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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|
History · Politics · Demographics
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook, unless otherwise indicated.
The birth rate is 37.25 births/1,000 population (July 2011 est.).
The net migration rate is 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population.
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.)
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.)
total population: 57 years
male: 55.44 years
female: 58.6 years (2011 est.)
5.13 children born/woman (2011 est.)
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%
note: these figures are increasing because of the improving school system
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