Population of Liberia 2017


Population: Current population of Liberia is 4,689,021 people (July 2017 est.).


noun: Liberian(s)
adjective: Liberian

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)


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


Christian 85.6%, Muslim 12.2%, Traditional 0.6%, other 0.2%, none 1.4% (2008 Census)

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 anotherhalf 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 15,000 Ivoirian refugees were still living in Liberiabecause of instability.

Age Structure

0-14 years: 43.82% (male 1,038,452/female 1,016,491)
15-24 years: 19.56% (male 457,806/female 459,289)
25-54 years: 30.33% (male 699,879/female 722,244)
55-64 years: 3.43% (male 82,616/female 78,003)
65 years and over: 2.86% (male 65,979/female 68,262) (2017 est.)

Dependency Ratios

total dependency ratio: 83.2
youth dependency ratio: 77.6
elderly dependency ratio: 5.5
potential support ratio: 18.1 (2015 est.)

Median Age

total: 18.3 years
male: 18.1 years
female: 18.5 years (2016 est.)

Population Growth Rate

2.5% (2017 est.)

Birth Rate

38.3 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)

Death Rate

7.6 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)

Net Migration Rate

-5.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)

Population Distribution

more than half of the population lives in urban areas, with approximately one-third living within an 80-km radius of Monrovia


urban population: 50.5% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: 3.24% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

Major Urban Areas – Population:

MONROVIA (capital) 1.264 million (2015)

Sex Ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.97 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2016 est.)

Mother’s Mean Age at First Birth

19.2 years

note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2013 est.)

Maternal Mortality Rate

725 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant Mortality Rate

total: 65.8 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 69.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 61.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)

Life Expectancy at Birth

total population: 59 years
male: 57.3 years
female: 60.8 years (2016 est.)

Total Fertility Rate

5.06 children born/woman (2017 est.)

Contraceptive Prevalence Rate

20.2% (2013)

Health Expenditures

10% of GDP (2014)

Physicians Density

0.01 physicians/1,000 population (2008)

Hospital Bed Density

0.8 beds/1,000 population (2010)

Drinking Water Source

urban: 88.6% of population
rural: 62.6% of population
total: 75.6% of population

urban: 11.4% of population
rural: 37.4% of population
total: 24.4% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation Facility Access

urban: 28% of population
rural: 5.9% of population
total: 16.9% of population

urban: 72% of population
rural: 94.1% of population
total: 83.1% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS – Adult Prevalence Rate

1.6% (2016 est.)

HIV/AIDS – People Living with HIV/AIDS

43,000 (2016 est.)

HIV/AIDS – Deaths

2,800 (2016 est.)

Major Infectious Disease

degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and yellow fever
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
aerosolized dust or soil contact disease: Lassa fever
animal contact disease: rabies (2016)

Obesity – Adult Prevalence Rate

5.8% (2014)

Children Under the Age of 5 Years Underweight

15.3% (2013)

Education Expenditures

2.8% of GDP (2012)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 47.6%
male: 62.4%
female: 32.8% (2015 est.)

Child Labor – Children Ages 5-14

total number: 177,160
percentage: 21% (2007 est.)

Unemployment, Youth Ages 15-24

total: 6%
male: 4.3%
female: 7.6% (2010 est.)