A colony of ex-colonies
LIBERIA WAS settled in 1822 by freed African slaves from the United States.
The country declared its independence on July 26, 1847. Today, Liberia's flag is based on that of the United States. It contains 11 red and white alternating stripes, symbolizing the 11 signers of Liberia's Declaration of Independence. In the top left corner, there is a blue box with a white star in the middle.
The capital city of Monrovia is named after James Monroe, who served as president of the United States from 1817 to 1825.
More than 250,000 people died in a civil war in Liberia from 1989 to 2003, according to the United Nations Foundation, and almost 1 million were displaced. Elections in late 2005 brought the country's current president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, to power.
* Capital: Monrovia
* Government: Republic
* Population: 4,092,310 (2014 estimate)
* Median age: 17.9 years
* Life expectancy: 58.21 years
* Unemployment rate: 85 percent (2003 estimate)
* Population below poverty line: 80 percent (2000 estimate)
Sources: CIA World Factbook, Library of Congress, United Nations Foundation