About Liberia

The Republic of Liberia sits on the West African coast, bordered by Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Cote D’Ivoire. The nation has a small majority Christian population of about 5.2 million people, more than half of whom live in or around urban areas and in close proximity to the capital of Monrovia. The ethnically diverse population comprises groups including Kpelle, Bassa, Grebo, Gio, Mano, Kru, Morma, Kissi, Gola, Krahn, Vai, Mandingo, Gbandi, Mednde, and Sapo. As a result, Liberia offers great linguistic diversity, with as many as 30 different languages spoken in addition to English. The history of Liberia is unique; the country was founded by free people of color emigrating from the United States. As a result, Liberia is a country where both traditional and Western-influenced customs coexist.

Liberia is Africa’s oldest republic and has never been ruled by a colonial power. The nation has a history of political instability, which has slowly improved over the decades. However, both unemployment and illiteracy are widespread, and around 50 percent of Liberians live below the poverty line.

Liberians face a variety of health challenges. In 2014, a large Ebola outbreak occurred in Guinea and spread to neighboring Sierra Leone and Liberia. The virus infected more than 10,000 and killed nearly 5,000 Liberians. Despite the turmoil caused by Ebola, life expectancy in Liberia continues to improve significantly, having increased from 46 years in 1990 to 64 years in 2019. While overall health may be improving, most deaths in Liberia are caused by malaria, diarrheal disease, neonatal disorders, lower respiratory infections, ischemic heart disease, HIV/AIDS, stroke, tuberculosis, cirrhosis, and maternal disorders.

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