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Sierra Leone Country Guide

Explore Sierra Leone in Africa

Sierra Leone with the capital city Freetown is located in Africa (Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean). It covers some 71,740 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) and 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

Sierra Leone Flag Icon

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

SummaryContinent: Africa
Neighbours: Liberia, Guinea
Capital: Freetown
Size71,740 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 27,698 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly smaller than South Carolina
CurrencyName Leone, Currency Code:SLL
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD).sl
Telephone Country Prefix+232
Mobile Phone Connections1,160,000
Landline Phone Connections32,800

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 nameValueWorld Rank
Area71,740 (sq km)119

People and Society

Value nameValueWorld Rank
Population5,612,685 110
Population growth rate2.30 (%)35
Birth rate37.77 (births/1,000 population)16
Death rate11.26 (deaths/1,000 population)34
Net migration rate-3.48 (migrant(s)/1,000 population)183
Maternal mortality rate890.00 (deaths/100,000 live births)3
Infant mortality rate74.95 (deaths/1,000 live births)11
Life expectancy at birth56.98 (years)199
Total fertility rate4.87 (children born/woman)22
Health expenditures13.10 (% of GDP)6
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate1.60 (%)34
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS49,000 58
HIV/AIDS - deaths2,800 47
Obesity - adult prevalence rate6.80 (%)144
Children under the age of 5 years underweight21.30 (%)28
Education expenditures3.60 (% of GDP)125
Unemployment, youth ages 15-245.20 (%)132


Value nameValueWorld Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity)8,412,000,000 155
GDP - real growth rate19.80 (%)2
GDP - per capita (PPP)1,400 203
Labor force2,207,000 118
Distribution of family income - Gini index62.90 4
Taxes and other revenues14.00 (% of GDP)196
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-4.20 (% of GDP)144
Public debt60.80 (% of GDP)45
Inflation rate (consumer prices)12.60 (%)206
Commercial bank prime lending rate21.00 (%)16
Stock of narrow money398,000,000 164
Stock of broad money1,152,000,000 165
Stock of domestic credit685,800,000 166
Current account balance-969,900,000 111
Exports1,168,000,000 154
Imports1,675,000,000 168
Debt - external827,600,000 163
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home477,100,000 98


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Electricity - production120,000,000 (kWh)192
Electricity - consumption111,600,000 (kWh)194
Electricity - installed generating capacity52,000 (kW)183
Electricity - from fossil fuels92.30 (% of total installed capacity)72
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants7.70 (% of total installed capacity)119
Refined petroleum products - production4,381 (bbl/day)110
Refined petroleum products - consumption8,768 (bbl/day)156
Refined petroleum products - exports523 (bbl/day)117
Refined petroleum products - imports6,117 (bbl/day)146
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy1,335,000 (Mt)160


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Telephones - main lines in use14,000 197
Telephones - mobile cellular2,137,000 139
Internet hosts282 192
Internet users14,900 199


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Airports8 164
Roadways11,300 (km)132
Waterways800 (km)72
Merchant marine215 34


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Military expenditures0.60 (% of GDP)159

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

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