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Sierra Leone Country Profile
Note: All figures are 2003 unless stated otherwise.


Area 71,740 sq km
Capital Freetown
Currency Leone
Population (2002) 5,235,000
Population Growth Rate 2.94%
Birth Rate 43.89 births/1,000 population
Death Rate 20.66 deaths/1,000 population
Infant Mortality Rate 146.86 deaths/1,000 live births
Life Expectancy at Birth 42.84 years
Ethnic Groups 20 native African tribes 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%
Languages English (official, regular use limited to literate minority), Mende (principal vernacular in the south), Temne (principal vernacular in the north), Krio
Literacy 18.2%
GNI per capita* (2002) $140
Population Below Poverty Line 68%
Industries mining (diamonds); small-scale manufacturing (beverages, textiles, cigarettes, footwear); petroleum refining
Debt - external (1998) $1.3 billion
* Gross National Income in United States dollars per citizen.