Sierra Leone People, Population, Religion and Nationality


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Sierra Leone People

Browse the information below for demographic information on Sierra Leone, including population, religion, nationality and more. If you do not find the Sierra Leone information you need on the people page, check out our complete listing on the Sierra Leone Country Page.

  • Sierra Leone Geography
  • Sierra Leone Government
  • Sierra Leone Economy
  • Sierra Leone History

    Nationality: Noun and adjective--Sierra Leonean(s).
    Population (2002 est., no census since 1989): 4.9 million.
    Annual growth rate (2001 est.): 2.4%.
    Ethnic groups: Temne 30%, Mende 30%, Krio 1%, balance spread over 15 other tribal groups, and a small Lebanese community.
    Religions: (est.) Muslim 60%, Christian 30%, animist 10%.
    Languages: English, Krio, Temne, Mende, and 15 other indigenous languages.
    Education: (2001) Literacy--36%.
    Health: Life expectancy (2001 est.)--34.5 yrs. Access to safe water--57%. Infant mortality rate--182/1,000. Under five mortality--316/1,000.
    Work force: Agriculture--67%; industry--15%; services--18%.

    People of Sierra Leone
    The indigenous population is made up of 18 ethnic groups. The Temne in the north and the Mende in the South are the largest. About 60,000 are Krio, the descendants of freed slaves who returned to Sierra Leone from Great Britain and North America and slave ships captured on the high seas. In addition, about 4,000 Lebanese, 500 Indians, and 2,000 Europeans reside in the country.

    In the past, Sierra Leoneans were noted for their educational achievements, trading activity, entrepreneurial skills, and arts and crafts work, particularly woodcarving. Many are part of larger ethnic networks extending into several countries, which link West African states in the area. However, the level of education and infrastructure has declined sharply over the last 30 years.


  • Sierra Leone Geography
  • Sierra Leone Government
  • Sierra Leone Economy
  • Sierra Leone History