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Liberian dollars (L$) per US$1 - 1.00 (fixed rate since 1940; unofficial parallel exchange rate of L$2.5 = US$1, January 1989

Liberia - Energy 1989
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Electricity access

Electricity production

Electricity consumption

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Liberia - Communication 1989
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Liberia - Military 1989
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: NA

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Liberia - Transportation 1989
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 76 total, 61 usable; 2 with permanent-surface runways; 1 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 4 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways






Merchant marine: 1,412 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 49,210,588 GRT/91,517,792 DWT; includes 10 passenger, 153 cargo, 26 refrigerated cargo, 21 roll-on/roll-off cargo, 42 vehicle carrier, 41 container, 4 barge carrier, 438 petroleum, oils, and lubricants (POL) tanker, 100 chemical, 75 combination ore/oil, 44 liquefied gas, 5 specialized tanker, 421 bulk, 2 heavy-lift carrier, 25 combination bulk; note - a flag of convenience registry

Ports and terminals

Liberia - Transnational issues 1989
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Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


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