The World Factbook (1982)/Liberia

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LIBERIA[edit]

World Factbook (1982) Liberia.jpg
(See reference map VII)

LAND[edit]

111,370 km²; 20% agricultural, 30% jungle and swamps, 40% forested, 10% unclassified

Land boundaries: 1,336 km

WATER[edit]

Limits of territorial waters (claimed): 200 nm

Coastline: 579 km

PEOPLE[edit]

Population: 2,024,000 (July 1982), average annual growth rate 3.2%

Nationality: noun—Liberian(s); adjective—Liberian

Ethnic divisions: 97% indigenous Negroid African tribes, including Kpelle, Bassa, Kru, Grebo, Gola, Kissi, Krahn, and Mandingo; 3% descendants of repatriated slaves known as Americo-Liberians

Religion: probably more Muslims than Christians; 70%-80% animist

Language: English official; 28 tribal languages or dialects, pidgin English used by about 20%

Literacy: about 24% over age 5

Labor force: 510,000, of which 160,000 are in monetary economy; non-African foreigners hold about 95% of the top-level management and engineering jobs

Organized labor: 2% of labor force

GOVERNMENT[edit]

Official name: Republic of Liberia

Type: highly centralized military rule following coup on 12 April 1980

Capital: Monrovia

Political subdivisions: country divided into 9 counties

Legal system: constitution suspended; martial law imposed; laws previously in force remain until repealed or amended by decrees issued by People's Redemption Council

National holiday: National Redemption Day, 12 April

Branches: executive and legislative powers held by military People's Redemption Council, assisted by military

Cabinet: judicial powers vested in People's Supreme Tribunal and lower courts

Government leader: Gen. Samuel Kanyon DOE (replaced President William R. Tolbert)

Suffrage: universal 18 years and over

Elections: military has set 12 April 1985 as the date for return to civilian rule

Political parties and leaders: political activities suspended; before coup True Whig Party dominated; African Socialist-oriented Progressive People's Party headed by B. Gabriel Matthews had recently been legalized; unauthorized Marxist-oriented Movement for Justice in Africa, led by Togba Nah Tipoteh and Amos Sawyer

Communists: no Communist Party and only a few sympathizers

Member of: AFDB, ECA, ECOWAS, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICO, IDA, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMCO, IMF, IPU, ITU, NAM, OAU, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WMO

ECONOMY[edit]

GDP: $1.04 billion (1980), $660 per capita; -3.1% real annual growth rate (1980)

Agriculture: rubber, rice, oil palm, cassava, coffee, cocoa; imports of rice, wheat, and live cattle and beef are necessary for basic diet

Fishing: catch 13,484 metric tons (1979 est.)

Industry: rubber processing, food processing, construction materials, furniture, palm oil processing, mining (iron ore, diamonds), 15,000 b/d oil refinery

Electric power: 355,000 kW capacity (1980); 1.0 billion kWh produced (1980), 534 kWh per capita

Exports: $600.4 million (f.o.b., 1980 est.); iron ore, rubber, diamonds, lumber and logs, coffee, cocoa

Imports: $550.7 million (c.i.f., 1980 est.); machinery, transportation equipment, petroleum products, manufactured goods, foodstuffs

Major trade partners: US, West Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Belgium

Aid: economic commitments—Western (non-US), ODA and OOF (1970-79), $324.0 million; US authorizations (including Ex-Im) (FY70-80), $182.7 million; Communist (1970-79), $23.0 million; military— US (FY70-80), $13.1 million

Budget: (FY81) revenues $251.8 million, current expenditures $204.3 million, development expenditures $126.0 million

Monetary conversion rate: Liberia uses US currency

Fiscal year: 1 July-30 June

COMMUNICATIONS[edit]

Railroads: 499 km total; 354 km standard gauge (1.435 m), 145 km narrow gauge (1.067 m); all lines single track; rail systems owned and operated by foreign steel and financial interests in conjunction with Liberian Government

Highways: 8,524 km total; 804 km bituminous treated, 2,055 km gravel, 4,731 km improved earth, and remainder unimproved earth

Inland waterways: 370 km, for shallow-draft craft

Ports: 1 major (Monrovia), 4 minor

Civil air: 2 major transport aircraft

Airfields: 82 total, 81 usable; 2 with permanent-surface runways; 1 with runways 2,440-3,659 m, 5 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: telephone and telegraph service via radio-relay network; main center is Monrovia; 7,700 telephones (0.5 per 100 popl.); 4 AM, 3 FM, and 3 TV stations; 1 Atlantic Ocean satellite station

DEFENSE FORCES[edit]

Military manpower: males 15-49, 430,000; 233,000 fit for military service; no conscription

Military budget: for fiscal year ending 30 June 1982, $60.1 million; 13.9% of central government budget