Public Sector Reform Unit

Office of the President, 8 Wesley Street, Freetown

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People and Society

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Nationality:

  • noun: Sierra Leonean(s)
  • adjective: Sierra Leonean

    Ethnic groups:

  • Temne 35%, Mende 31%, Limba 8%, Kono 5%, Kriole 2% (descendants of freed Jamaican slaves who were settled in the Freetown area in the late-18th century;also known as Krio), Mandingo 2%, Loko 2%, other 15% (includes refugees from Liberia's recent civil war, and small numbers of Europeans, Lebanese, Pakistanis, and Indians) (2008 census)

    Languages:

  • English (official, regular use limited to literate minority), Mende (principal vernacular in the south), Temne (principal vernacular in the north), Krio (English-based Creole, spoken by the descendants of freed Jamaican slaves who were settled in the Freetown area, a lingua franca and a first language for 10% of the population but understood by 95%)

    Religions:

  • Muslim 60%, Christian 10%, indigenous beliefs 30%

    Population:

  • 5,612,685 (July 2013 est.)
  • country comparison to the world: 110

    Age structure:

  • 0-14 years: 41.9% (male 1,169,343/female 1,181,669)
  • 15-24 years: 19% (male 517,107/female 549,500)
  • 25-54 years: 31.4% (male 847,115/female 914,650)
  • 55-64 years: 4% (male 101,069/female 124,673)
  • 65 years and over: 3.7% (male 89,643/female 117,916) (2013 est.)
  • population pyramid:

    Median age:

  • total: 19 years
  • male: 18.5 years
  • female: 19.6 years (2013 est.)

    Population growth rate:

  • 2.3% (2013 est.)
  • country comparison to the world: 35

    Birth rate:

  • 37.77 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
  • country comparison to the world: 16

    Death rate:

  • 11.26 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
  • country comparison to the world: 34

    Net migration rate:

  • -3.48 migrant(s)/1,000 population
  • country comparison to the world: 183
  • note: refugees currently in surrounding countries are slowly returning (2013 est.)

    Urbanization:

  • urban population: 38% of total population (2010)
  • rate of urbanization: 3.3% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

    Major cities - population:

  • FREETOWN (capital) 875,000 (2009)

    Sex ratio:

  • at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
  • 0-14 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
  • 15-24 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
  • 25-54 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
  • 55-64 years: 0.8 male(s)/female
  • 65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female
  • total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2013 est.)

    Maternal mortality rate:

  • 890 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
  • country comparison to the world: 3

    Infant mortality rate:

  • total: 74.95 deaths/1,000 live births
  • country comparison to the world: 11
  • male: 83.59 deaths/1,000 live births
  • female: 66.06 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)

    Life expectancy at birth:

  • total population: 56.98 years
  • country comparison to the world: 199
  • male: 54.47 years
  • female: 59.56 years (2013 est.)

    Total fertility rate:

  • 4.87 children born/woman (2013 est.)
  • country comparison to the world: 22

    Health expenditures:

  • 13.1% of GDP (2010)
  • country comparison to the world: 6

    Physicians density:

  • 0.016 physicians/1,000 population (2008)

    Hospital bed density:

  • 0.4 beds/1,000 population (2006)

    Drinking water source:

  • improved:
  • urban: 87% of population
  • rural: 35% of population
  • total: 55% of population
  • unimproved:
  • urban: 13% of population
  • rural: 65% of population
  • total: 45% of population (2010 est.)

    Sanitation facility access:

  • improved:
  • urban: 23% of population
  • rural: 6% of population
  • total: 13% of population
  • unimproved:
  • urban: 77% of population
  • rural: 94% of population
  • total: 87% of population (2010 est.)

    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

  • 1.6% (2009 est.)
  • country comparison to the world: 34

    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

  • 49,000 (2009 est.)
  • country comparison to the world: 58

    HIV/AIDS - deaths:

  • 2,800 (2009 est.)
  • country comparison to the world: 47

    Major infectious diseases:

  • degree of risk: very high
  • food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
  • vectorborne diseases: malaria and yellow fever
  • water contact disease: schistosomiasis
  • aerosolized dust or soil contact disease: Lassa fever (2009)

    Children under the age of 5 years underweight:

  • 21.3% (2008)
  • country comparison to the world: 28

    Education expenditures:

  • 3.6% of GDP (2011)
  • country comparison to the world: 125

    Literacy:

  • definition: age 15 and over can read and write English, Mende, Temne, or Arabic
  • total population: 35.1%
  • male: 46.9%
  • female: 24.4% (2004 est.)

    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

  • total: 12 years
  • male: 13 years
  • female: 11 years (2007)

    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:

  • total: 5.2%
  • country comparison to the world: 132
  • male: 7.3%
  • female: 3.5% (2004)