Background: The seven-year-long civil war in Liberia has ended and free and open presidential and legislative elections have been held. At present, President TAYLOR has executive power in the absence of real political opposition. Long years of fighting, as well as the flight of most businessmen from the country, disrupted the normal functioning of the economy. The process of rebuilding the social and economic fabric of this civil strife-torn country is hampered by the still fragile internal situation.
Location: West Africa, on the Atlantic coast, between Côte d’Ivoire and Sierra Leone.
Geographic coordinates: 6° 30′ N. latitude, 9° 30′ W
Reference map: Africa.
Area: total: 111,370 km2; land surface area: 96,320 km2; water surface area: 15,050 km2
Comparative area: slightly larger than the state of Tennessee.
Land borders: total length: 1585 km; with neighboring states: with Guinea 563 km, with Côte d’Ivoire 716 km, with Sierra Leone 306 km.
Coastline: 579 km.
Maritime claims: territorial waters: 200 nautical miles.
Climate: tropical; hot and humid; dry winters with hot days and cool, sometimes cold nights; humid, cloudy summers with frequent showers.
Terrain: mostly hilly coastal plains, grading into rolling plateaus and low mountains in the northeast.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m; highest point: Mt. Vuteve 1,380 m.
Natural resources: iron ore, timber, diamonds, gold, hydropower resources.
Land use: arable land: 1%; cultivated land: 3%; pastures: 59%; forests and plantations: 18%; others: 19% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: 20 km2 (1993 est.).
Natural Hazards: the dusty har-mattan wind blowing from the Sahara from December to March.
Current environmental issues: deforestation of tropical rainforests; soil erosion; biodiversity loss; pollution of coastal waters by oil refining wastes and sewage.
International environmental conventions: member: Biodiversity, Desertification, Endangered Species, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 1983, Tropical Timber 1994; signed but not ratified: Climate change, Environmental change, Law of the sea, Marine pollution, Marine life conservation. I
Note to the section “Geography”:
Population: 3,225,837 (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 43.21% (male 698,178; female 695,599); from 15 to 64 years old: 53.34% (male 840 103; female 880 403); over 65: 3.45% (male 56,073; female 55,481) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 1.92% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 46.55 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 16.36 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: -11 people /1000 people (2001 est.); note: By the end of 1999, all Liberian refugees fleeing civil war in neighboring countries had returned to their homelands.
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male/female; up to 15 years: 1 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 0.95 male/female; over 65: 1.01 male/female; for the general population: 0.98 male/female (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 132.42 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 51.41 years; men: 49.96 years; women: 52.91 years (2001 est.).
Total fertility rate: 6.36 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of adults infected with HIV: 2.8% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: 39,000 (1999 est.).
AIDS deaths: 4,500 (1999 est.).
Nationality: noun: Liberian; adjective: Liberian.
Ethnic groups: local African tribes (including kpelle, bassa, gio, kru, grebo, mano, crane, gola, gbandi, loma, kisei, wai and bell-la) 95%, Americo-Liberians (descendants of former slaves who immigrated from the USA) 2.5%, Congo (descendants of former slaves who immigrated from the Caribbean) 2.5%. Religions: adherents of local beliefs 40%, Christians 40%, Muslims 20%.
Language(s): English (official), about 20 languages of local ethnic groups, some of them are written and used in correspondence.
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 38.3%; men: 53.9%; women: 22.4% (1995 est.); note: these figures continuously increase with the improvement of the educational system.
conventional long form: Republic of Liberia;
conventional short form: Liberia
State structure: republic. See a2zgov.com to know more about Liberia government and politics.
Administrative divisions: 13 counties: Bomi, Bong, Grand Bassa, Grand Gede, Grand Cape Mount, Grand Kru, Lofa, Margibi, Maryland, Montser Rado, Nimba, River Cess, Sinou.
Independence: from July 26, 1847.
National holiday: Independence Day, July 26 (since 1847).
Constitution: adopted January 6, 1986.
Legal system: a dual system of written Anglo-American common law and customary law based on unwritten tribal laws.
Suffrage: from 18 years old; universal.
chief of state: President Charles Ghankay TAYLOR (since 2 August 1997); note – the president is both head of state and head of government.
head of government: President Charles Gankey TAYLOR (since 2 August 1997) note – the president is both head of state and head of government;
Government: a cabinet of ministers appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate; elections: the president is elected by popular vote for a six-year term (can be re-elected); elections last held 19 July 1997 (next to be held in July 2003); election results: Charles Gankey TAYLOR elected president; percentage of the vote – Charles Gankey TAYLOR (NPP) 75.3%, Ellen Johnson SIRLEAF (UP) 9.6%, Alhaji KROMAH (ALCOP) 4%, other 11.1%.
Legislature: a bicameral National Assembly, consisting of the Senate (26 members elected by popular vote for a nine-year term) and the House of Representatives (64 members elected by popular vote for a six-year term); elections: for Senate – last held 19 July 1997 (next to be held in 2006); to the House of Representatives – last held on 19 July 1997 (next to be held in 2003); election results: Senate – distribution of votes by parties – no data; distribution of seats by parties – NPP 21, UP 3, ALCOP 2; in the House of Representatives – distribution of votes by parties – no data; distribution of seats by party – NPP 49, UP 7, ALCOP 3, Alliance of Political Parties 2, UPP 2, LPP 1; note – The Alliance of Political Parties was a coalition of the LAP and the Liberia Unification Party (LUP).
Judicial branch: Supreme Court.
Political parties and leaders: All-Liberian Coalition Party (ALCOP) (Lusinee KAMARA); Liberian Action Party (LAP) (Cletus WOTORSON); Liberian National Union (LINU) (Henry MONIBA, Chairman); Liberian People’s Party (LPP) (Togba-Nah TIPOTEH, Chairman); National Democratic Party of Liberia (NDPL) (Isaac DAKI-NAH); National Patriot Party (NPP) (Charles Gankey TAYLOR) – ruling party; People’s Progressive Party (PPP) (Chea CHEAPOO, chairman); Reformation Alliance Party (RAP) (Henry Boimah FAHNBULLEH, chairman); True Whig Party (TWP) (Rudolph SHERMAN, chairman); United People’s Party (UPP) (Gabriel Baccus MATTHEWS, chairman); Unity Party (UP) (Charles CLARKE). N
Political influence groups and their leaders:
Participation in international organizations: ACP, AfDB, CCC, ECA, ECOWAS, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, IOM, ITU, NAM, OAU, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO.
US Diplomatic Mission: Head of Mission: Ambassador William BULL. office: 5201 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011; phone:  (202) 723-0437; fax: (202) 723-0436; consulates general: New York.
US Diplomatic Mission: Head of Mission: Ambassador Bismarck MYRICK; embassy: 111 United Nations Drive, Mamba Point, Monrovia; postal address: use the address of the embassy; phone:  from 226-370 to 226-382; fax:  226-148.
Description of the flag: 11 equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) and white (alternating); in the upper corner near the staff there is a blue square bearing a white five-pointed star; The US flag is taken as a model.