Liberia People - 2023


GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese


5,506,280 (2023 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%, 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 0.1% (2008 est.)


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 1.5% (2008 est.)

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 as of 2020 – 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. Between 2011 and 2022, more than 300,000 Ivoirian refugees in Liberia have been repatriated; as of year-end 2022, less than 2,300 Ivoirian refugees were still living in Liberia.

Age structure

0-14 years: 42.69% (male 1,187,795/female 1,162,699)

15-64 years: 54.5% (male 1,486,582/female 1,514,163)

65 years and over: 2.82% (2023 est.) (male 75,258/female 79,783)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 79.7

youth dependency ratio: 73.7

elderly dependency ratio: 6

potential support ratio: 16.7 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 18 years

male: 17.7 years

female: 18.2 years (2020 est.)

Population growth rate

2.71% (2023 est.)

Birth rate

36.26 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Death rate

6.46 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Net migration rate

-2.67 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 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 as shown in this population distribution map


urban population: 53.6% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 3.41% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Major urban areas - population

1.678 million MONROVIA (capital) (2023)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

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

15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.94 male(s)/female

total population: 1 male(s)/female (2023 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

19.1 years (2019/20 est.)

note: data represents median age at first birth among women 25-49

Maternal mortality ratio

652 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 43.2 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 47.23 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 39.05 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 65.8 years

male: 63.52 years

female: 68.15 years (2023 est.)

Total fertility rate

4.73 children born/woman (2023 est.)

Gross reproduction rate

2.33 (2023 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

24.9% (2019/20)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 96.2% of population

rural: 70.6% of population

total: 84% of population

unimproved: urban: 3.8% of population

rural: 29.4% of population

total: 16% of population (2020 est.)

Current health expenditure

9.5% of GDP (2020)

Physicians density

0.05 physicians/1,000 population (2018)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 68% of population

rural: 25.2% of population

total: 47.5% of population

unimproved: urban: 32% of population

rural: 74.8% of population

total: 52.5% of population (2020 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2023)

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

vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever

water contact diseases: schistosomiasis

animal contact diseases: rabies

aerosolized dust or soil contact diseases: Lassa fever

note: on 21 March 2022, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Travel Alert for polio in Africa; Liberia is currently considered a high risk to travelers for circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses (cVDPV); vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV) is a strain of the weakened poliovirus that was initially included in oral polio vaccine (OPV) and that has changed over time and behaves more like the wild or naturally occurring virus; this means it can be spread more easily to people who are unvaccinated against polio and who come in contact with the stool or respiratory secretions, such as from a sneeze, of an “infected” person who received oral polio vaccine; the CDC recommends that before any international travel, anyone unvaccinated, incompletely vaccinated, or with an unknown polio vaccination status should complete the routine polio vaccine series; before travel to any high-risk destination, the CDC recommends that adults who previously completed the full, routine polio vaccine series receive a single, lifetime booster dose of polio vaccine

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

9.9% (2016)

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 3.12 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 0.38 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0.44 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 2.28 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0.02 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

Tobacco use

total: 8.2% (2020 est.)

male: 14.3% (2020 est.)

female: 2% (2020 est.)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

10.9% (2019/20)

Currently married women (ages 15-49)

48.7% (2023 est.)

Child marriage

women married by age 15: NA

women married by age 18: NA

men married by age 18: 8.4% (2020 est.)

Education expenditures

2.7% of GDP (2021 est.)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 48.3%

male: 62.7%

female: 34.1% (2017)

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 3.2%

male: 3.2%

female: 3.2% (2021 est.)

NOTE: The information regarding Liberia on this page is re-published from the 2023 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Liberia 2023 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Liberia 2023 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 06 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.