Statistics for Sierra Leone in health, education, the position of women and income poverty are amongst the worst in the world.
The Human Development Index places the country last on the list of 177 nations, based on its low literacy levels (despite the fact that it had the first University in West Africa); high infant mortality rates, due to an almost absent basic health service; and low per capita income rates. Many people survive at subsistence level.
Over view on Sierra Leone Sierra Leone is naturally a beautiful country with tremendous potential; from the tropical paradise of rain forests to white sandy beaches, Sierra Leone's heritage, history and sophistication co-exist with nature to create a friendly ambience.
The country is amazingly rich in natural resources and yet the vast majority of its 5 million people are living in poverty. 70% of the population live below national povery (0.52p per day). Plagued by civil war from 1991 to 2002, there has been progress in consolidating peace and rebuilding the country’s infrastructure since the end of the conflict. Sierra Leone is blessed with huge potential wealth in the form of vast mineral deposits, yet is struggling to use these riches for the benefit of the majority of the population - the country is rated last of 177 countries in the 2007 UN Human Development Index.
total: 71,740 sq km
land: 71,620 sq km
water: 120 sq km
Climate tropical; hot, humid; summer rainy season (May to December); winter dry season (December to April)
Terrain coastal belt of mangrove swamps, wooded hill country, upland plateau, mountains in east Natural resources diamonds, titanium ore, bauxite, iron ore, gold, chromite Ethnic groups 20 African ethnic groups 90% (Temne 30%, Mende 30%, other 30%), Creole (Krio) 10% (descendants of freed Jamaican slaves who were settled in the Freetown area in the late-18th century), refugees from Liberia's recent civil war, small numbers of Europeans, Lebanese, Pakistanis, and Indians Religions Muslim 60%, indigenous beliefs 30%, Christian 10% Population 5,500,000 0-14 years: 44.8% (male 1,321,563/female 1,370,721) 15-64 years: 52% (male 1,494,502/female 1,625,733) 65 years and over: 3.2% (male 90,958/female 101,773) (2006 est.)