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2008 NPHC Analytical Report »
»  Analytical Report on Population Size and Composition

Executive Summary

The overall objective of analyzing population size and composition of Liberia’s population is to describe the age – sex structure and its household and cultural composition using the 2008 National Population and Housing Census.

Analysis of household composition show that the average household size of Liberia was 5.1 persons having declined from 6.1 in 1984; and at county level, household size was highest in Maryland. Besides, nearly a quarter of the households were headed by females while at county level, female headship was highest in Lofa County and lowest in Gbarpolu County. Surprisingly, there was a small proportion of households headed by children less than 15 years despite having had a civil war for over two decades.
While also, all the population were counted from their households, a smaller
proportion was enumerated in other institutions. The analysis reveals that the country’s carrying capacity or the population density stands at 90 persons per square mile and that of Montserrado County was the highest among the 15 counties.

By examining the age structure, it was found that the population is young and youthful and will continue to fuel further population growth for many years to come.
This is due to the population’s nature of fertility regime which is impacting the population momentum. The high population growth in the face of small resource base has implications towards the poor social indicators in the country especially in education, health, agriculture, environment and sanitation and, housing particularly in urban areas. These indicators are not expected to improve in the near future if population growth continues at the present rate.

Although one would have expected more men to have died during the civil conflict, however, high sex ratios in favor of men were observed in most of the counties. There were 17 major ethnic groups and of these, the Kpelle were found to be the largest (20.3%), followed by the Bassa (13%). Christians were found to be the largest religious group (85.6%), followed by the Muslims (12.2%). Several direct and indirect actions are being conveyed to the government. First, the large population momentum can be moderated by increasing family planning, reducing fertility and increasing the age at marriage.
Secondly, the lopsided spatial population distribution can be addressed through programme that would encourage people back to the rural areas. Please click here to view Thematic Map.
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Document to download
Population size 210512.pdf - 1781kb
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