Facts

Where is Liberia?

Liberia is a West African country bordered by Sierra Leone on the west, Guinea on the north, Cote d’Ivoire on the east and North Atlantic Ocean on the south-west.

Area

43,000 square miles (111,369 sq km); a little larger than Tennessee

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%, other 20.1% (2008 Census)

Religion

Christian 85.6%, Muslim 12.2%, Traditional 0.6%, other 1.6% (2008 Census)

GDP

$2.898 billion (2013 est.)

GDP per capital

$700 (2013 est.)

Unemployment

85% (2003 est.)

A U.N. report on Liberia’s 14-year civil war (1989-2003) claims that more than 250,000 people died in the conflict and more than 1.3 million had been displaced from their homes.

What is the capital of Liberia?

Monrovia is the capital city of Liberia. It is named in honor of James Monroe, president of the United States. With an estimated population of 1,010,970, Monrovia is the most-populated city in the country. Monrovia serves as the cultural, political and economic center of Liberia.

How big is Liberia?

Liberia covers a total area of 43,000 square miles. According to the 2011 estimate, the country has an estimated population of 3,786,764.

What are the ethnic groups in Liberia?

There are over sixteen indigenous ethnic groups in Liberia. The majority of the population is composed of the indigenous people. Kpelle is the largest ethnic group concentrated mainly in central and western Liberia. There are a few descendants of African-American settlers called Americo-Liberians in the country. Lebanese, Indians, and other West African nationals are the minority groups.

What are the administrative divisions of Liberia?

Liberia is divided into fifteen counties that are further divided into districts, and sub-divided into clans. Nimba is the largest county with an area of 4,460 square miles. Each county is administered by a superintendent who is appointed by the president.

What is the official language of Liberia?

The government of Liberia recognizes English as the official language. There are over thirty-one indigenous languages spoken in the country that include Bandi, Kpelle, Dan, Maninka, Loma, and Tajuasohn.

What is the economy of Liberia like?

Liberia is one of the poorest countries in the world. In 2010, the gross domestic product (nominal) was estimated at $974 million, while the per capita stood at $226. The economy of the country is heavily dependent on foreign aid and foreign direct investment. Agriculture is a significant part of the economy, employing over sixty-two percent of the Liberians. Export of natural resources such as iron ore, rubber and timber adds to the revenues of the nation. The major imports include foodstuffs, fuels, chemicals, manufactured goods, and machinery. Rubber processing, palm oil processing, and diamond mining are the major industries. Singapore, China, Malaysia, Japan, South Korea, and the United States are the major trade partners.

When is the national day of Liberia celebrated?

The national day of Liberia is celebrated on July 26. On this day in in 1847, Liberia gained independence from the United States and was declared a republic.

Timeline

1816-1817 - The American Colonization Society buys land in Liberia for the resettlement of freed slaves.

1822 – The first freed American slaves arrive in Liberia.

1847 - The American Colonization Society gives up control and Liberia gains its independence. Joseph Jenkins Roberts, a freed slave from Virginia, becomes the first president. For 133 years, Liberia is ruled by the True Whig Party, whose government and constitution are modeled after the United States.

1980 – Samuel Doe of the Krahn ethnic group takes power in a coup, overthrowing William Tolbert.

1989 – Charles Taylor┬áleads a revolt that leads to Doe’s execution and civil war among several factions. The country stays in a state of civil war until 2003.