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Liberia

  • By: Sarah E. Boslaugh
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Liberia is a small west African country whose citizens suffered a drastic decline in well-being after Samuel Doe seized power in a military coup in 1980. Civil war resumed in the 1990s, and although Liberia currently enjoys a fragile peace since democratic elections in 2005, the economic and social structure of the country is expected to take years to rebuild.

The population of Liberia is about 3.4 million, with the typical developing nation pattern of a disproportionately young population: 44.1 percent of Liberians are age 14 or younger, 53 percent are age 15–62, and only 2.8 percent are age 65 or older. Most Liberians (95 percent) are indigenous Africans, with small numbers of descendants of immigrants from the United States and Caribbean. Forty percent of the ...

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