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definition - Demographics_of_Liberia

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Demographics of Liberia


This article is about the demographic features of the population of Liberia, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.

Republic of Liberia
Coat of arms of Liberia.svg

History · Politics · Demographics
Culture · Geography · Music
Communications · Transport · Economy
Armed Forces · Foreign relations
Americo-Liberian · Nationality law
Subdivisions: Counties · Districts

The demographics of Liberia Liberia's history as a place set up in 1821 as a colony for free slaves from the United States. The noun for a person from Liberia is Liberian(s). The adjective is Liberian. Despite the recent war's divisions along ethnic lines, Liberia remains a multiethnic and multicultural country. Diversity has always been celebrated in Liberian culture, cuisine, music, fashion, language and people themselves. This diversity has often been overlooked in post war years.


  Tribes of Liberia

Many consider the Gola to be earliest tribe to inhabit Liberia, but the Gola themselves claim they met the Dei ethnic group there when they arrived. The Dei ethnic group are a vanguard group of Bassa that settled Liberia in waves. The ethnic groups of Liberia can be divided into five major groups:

  • Mel (Gola, Kissi)
  • Kwa (Dei, Bassa, Kru, Krahn, Grebo)
  • Mande-Fu (Kpelle, Gio, Mano, Loma)
  • Mande-Tan (Vai, Mende, Mandingo)
  • Repatriated (Americo-Liberians, Congo, Caribbean)

The Dei settled first, and were later joined by the Gola ethnic group before any of the other Bassa groups arrived. The chintus (a Bassa group) was later established north of the Dei.

The Gola ethnic group originated somewhere in central Africa. During the Empire of Ancient Ghana they were heavily involved in the land-surveying and judicial aspects of the empire.

The other ethnic groups that fall under the Mande-Tan, Mande-Fu were also members of Ancient Ghana. Because of the their influence in the judicial aspects of the Ghana, the Gola's social structure dominated through the Poro.

With the influx of Islam many groups adopted it while others resisted. The Golas fought three wars with pro-Islamic elements in a changing Ghana. These wars were known as the Kumba Wars. The Golas lost the third of these wars and were forced to retreat toward Sierra Leone. They were pursued by the Mende, Gbandi and Loma. Their battles with the Mende in Sierra Leone forced them to retreat yet again and settle finally in Liberia where they encountered the Dei.

  Emigrants from Mali

The Kpelle, Gio, Mano, Mandingo and Vai groups migrated from the Empire of Mali for various reasons. Some escaping political intrigue others looking for a better life. The vais are settled in grand cape Mount county in the west of Liberia. They were the first to invent a form of writing in 1833 or 1834. The reported inventor was Dwalu Bukele of Bandakor along the Robertsport(provincial capital) Highway. Of course there are others who participated in this invention.


The Repatriates were resettled from the United States, the Caribbean and the Congo.

  Immigrants from Côte d'Ivoire

In the 16th century: Kru (Tajuasohn), Bassa, Dei, Mamba, Grebo.

  From the Sudan

Muslim tribes immigrating from Sudan from the 16th through 17th centuries: Vai, Mandingo (see LURD)

  19th century

  • Americo-Liberians: Freed slaves and descendants of freed slaves from the U.S. and the Caribbean
  • Congo people from the Congo River Basin who were captured for the slave trade but sent to Liberia when slavery was abolished without ever being exposed to non-African cultures. The word Congo is also used to refer to anyone from the countryside or rural Liberia regardless of their ancestors came from Congo River Basin.

Gio, Krahn (see Samuel Doe, and MODEL), Kissi, Bella

  Immigrants from Lebanon

In the late 19th century to early 20th century Lebanese merchants, families and businessmen began arriving in Liberia. Lebanese currently own many major businesses such as supermarkets, restaurants, textiles, construction works, factories and other production based companies across the country. Despite living in the country, Lebanese are denied citizenship rights due to Liberia's nationality law and are seen in a political view as foreigners.

  CIA World Factbook demographic statistics

The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook, unless otherwise indicated.


As of 2008, Liberia has the 3rd highest population growth rate in the world (3.66%). The current population is 3,042,004.[1]

  The increase in population in Liberia from 1961-2003[2]

The birth rate is 37.25 births/1,000 population (July 2011 est.).

The death rate is 10.62 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.). The infant mortality rate is 149.73 deaths/1,000 live births[citation needed].

The net migration rate is 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population.[3]

  Age structure

0–14 years: 44.3% (male 843,182; female 834,922)
15–64 years: 52.7% (male 989,623; female 1,007,577)
65 years and over: 2.9% (male 56,189; female 55,271)(2011 est.)

  Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15–64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.03 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

  Life expectancy at birth

total population: 57 years
male: 55.44 years
female: 58.6 years (2011 est.)

  Total Fertility Rate

5.13 children born/woman (2011 est.)

  Ethnic groups

There are 16 ethnic groups that make up Liberia's indigenous population: indigenous African tribes 95% (including Kpelle, Bassa, Gio, Kru, Grebo, Mandingo, Mano, Krahn, Gola, Gbandi, Loma, Kissi, Vai, and Bella), Americo-Liberians 2.5% (descendants of immigrants from the U.S. who had not been slaves), Congo People 2.5% (descendants of immigrants from the Caribbean who had not been slaves); About 5,000 persons of European descent.

The Kpelle in central and western Liberia is the largest ethnic group. Americo-Liberians, who are descendants of free-born and formerly enslaved African Americans that arrived in Liberia from 1822 onward, 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 African 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 two civil wars (1989–96 and 1999–2003) brought about a steep decline in the living standards of the country, including its education and infrastructure.



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


Literacy in Liberia, as defined as age 15 and over and can read and write, is:
total population: 38.3%
male: 53.9%
female: 22.4%[4]
note: these figures are increasing because of the improving school system

  See also


  1. ^ July 2006 estimate from 2006 CIA World Factbook
  2. ^ Data of FAO, year 2005
  3. ^ July 2011 estimate from 2006 CIA World Factbook
  4. ^ 1995 estimate

  External links



All translations of Demographics_of_Liberia

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