Liberia Population 2019
Liberia, officially the Republic of Liberia, is a West African country bordered by Guinea, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, and the Atlantic Ocean. Liberia has about 111,300 square kilometers (43,000 sq mi) of land with an estimated 2019 population of 4.94 million, which ranks 123rd in the world.
Liberia Area and Population Density
The West African country of Liberia sits along the coast near the Gulf of Guinea and shares its borders with Sierra Leone, Guinea and the Ivory Coast. The total surface area of the country is 37,189 square miles (96,320 square kilometers) which ranks 108th in the world in terms of sheer size. Liberia's population is estimated at 4.94 million. This compares to the 2008 census population of 3.47 million. Of this last official population, 1.1 million people lived in Montserrado County, which is the most populous county and home to the capital, Monrovia. The Greater Monrovia area is home to about 25% of Liberia's population. The next most populous area is Nimba County with about 500,000 residents. Liberia has a population density of just 127 people per square mile 49 people per square kilometer, which ranks 134th in the world in terms of population density.
Largest Cities in Liberia
Just over half of Liberia's population live in an urban environment. The largest city in Liberia by far is the nation's capital of Monrovia with a population of 939,524. Monrovia was originally established in the early 1800s as a settlement place for slaves coming from America. Monrovia has been very involved in the country's civil wars and has suffered a lot of damage over the years and is one of the poorest cities in the world. The second-largest city is Gbarnga with a population of just 45,835. Two other significant cities are Kakata and Bensonville, each with populations of roughly 33,000.
Liberia has 16 indigenous ethnic groups and several foreign minorities. Indigenous groups account for 95% of the population. The recognized ethnic groups include: the Gio (or Dan), Mano, Bassa, Kpelle, Grebo, Vai, Gola, Kru, Krahn, Mandingo (or Mandinka), Fante, Dei (or Dewoin), Bella, Mende, Loma, and the Americo-Liberians or Congo people.
The largest group is the Kpelle, who are concentrated in central and western Liberia. Americo-Liberians are descendants of African American and West Indian people and account for 2.5% of the population. The Congo people are descendants of repatriated Congo and Afro- Caribbean slaves and make up 2.5% of the population.
Liberia also has a sizable population of Lebanese, Indians, and West African nationals. There are high rates of marriage between ethnic Liberians and Lebanese in the country, which has created a large mulatto population around Monrovia.
Liberia Religion, Economy and Politics
Although there is no official state religion in Liberia, it is a largely Christian nation with 85.5% practicing one form of the faith or another. Protestants make up the vast majority of Christians in Liberia, 7.2% of people are Catholic. Non-Protestant denominations were brought to the area by freed slaves that were relocated to the area. 12.2% of the population are Muslim, most of which are Malikite Sunnis. Shia and Ahmadiyya minorities are also present. Most people that identify as neither Christian nor Muslim identify with no faith at all.
As one of the poorest and most underdeveloped countries in the world, the economy of Liberia is likewise not very strong. During the 1980s Liberia had a much more optimistic fiscal situation which was virtually destroyed by years of civil war. Although the country is rich in natural resources, the infrastructure is not there to sustain a strong economy. Forestry is the most significant industry in Liberia, with timber and rubber being the main exports from the area. The rest of the nation's income comes largely comes from mining and foreign aid.
The United States had a large role in the development of Liberia after they sent freed slaves to the area, and their government is organized very much in the same way. The judicial system is made up of the Supreme Court, and appeals court, magistrate courts, and criminal courts. There is a democratically elected president who is both the head of state and government. Liberia is different from the US in that it has a multi-party system instead of a two-party one.
Liberia Population History
Much of the population in Liberia was brought to the country after there were emancipated from slavery in the United States. Because of their deep ties with the US, their constitution and political system are very similar. Liberia became a completely independent country in July 1947.
Like many other nations at the time, Liberia declared war on Germany in 1917, which gave the Allies a base in West Africa. Again in 1944, the Liberian government declared war on the Axis powers.
In 1980, Master Sergeant Samuel Doe from the Liberian military carried out a coup against the government, publicly killing President Tolbert and his 13 aides. Doe went on to win the next presidential election in 1985, but karma came around to get him a few years later when the National Patriotic Front of Liberia rose against the government and executed Doe.
In 1999, Liberia was accused of supporting Revolutionary United Front rebels in Sierra Leone by both Ghana and Nigeria, causing a suspension of foreign aid from the US and Britain. Soon after in 2001, the UN Security council imposed an arms embargo because it was believed that the president of Liberia was trading weapons for diamonds in Sierra Leone. These two measures caused much internal strife and by 2002 more than 50,000 Liberians fled the area to get away from the fighting.
Liberia Population Growth
Like many impoverished nations, the birth rate in Liberia is almost double the worldwide average, leading to an extreme annual growth rate. As of 2019, the population of Liberia was increasing 2.56% each year, which is extremely high considering the economic and political conditions in the country, yet relatively low when you look at years past. The rate of growth is pretty much exclusively because 4.58 children are being born to the average Liberian woman, as the country has consistently had more people immigrate away from the country than migrate into it. Measures are being taken to increase education about family planning and contraceptives, but it takes many years for these kinds of efforts to take a stronghold.
Liberia Population Projections
Fortunately, the annual growth rate in Liberia is on a downward trend and is expected to slow down in the years to come, however not nearly enough to mitigate the country's significant growth problems. Current projections believe that the annual growth rate will decrease from 2.55% in 2020 down to 1.87% by 2050. During this same time period, Liberia's population will likely be close to 5,103,853 in 2020, 6,495,377 in 2030, 8,087,611 in 2040 and 9,804,031 by the year 2050.
Components of Population Change
|One birth every 3 minutes|
|One death every 14 minutes|
|One net migrant every 103 minutes|
|Net gain of one person every 4 minutes|