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Liberia

Sub-Saharan Africa

Women

Liberia ranks 156 out of 162 countries in the Gender Inequality Index, where a high rank equals high equality. Women should always be considered as a particularly vulnerable group though.

Children

Liberia has a Workplace Index score of 5.5, a Marketplace Index score of 4.8 and a Community and Environment Index score of 5.7 in the Children’s Rights and Business Atlas, where countries receive scores between 0 and 10. A score closer to 0 reflects a need for basic children’s rights due diligence, while a higher score reflects a need for enhanced or heightened due diligence. Children should always be considered as a particularly vulnerable group though. 

Persons with Disabilities

Due to differences in data collection and definitions it is difficult to compare countries on disability prevalence rates. Persons with disabilities should always be considered as a particularly vulnerable group though.

Minorities and Indigenous Peoples

According to the World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples, the main ethnic groups in Liberia are Kpelle (20.3 %), Bassa (13.4 %), Grebo (10 %), Gio (8 %), Mano (7.9 %), Kru (6 %), Lorma (5.1 %), Kissi (4.8 %), Gola (4.4 %), Vai (4 %), Krahn (4 %), Mandingo (3.2 %), Gbande (3 %), other African (1.4 ), Mende (1.3 ), Sapo (1.2 %), Belle (0.8 %), other Liberian (0.6 %), Dey (0.3 %), non-African (0.1 %). The West African forest belt that covers large areas of Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria has long been populated by multiple ethnic groups. In Liberia there are at least sixteen ethnic groups, each belonging to one of three major language groupings. The southeastern Kru linguistic group comprises Kru, Bassa, Grebo, Krahn and Dei. Kru live along the southern coast bordering Côte d’Ivoire. Many Dei and Bassa settled in Monrovia as the Liberian nation developed. Grebo live along the coast in Eastern Liberia, on both sides of the Cavalla (Cavally) River, which serves as a border between Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire. Krahn live in Nimba, Grand Gedeh and Sinoe Counties, along the border with Côte d’Ivoire. The second largest linguistic group, the Mande, is located in the north-west and central regions and is subdivided into the Mande-Ta (Mandingo and Vai) and the Mande-Fu (Kpelle, Gio, Mano, Loma, Gbandi and Mende).

The Mandingo population is widely scattered throughout Liberia, albeit concentrated in upper Lofa County. Vai live on both sides of the border between Liberia and Sierra Leone. The Mande-Fu includes the Kpelle, Dan, Ma, Loma, Gbandi and Mende. The largest single group, the Kpelle, inhabit central and northern Liberia. Dan are more commonly known as Gio in Liberia, but the term Dan is preferred and used by the people themselves. The Dan are primarily living in Nimba County. The Dan also inhabit the mountainous west-central Côte d’Ivoire. The Ma reside in Nimba County in north central Liberia . The Lorma live in Northwest Liberia in upper Lofa County. Gbandi and Mende also live in upper Lofa County. The Americo-Liberians and Congo arrived in the 1820s to settle in the territory that became known as Liberia. This group, which includes descendants of freed slaves from the US and the Caribbean, of free-born African Americans, and of slaves who were captured during the Atlantic crossing, makes up less than five per cent of the population. There are also a sizeable number of Lebanese, Indians and other West African nationals who make up a part of Liberia’s business community. Under the constitution, non-Africans are excluded from citizenship.

Migrant Workers​

According to the ILO Global Estimates on International Migrant Workers, migrant workers as a proportion of all workers is 3 % in the subregion Sub-Saharan Africa.

Persons in Armed Conflict

Liberia ranks 31 out of 179 countries in the Fragile States Index, where a high rank equals high fragility. For monthly crisis updates, check out CrisisWatch