Liberia 2001Liberia

 Liberia | | | | | |
| | | :  |



Liberia - Introduction 2001
top of page

Background: Seven years of civil strife were brought to a close in 1996 when free and open presidential and legislative elections were held. President TAYLOR now holds strong executive power with no real political opposition. The years of fighting coupled with the flight of most businesses have disrupted formal economic activity. A still unsettled domestic security situation has slowed the process of rebuilding the social and economic structure of this war-torn country.

Liberia - Geography 2001
top of page

Location: Western Africa bordering the North Atlantic Ocean between Cote d'Ivoire and Sierra Leone

Geographic coordinates: 6 30 N 9 30 W

Map referenceAfrica

Total: 111,370 km²
Land: 96,320 km²
Water: 15,050 km²
Comparative: slightly larger than Tennessee

Land boundaries
Total: 1,585 km
Border countries: (3) Guinea 563 km; , Cote d'Ivoire 716 km; , Sierra Leone 306 km

Coastline: 579 km

Maritime claims
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

Extremes lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
Extremes highest point: Mount Wuteve 1,380 m

Natural resources: iron ore timber diamonds gold hydropower
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 1%
Permanent crops: 3%
Permanent pastures: 59%
Forests and woodland: 18%
Other: 19% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 20 km² (1993 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: dust-laden harmattan winds blow from the Sahara (December to March)


Liberia - People 2001
top of page

Population: 3,225,837 (July 2001 est.)
Growth rate: 1.92% (2001 est.)
Below poverty line: 80%

Noun: Liberian
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 US who had been slaves) Congo People 2.5% (descendants of immigrants from the Caribbean who had been slaves)

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

Religions: indigenous beliefs 40% Christian 40% Muslim 20%

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 43.21% (male 698,178; female 695,599)
15-64 years: 53.34% (male 840,103; female 880,403)
65 years and over: 3.45% (male 56,073; female 55,481) (2001 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 1.92% (2001 est.)

Birth rate: 46.55 births/1000 population (2001 est.)

Death rate: 16.36 deaths/1000 population (2001 est.)

Net migration rate
Note: by the end of 1999, all Liberian refugees, who had fled the domestic strife, were assumed to have returned

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: tropical rain forest subject to deforestation; soil erosion; loss of biodiversity; pollution of coastal waters from oil residue and raw sewage
International agreements party to: Biodiversity, Desertification, Endangered Species, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94
International agreements signed but not ratified: Climate Change, Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.03 male/female
Under 15 years: 1 male/female
15-64 years: 0.95 male/female
65 years and over: 1.01 male/female
Total population: 0.98 male/female (2001 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 132.42 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 51.41 years
Male: 49.96 years
Female: 52.91 years (2001 est.)

Total fertility rate: 6.36 children born/woman (2001 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access

Adult prevalence rate: 2.8% (1999 est.)
People living with hivaids: 39,000 (1999 est.)
Deaths: 4,500 (1999 est.)

Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

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

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Liberia - Government 2001
top of page

Country name
Conventional long form: Republic of Liberia
Conventional short form: Liberia

Government type: republic

Capital: Monrovia

Administrative divisions: 13 counties; Bomi Bong Grand Bassa Grand Cape Mount Grand Gedeh Grand Kru Lofa Margibi Maryland Montserrado Nimba River Cess Sinoe

Dependent areas

Independence: 26 July 1847

National holiday: Independence Day 26 July (1847)

Constitution: 6 January 1986

Legal system: dual system of statutory law based on Anglo-American common law for the modern sector and customary law based on unwritten tribal practices for indigenous sector

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state: President Charles Ghankay TAYLOR (since 2 August 1997); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
Head of government: President Charles Ghankay TAYLOR (since 2 August 1997); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
Cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate
Elections: president elected by popular vote for a six-year term (renewable); election last held 19 July 1997 (next to be held NA July 2003)
Election results: Charles Ghankay TAYLOR elected president; percent of vote - Charles Ghankay TAYLOR (NPP) 75.3%, Ellen Johnson SIRLEAF (UP) 9.6%, Alhaji KROMAH (ALCOP) 4%, other 11.1%

Legislative branch
Elections: Senate - last held 19 July 1997 (next to be held in NA 2006); House of Representatives - last held 19 July 1997 (next to be held in NA 2003)
Election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - NPP 21, UP 3, ALCOP 2; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - NPP 49, UP 7, ALCOP 3, Alliance of Political Parties 2, UPP 2, LPP 1; note - the Alliance of Political Parties was a coalition of the LAP and the Liberia Unification Party or LUP

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders: All Liberia Coalition Party or ALCOP [Lusinee KAMARA]; Liberian Action Party or LAP [Cletus WOTORSON]; Liberian National Union or LINU [Henry MONIBA chairman]; Liberian People's Party or LPP [Togba-Nah TIPOTEH chairman]; National Democratic Party of Liberia or NDPL [Isaac DAKINAH]; National Patriotic Party or NPP [Charles Ghankay TAYLOR] - governing party; People's Progressive Party or PPP [Chea CHEAPOO chairman]; Reformation Alliance Party or RAP [Henry Boimah FAHNBULLEH chairman]; True Whig Party or TWP [Rudolph SHERMAN chairman]; United People's Party or UPP [Gabriel Baccus MATTHEWS chairman]; Unity Party or UP [Charles Clarke]


Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission: Ambassador William BULL
In the us chancery: 5,201 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20,011
In the us telephone: [1] (202) 723-0437
In the us fax: [1] (202) 723-0436
In the us consulates general: New York
From the us chief of mission: Ambassador Bismarck MYRICK
From the us embassy: 111 United Nations Drive, P. O. Box 10-0098, Mamba Point, Monrovia
From the us mailing address: use embassy street address
From the us telephone: [231] 226-370 through 226-380
From the us fax: [231] 226-148

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 2001
top of page

Economy overview: A civil war in 1989-96 destroyed much of Liberia's economy especially the infrastructure in and around Monrovia. Many businessmen fled the country taking capital and expertise with them. Some returned during 1997. Many will not return. Richly endowed with water mineral resources forests and a climate favorable to agriculture Liberia had been a producer and exporter of basic products while local manufacturing mainly foreign owned had been small in scope. The democratically elected government installed in August 1997 inherited massive international debts and currently relies on revenues from its maritime registry to provide the bulk of its foreign exchange earnings. The restoration of the infrastructure and the raising of incomes in this ravaged economy depend on the implementation of sound macro- and micro-economic policies of the new government including the encouragement of foreign investment. Recent growth has been from a low base and continued growth will require major policy successes.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 15% (2000 est.)

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: 60%
Industry: 10%
Services: 30% (2000 est.)

Agriculture products: rubber coffee cocoa rice cassava (tapioca) palm oil sugarcane bananas; sheep goats; timber

Industries: rubber processing palm oil processing diamonds

Industrial production growth rate: NA

Labor force
By occupation agriculture: 70%
By occupation industry: 8%
By occupation services: 22% (1999 est.)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 70%

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line: 80%

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10: NA%
Highest 10: NA%

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $NA
Expenditures: $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices: 5% (2000 est.)

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: $55 million (f.o.b. 2000 est.)
Commodities: diamonds iron ore rubber timber coffee cocoa
Partners: Belgium 53% Switzerland 9% US 6% France 4% (1999)

Imports: $170 million (f.o.b. 2000 est.)
Commodities: fuels chemicals machinery transportation equipment manufactured goods; rice and other foodstuffs
Partners: South Korea 30% Italy 24% Japan 15% Germany 9% (1999)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $3 billion (1999 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates
Note: until December 1997, rates were based on a fixed relationship with the US dollar; beginning in January 1998, rates are market determined

Liberia - Energy 2001
top of page

Electricity access

Electricity production: 432 million kWh (1999)
By source fossil fuel: 100%
By source hydro: 0%
By source nuclear: 0%
By source other: 0% (1999)

Electricity consumption: 401.8 million kWh (1999)

Electricity exports: 0 kWh (1999)

Electricity imports: 0 kWh (1999)

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Liberia - Communication 2001
top of page

Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular: 0 (1995)

Telephone system
General assessment: telephone and telegraph service via microwave radio relay network; main center is Monrovia
Domestic: NA
International: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Broadcast media

Internet country code: .lr

Internet users: 300 (2000)

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Liberia - Military 2001
top of page

Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $1 million (FY98)
Percent of gdp: 2% (FY98)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Liberia - Transportation 2001
top of page

National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 46 (2000 est.)
With paved runways total: 2
With paved runways over 3047 m: 1
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 1 (2000 est.)
With unpaved runways total: 44
With unpaved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 3
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 5
With unpaved runways under 914 m: 36 (2000 est.)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 2
Over 3047 m: 1
15-24 to 2437 m: 1 (2000 est.)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 44
15-24 to 2437 m: 3
914 to 1523 m: 5
Under 914 m: 36 (2000 est.)



Total: 490 km (328 km single track); note - three rail systems owned and operated by foreign steel and financial interests in conjunction with the Liberian Government; one of these, the Lamco Railroad, closed in 1989 after iron ore production ceased; the other two were shut down by the civil war; large sections of the rail lines have been dismantled; approximately 60 km of railroad track was exported for scrap
Standard gauge: 345 km 1.435-m gauge
Narrow gauge: 145 km 1.067-m gauge


Waterways: none

Merchant marine
Total: 1,478 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 49,456,361 GRT/76,620,648 DWT
Ships by type: barge carrier 3, bulk 324, cargo 97, chemical tanker 163, combination bulk 20, combination ore/oil 38, container 245, liquefied gas 97, multi-functional large-load carrier 4, passenger 24, petroleum tanker 310, refrigerated cargo 74, roll on/roll off 19, short-sea passenger 3, specialized tanker 12, vehicle carrier 45
Note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Argentina 8, Australia 1, Ashmore and Cartier Islands 1, Austria 5, Bermuda 5, Belgium 5, Burma 1, Brazil 8, Canada 1, China 28, Chile 7, Costa Rica 8, Cyprus 27, Denmark 4, Ecuador 1, Germany 117, Greece 83, Hong Kong 54, Croatia 9, Indonesia 2, India 8, Israel 1, Italy 8, Japan 85, South Korea 8, Latvia 15, Monaco 28, Mexico 6, Malaysia 1, Nigeria 1, Netherlands 7, Norway 86, Netherlands Antilles 1, NZ 1, Poland 2, Portugal 2, Philippines 1, Russia 22, Saudi Arabia 20, South Africa 1, Slovenia 1, Singapore 30, Spain 1, Sweden 8, Switzerland 23, UAE 5, Taiwan 10, UK 15, US 85, Uruguay 1, Vietnam 1 (2000 est.)

Ports and terminals

Liberia - Transnational issues 2001
top of page

Disputes international: large refugee population from civil war in Sierra Leone

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs

Trusted Tours

You found a piece of the puzzle

Please click here to complete it