Sierra Leone Flag Icon

Sierra Leone Country Guide

Explore Sierra Leone in Africa

Travel warning information is updated daily: The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's advisory service suggests to reconsider your need to travel to this country. Take this advice seriously - check with your local authorities whether your exact destination is safe.

Sierra Leone with the capital city Freetown is located in Africa (Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean). It covers some 71,741 square kilometres (slightly smaller than South Carolina) with 6,286,000 citizens.

Interactive map of Sierra Leone

The topography includes coastal belt of mangrove swamps, wooded hill country, upland plateau, mountains in east. The average density of population is approximately 88 per km². The notable climate conditions in Sierra Leone can be described as tropical with hot, humid, summer rainy season (May to December), winter dry season (December to April). Possible natural disasters include dry, sand-laden harmattan winds blow from the Sahara (December to February) or sandstorms, dust storms.

To reach someone in Sierra Leone dial +232 prior to a number. There are 32,800 installed telephones. And there are 1,160,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of 900, 1800 Mhz. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".sl". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of 230V - 50Hz.

About the flag and history of Sierra Leone

Three equal horizontal bands of green (top), white, and blue; green symbolizes agriculture, mountains, and natural resources, white represents unity and justice, and blue the sea and the natural harbor in Freetown.

Democracy is slowly being reestablished after the civil war from 1991 to 2002 that resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and the displacement of more than 2 million people (about a third of the population). The military, which took over full responsibility for security following the departure of UN peacekeepers at the end of 2005, is increasingly developing as a guarantor of the country's stability. The armed forces remained on the sideline during the 2007 and 2012 national elections but still look to the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL) - a civilian UN mission - to support efforts to consolidate peace. The new government''s priorities include furthering development, creating jobs, and stamping out endemic corruption.

Geography Quick-Facts

Summary Continent: Africa
Neighbours: Liberia, Guinea
Capital: Freetown
Size 71,740 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 27,699 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly smaller than South Carolina
Population 6,286,000
Currency Name: Leone, Currency Code: SLL
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD) .sl
Telephone Country Prefix +232
Mobile Phone Connections 1,160,000
Landline Phone Connections 32,800

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).


Value name Value World Rank
Area 71,740 (sq km) 119

People and Society

Value name Value World Rank
Population 5,612,685 110
Population growth rate 2.30 (%) 35
Birth rate 37.77 (births/1,000 population) 16
Death rate 11.26 (deaths/1,000 population) 34
Net migration rate -3.48 (migrant(s)/1,000 population) 183
Maternal mortality rate 890.00 (deaths/100,000 live births) 3
Infant mortality rate 74.95 (deaths/1,000 live births) 11
Life expectancy at birth 56.98 (years) 199
Total fertility rate 4.87 (children born/woman) 22
Health expenditures 13.10 (% of GDP) 6
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 1.60 (%) 34
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 49,000 58
HIV/AIDS - deaths 2,800 47
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 6.80 (%) 144
Children under the age of 5 years underweight 21.30 (%) 28
Education expenditures 3.60 (% of GDP) 125
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 5.2 (%) 132


Value name Value World Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity) 8,412,000,000 155
GDP - real growth rate 19.80 (%) 2
GDP - per capita (PPP) 1,400 203
Labor force 2,207,000 118
Distribution of family income - Gini index 63 4
Taxes and other revenues 14.0 (% of GDP) 196
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) -4.20 (% of GDP) 144
Public debt 60.80 (% of GDP) 45
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 12.60 (%) 206
Commercial bank prime lending rate 21.00 (%) 16
Stock of narrow money 398,000,000 164
Stock of broad money 1,152,000,000 165
Stock of domestic credit 685,800,000 166
Current account balance -969,900,000 111
Exports 1,168,000,000 154
Imports 1,675,000,000 168
Debt - external 827,600,000 163
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home 477,100,000 98


Value name Value World Rank
Electricity - production 120,000,000 (kWh) 192
Electricity - consumption 111,600,000 (kWh) 194
Electricity - installed generating capacity 52000 (kW) 183
Electricity - from fossil fuels 92.3 (% of total installed capacity) 72
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 7.7 (% of total installed capacity) 119
Refined petroleum products - production 4,381 (bbl/day) 110
Refined petroleum products - consumption 8,768 (bbl/day) 156
Refined petroleum products - exports 523 (bbl/day) 117
Refined petroleum products - imports 6,117 (bbl/day) 146
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 1,335,000 (Mt) 160


Value name Value World Rank
Telephones - main lines in use 14,000 197
Telephones - mobile cellular 2,137,000 139
Internet hosts 282 192
Internet users 14,900 199


Value name Value World Rank
Airports 8 164
Roadways 11,300 (km) 132
Waterways 800 (km) 72
Merchant marine 215 34


Value name Value World Rank
Military expenditures 0.60 (% of GDP) 159

Data based on CIA facts book 2010 & 2013, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases

List of current world heritage sites

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