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Liberia Demographics Profile

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Population5,214,030 (July 2021 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Liberian(s)

adjective: Liberian
Ethnic groupsKpelle 20.3%, Bassa 13.4%, Grebo 10%, Gio 8%, Mano 7.9%, Kru 6%, Lorma 5.1%, Kissi 4.8%, Gola 4.4%, Krahn 4%, Vai 4%, Mandingo 3.2%, Gbandi 3%, Mende 1.3%, Sapo 1.3%, other Liberian 1.7%, other African 1.4%, non-African .1% (2008 est.)
LanguagesEnglish 20% (official), some 20 ethnic group languages few of which can be written or used in correspondence
ReligionsChristian 85.6%, Muslim 12.2%, Traditional 0.6%, other 0.2%, none 1.5% (2008 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 43.35% (male 1,111,479/female 1,087,871)

15-24 years: 20.35% (male 516,136/female 516,137)

25-54 years: 30.01% (male 747,983/female 774,615)

55-64 years: 3.46% (male 89,150/female 86,231)

65 years and over: 2.83% (male 70,252/female 73,442) (2020 est.)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 77.6

youth dependency ratio: 71.7

elderly dependency ratio: 5.9

potential support ratio: 17 (2020 est.)
Median agetotal: 18 years

male: 17.7 years

female: 18.2 years (2020 est.)
Population growth rate2.74% (2021 est.)
Birth rate36.96 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Death rate6.78 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Net migration rate-2.82 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Population distributionmore than half of the population lives in urban areas, with approximately one-third living within an 80-km radius of Monrovia as shown in this population distribution map
Urbanizationurban population: 52.6% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 3.41% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major cities - population1.569 million MONROVIA (capital) (2021)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.97 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.96 male(s)/female

total population: 1 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth19.1 years (2019/20 est.)

note: median age at first birth among women 25-49
Maternal mortality rate661 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 45.98 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 50.16 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 41.68 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 65.1 years

male: 62.86 years

female: 67.4 years (2021 est.)
Total fertility rate4.84 children born/woman (2021 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate24.9% (2019/20)
Drinking water sourceimproved: urban: 93.8% of population

rural: 67.9% of population

total: 81% of population

unimproved: urban: 6.2% of population

rural: 32.1% of population

total: 19% of population (2017 est.)
Health expenditures6.7% (2018)
Physicians density0.04 physicians/1,000 population (2015)
Hospital bed density0.8 beds/1,000 population (2010)
Sanitation facility accessimproved: urban: 64.1% of population

rural: 23.5% of population

total: 44.1% of population

unimproved: urban: 35.9% of population

rural: 76.5% of population

total: 55.9% of population (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate1.1% (2020 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS35,000 (2020 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths1,300 (2020 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: very high (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and yellow fever

water contact diseases: schistosomiasis

animal contact diseases: rabies

aerosolized dust or soil contact diseases: Lassa fever
Obesity - adult prevalence rate9.9% (2016)
Food insecuritySevere localized food insecurity: due to high food prices: about 550,000 people were estimated to be in “Crisis” in the June-August 2021 period due high food prices, including rice, which is mostly imported, and a significant increase in overall inflation (2021)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight10.9% (2019/20)
Education expenditures2.6% of GDP (2018)
Demographic profile

Liberia’s high fertility rate of nearly 5 children per woman and large youth cohort – more than 60% of the population is under the age of 25 – will sustain a high dependency ratio for many years to come. Significant progress has been made in preventing child deaths, despite a lack of health care workers and infrastructure. Infant and child mortality have dropped nearly 70% since 1990; the annual reduction rate of about 5.4% is the highest in Africa.

Nevertheless, Liberia’s high maternal mortality rate remains among the world’s worst; it reflects a high unmet need for family planning services, frequency of early childbearing, lack of quality obstetric care, high adolescent fertility, and a low proportion of births attended by a medical professional. Female mortality is also increased by the prevalence of female genital cutting (FGC), which is practiced by 10 of Liberia’s 16 tribes and affects more than two-thirds of women and girls. FGC is an initiation ritual performed in rural bush schools, which teach traditional beliefs on marriage and motherhood and are an obstacle to formal classroom education for Liberian girls.

Liberia has been both a source and a destination for refugees. During Liberia’s 14-year civil war (1989-2003), more than 250,000 people became refugees and another half million were internally displaced. Between 2004 and the cessation of refugee status for Liberians in June 2012, the UNHCR helped more than 155,000 Liberians to voluntarily repatriate, while others returned home on their own. Some Liberian refugees spent more than two decades living in other West African countries. Liberia hosted more than 125,000 Ivoirian refugees escaping post-election violence in 2010-11; as of mid-2017, about 12,000 Ivoirian refugees were still living in Liberia as of October 2017 because of instability.

Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 48.3%

male: 62.7%

female: 34.1% (2017)

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on September 18, 2021

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