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Liberia – Economics

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Geography
Area: 111,369 sq. km. (43,000 sq. mi.). Slightly larger than Ohio.
Cities: Capital–Monrovia (pop. 1,010,970). Principal towns–Ganta (pop. 41,000), Buchanan (pop. 34,000), Gbarnga (pop. 34,000), Kakata (pop. 33,000), Voinjama (pop. 26,000).
Terrain: Three areas–Mangrove swamps and beaches along the coast, wooded hills and semideciduous shrub lands along the immediate interior, and dense tropical forests and plateaus in the interior. Liberia has 40% of West Africa’s rain forest.

People
Nationality: Noun and adjective–Liberian(s).
Population (2009): 3.955 million.
Annual population growth rate (2008): 2.1%.
Ethnic groups: Kpelle 20%, Bassa 14%, Gio 8%, Kru 6%, 52% spread over 12 other ethnic groups.
Religions: Christian 85%, Muslim 12%, other 1.5%, no religion 1.5%.
Languages: English is the official language. There are 16 indigenous languages.
Education: Literacy (2008)–58%.
Health: Life expectancy (2008)–58 years.
Work force: Agriculture–70%; industry–15%; services–2%. Employment in the formal sector is estimated at 15%.

Government
Type: Republic.
Independence: From American Colonization Society July 26, 1847.
Constitution: January 6, 1986.
Political parties: 20 registered political parties.

Economy
GDP (2009): $876 million.
Real GDP growth rate (2009): 4.9%.
Real per capita GDP (2009): $128.
Average annual inflation (2009): 7.4%.
Natural resources: Iron ore; rubber; timber; diamonds; gold; tin; possible offshore deposits of crude oil.
Agriculture: Products–coffee, cocoa, sugarcane, rice, cassava, palm oil, bananas, plantains, citrus, pineapple, sweet potatoes, corn, and vegetables.
Industry: Agriculture (61% of 2009 GDP); rubber; diamonds; gold; iron ore; forestry; beverages; construction.
Trade (2009): Exports–$148 million (rubber 61%). Major markets–India (26.5%); United States (17.9%); Poland (13.9%). Imports–$551 million (rice 29%; machinery/transport equipment 23%). Major markets–South Korea (27.2%); Singapore (25.5%); Japan (11.8%).