Statistical information Sierra Leone 2001Sierra%20Leone

Map of Sierra Leone | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
Military | Transportation | Transnational Issues | Year:  | More stats

Sierra Leone in the World
Sierra Leone in the World


Sierra Leone - Introduction 2001
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Background: Since 1991 civil war between the government and the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and the displacement of more than 2 million people (well over one-third of the population) many of whom are now refugees in neighboring countries. A peace agreement signed in July 1999 collapsed in May 2000 after the RUF took over 500 UN peacekeepers hostage. The RUF stepped up attacks on Guinea in December 2000 despite a cease-fire that it signed with the Freetown government one month earlier. As of late 2000 up to 13,000 UN peacekeepers were protecting the capital and key towns in the south. A UK force of 750 was helping to reinforce security and train the Sierra Leone army.

Sierra Leone - Geography 2001
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Location: Western Africa bordering the North Atlantic Ocean between Guinea and Liberia

Geographic coordinates: 8 30 N 11 30 W

Map referenceAfrica

Total: 71,740 km²
Land: 71,620 km²
Water: 120 km²
Comparative: slightly smaller than South Carolina

Land boundaries
Total: 958 km
Border countries: (2) Guinea 652 km; , Liberia 306 km

Coastline: 402 km

Maritime claims
Territorial sea: 200 NM
Continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation

Climate: tropical; hot humid; summer rainy season (May to December); winter dry season (December to April)

Terrain: coastal belt of mangrove swamps wooded hill country upland plateau mountains in east

Extremes lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
Extremes highest point: Loma Mansa (Bintimani) 1,948 m

Natural resources: diamonds titanium ore bauxite iron ore gold chromite
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 7%
Permanent crops: 1%
Permanent pastures: 31%
Forests and woodland: 28%
Other: 33% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 290 km² (1993 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: dry sand-laden harmattan winds blow from the Sahara (December to February); sandstorms dust storms


Sierra Leone - People 2001
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Population: 5,426,618 (July 2001 est.)
Growth rate: 3.61% (2001 est.)
Below poverty line: 68% (1989 est.)

Noun: Sierra Leonean
Adjective: Sierra Leonean

Ethnic groups: 20 native African tribes 90% (Temne 30% Mende 30% other 30%) Creole 10% (descendants of freed Jamaican slaves who were settled in the Freetown area in the late-18th century) refugees from Liberia's recent civil war small numbers of Europeans Lebanese Pakistanis and Indians

Languages: English (official regular use limited to literate minority) Mende (principal vernacular in the south) Temne (principal vernacular in the north) Krio (English-based Creole spoken by the descendants of freed Jamaican slaves who were settled in the Freetown area a lingua franca and a first language for 10% of the population but understood by 95%)

Religions: Muslim 60% indigenous beliefs 30% Christian 10%

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 44.73% (male 1,190,207; female 1,237,326)
15-64 years: 52.12% (male 1,351,455; female 1,477,155)
65 years and over: 3.15% (male 84,364; female 86,111) (2001 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 3.61% (2001 est.)

Birth rate: 45.11 births/1000 population (2001 est.)

Death rate: 19.19 deaths/1000 population (2001 est.)

Net migration rate
Note: by the end of 1999 refugees from Sierra Leone are assumed to be returning

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: rapid population growth pressuring the environment; overharvesting of timber expansion of cattle grazing and slash-and-burn agriculture have resulted in deforestation and soil exhaustion; civil war depleting natural resources; overfishing
International agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Wetlands
International agreements signed but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.03 male/female
Under 15 years: 0.96 male/female
15-64 years: 0.91 male/female
65 years and over: 0.98 male/female
Total population: 0.94 male/female (2001 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 146.52 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 45.6 years
Male: 42.69 years
Female: 48.61 years (2001 est.)

Total fertility rate: 6.01 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: 2.99% (1999 est.)
People living with hivaids: 68,000 (1999 est.)
Deaths: 8,200 (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 English, Mende, Temne, or Arabic
Total population: 31.4%
Male: 45.4%
Female: 18.2% (1995 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Sierra Leone - Government 2001
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Country name
Conventional long form: Republic of Sierra Leone
Conventional short form: Sierra Leone

Government type: constitutional democracy

Capital: Freetown

Administrative divisions: 3 provinces and 1 area*; Eastern Northern Southern Western*

Dependent areas

Independence: 27 April 1961 (from UK)

National holiday: Independence Day 27 April (1961)

Constitution: 1 October 1991; subsequently amended several times

Legal system: based on English law and customary laws indigenous to local tribes; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state: President Ahmad Tejan KABBAH (since 29 March 1996, reinstated 10 March 1998); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
Head of government: President Ahmad Tejan KABBAH (since 29 March 1996, reinstated 10 March 1998); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
Cabinet: Ministers of State appointed by the president with the approval of the House of Representatives; the cabinet is responsible to the president
Elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election held 26-27 February and 15 March 1996 (next to be held NA September 2001); note - president's tenure of office is limited to two five-year terms
Election results: Ahmad Tejan KABBAH elected president; percent of vote - Ahmad Tejan KABBAH (SLPP) 59.5%, John KAREFA-SMART (UNPP) 40.5%

Legislative branch
Elections: last held 26-27 February 1996 (next to be held NA 2001)
Election results: percent of vote by party - SLPP 36.1%, UNPP 21.6%, PDP 15.3%, APC 5.7%, NUP 5.3%, DCP 4.8%, other 11.2%; seats by party - SLPP 27, UNPP 17, PDP 12, APC 5, NUP 4, DCP 3; note - first elections since the former House of Representatives was shut down by the military coup of 29 April 1992

Judicial branch: Supreme Court; Appeals Court; High Court

Political parties and leaders: All People's Congress or APC [Edward Mohammed TURAY chairman]; Democratic Centre Party or DCP [Adu Aiah KOROMA]; National Democratic Alliance or NDA [Amadu M. B. JALLOH]; National Republican Party or NRP [Sahr Stephen MAMBU]; National Unity Party or NUP [Dr. John KARIMU chairman]; People's Democratic Party or PDP [Thaimu BANGURA chairman]; People's Progressive Party or PPP [Abass Chernok BUNDU chairman]; Revolutionary United Front Party or RUFP [Foday SANKOH chairman]; Sierra Leone People's Party or SLPP [President Ahmad Tejan KABBAH chairman]; United National People's Party or UNPP [John KARIFA-SMART in exile Raymond KAMARA acting leader]


Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission: Ambassador John Ernest LEIGH
In the us chancery: 1701 19th Street NW, Washington, DC 20,009
In the us telephone: [1] (202) 939-9,261 through 9,263
In the us fax: [1] (202) 483-1793
From the us chief of mission: Ambassador Joseph H. MELROSE, Jr.
From the us embassy: Corner of Walpole and Siaka Stevens Streets, Freetown
From the us mailing address: use embassy street address
From the us telephone: [232] (22) 226,481 through 226,485
From the us fax: [232] (22) 225,471

Flag descriptionflag of Sierra%20Leone: three equal horizontal bands of light green (top) white and light blue

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Sierra Leone - Economy 2001
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Economy overview: Sierra Leone is an extremely poor African nation with tremendous inequality in income distribution. It does have substantial mineral agricultural and fishery resources. However the economic and social infrastructure is not well developed and serious social disorders continue to hamper economic development. About two-thirds of the working-age population engages in subsistence agriculture. Manufacturing consists mainly of the processing of raw materials and of light manufacturing for the domestic market. Bauxite and rutile mines have been shut down by civil strife. The major source of hard currency is found in the mining of diamonds the large majority of which are smuggled out of the country. The resurgence of internal warfare in 1999 brought another substantial drop in GDP with GNP recovering part of the way in 2000. The fate of the economy depends upon the maintenance of domestic peace and the continued receipt of substantial aid from abroad.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 4.2% (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: 43%
Industry: 26%
Services: 31% (1999)

Agriculture products: rice coffee cocoa palm kernels palm oil peanuts; poultry cattle sheep pigs; fish

Industries: mining (diamonds); small-scale manufacturing (beverages textiles cigarettes footwear); petroleum refining

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Labor force
Note: only about 65,000 wage earners (1985)
By occupation agriculture: NA%
By occupation industry: NA%
By occupation services: NA%
Labor force

Unemployment rate: NA%

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line: 68% (1989 est.)

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10: 0.5%
Highest 10: 43.6% (1989)

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $96 million
Expenditures: $351 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices: 15% (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: $65 million (f.o.b. 2000 est.)
Commodities: diamonds rutile cocoa coffee fish
Partners: Belgium 38% US 6% Italy 4% UK 4% (1999)

Imports: $145 million (f.o.b. 2000 est.)
Commodities: foodstuffs machinery and equipment fuels and lubricants chemicals
Partners: UK 34% US 8% Italy 7% Nigeria 5% (1999)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $1.28 billion (1999)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: leones per US dollar - 1653.39 (January 2001) 2,092 (2000) 1804.20 (1999) 1563.62 (1998) 981.48 (1997) 920.73 (1996)

Sierra Leone - Energy 2001
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 240 million kWh (1999)
By source fossil fuel: 100%
By source hydro: 0%
By source nuclear: 0%
By source other: 0% (1999)

Electricity consumption: 223.2 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

Sierra Leone - Communication 2001
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular: 650 (1999)

Telephone system
General assessment: marginal telephone and telegraph service
Domestic: national microwave radio relay trunk system, made unserviceable by military activities, is now operating from Freetown to Bo and Kenema (April 2001)
International: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Broadcast media

Internet country code: .sl

Internet users: 2000 (2000)

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Sierra Leone - Military 2001
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $46 million (FY96/97)
Percent of gdp: 2% (FY96/97)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Sierra Leone - Transportation 2001
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 11 (2000 est.)
With paved runways total: 1
With paved runways over 3047 m: 1 (2000 est.)
With unpaved runways total: 10
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 7
With unpaved runways under 914 m: 3 (2000 est.)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 1
Over 3047 m: 1 (2000 est.)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 10
914 to 1523 m: 7
Under 914 m: 3 (2000 est.)

Heliports: 1 (2000 est.)


Total: 84 km used on a limited basis because the mine at Marampa is closed
Narrow gauge: 84 km 1.067-m gauge


Waterways: 800 km (of which 600 km navigable year round)

Merchant marine
Total: 1 ship (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 2,057 GRT/3,498 DWT
Ships by type: cargo 1 (2000 est.)

Ports and terminals

Sierra Leone - Transnational issues 2001
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Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


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