The population of Sierra Leone is divided into twenty ethnic groups. The largest is in the south and time in the central parts of the country, which together make up two thirds of the population. Among the minorities are limba in the north and sherbro in the south.
Cryo-speaking slave settlements (called krio or Creole) have long dominated social life but have gradually lost their influence. Many of them also fled the country during the 1991–2002 civil war (see Modern History).
- COUNTRYAAH.COM: Key populations estimated size and data of Sierra Leone, including population density of how many people per square mile. Also included are facts for population and language.
The war led at large to large population movements that made Sierra Leonies the largest refugee group in Africa. At least half the population was driven away from their homes, within the country or to neighboring countries. When the war ended in practice in 2001, the UN refugee organization UNHCR began to help with the relocation. The repatriation was declared completed in July 2004, when around 270,000 people had returned. In the early 1990s, Sierra Leone also received 125,000 refugees from the civil war in neighboring Liberia, but most of them have since returned home.
English is an official language, but the different peoples mainly use krio, which is a Creole language based on English.
FACTS – POPULATION AND LANGUAGE
temne, mende, sherbo, limba, krio and others
Number of residents
7 557 212 (2017)
Number of residents per square kilometer
Percentage of residents in the cities
41.6 percent (2017)
Nativity / birth
35.0 per 1000 residents (2016)
Mortality / mortality
12.8 per 1000 residents (2016)
2.2 percent (2017)
4.5 number of births per woman (2016)
Percentage of women
50.5 percent (2017)
52 years (2016)
Life expectancy for women
52 years (2016)
Life expectancy for men
51 years (2016)
English is the official language, important local languages are crisis, time and meaning
New abortion law in progress
Parliament votes on December 8 with a clear majority to legalize abortion, The Safe Abortion Act. The procedure should be done until week twelve in pregnancy. After that, the procedure should also be done if the woman becomes pregnant after a rape, incest or that the mother or child’s life is in danger. Maternal mortality in Sierra Leone is among the highest in the world (see Social Conditions) and many women die each year as a result of illegal abortions done under unsafe conditions.
Free from Ebola
According to WHO, no new cases have been reported in 42 days. During the 18 months that the epidemic has been going on, 3,955 deaths have been confirmed. Thousands of people gather in downtown Freetown to celebrate the message.
No offense to dismiss Samuel Sam-Sumana
The Supreme Court ruled that President Koroma had the right to dismiss his vice president at the beginning of the year (see March 2015).
Western Sierra Leone is quarantined
It shall be in force for three days. According to WHO figures, over 3,700 people are estimated to have died in Ebola by the middle of the month. Doctors Without Borders says in a report that the world’s inaction has contributed to the ebola epidemic becoming so extensive.
Vice President Samuel Sam-Sumana is excluded from the APC
He is accused of calling for political violence, for trying to form a new political party in his Kono home district and for lying about his academic merits, something he himself denies. He has also been accused of not being “a real Muslim”. Sam-Sumana’s home is surrounded by soldiers, but he has time to go underground. Sam-Sumana then seeks political asylum at the US embassy. President Koroma later dismisses Sam-Sumana on the grounds that he has “abandoned his duties”. According to some media, the Constitution does not allow him to be dismissed as Vice President unless he is sentenced in a parliamentary procedure in Parliament (he can be dismissed if two-thirds of Parliament votes for it). Others think the rules are more unclear. Koroma refers to two sections of the Constitution which state that the Vice President must belong to a political party. Sam-Sumana comes from one of the country’s leading families and has previously been accused of involvement in illegal logging. According to analysts, Koroma, who is not allowed to stand for re-election, opposes Sam-Sumana to succeed him as leader of the APC. Koroma is said to prefer his cousin John Bonoh Sisay to take over as APC leader when his term expires. The two politicians have also ended up in collision course with each other before, but Koroma has continued to cooperate with Sam-Sumana, much because of his strong position in the Kono area and because the vice president has donated money to APC. Victor Bockarie Foh, formerly the country’s ambassador to China, will be appointed new vice president on March 20. Representatives of SLPP criticize Koromo’s decision, which they believe violates the Constitution. They are planning a civil disobedience campaign unless Sam-Sumana is reinstated before March 30. Army Chief Samuel Omar Williams orders his soldiers to remain in their offices and not interfere in the political crisis.
New financial support from the IMF
It is about $ 187 million, of which $ 80 million will be used to fight Ebola and counter the crisis that follows the path of the disease.
Census is postponed
The intention was that it should have been held in April, but it is now expected to be released only at the end of the year. This is after criticism of President Koroma’s party APC being over-represented in the body that leads the census.
The Ministry of Health is now said to pay salaries to 23,000 employees instead of the former 8,000 which, according to the journal Africa Confidential, indicates that there are so-called “ghost workers” (people who do not exist) in the payrolls. At the same time, healthcare professionals strike because they have not received the risk supplements that have been promised to those who work with Ebola patients.
Over 3,000 dead in Ebola
New figures from WHO show that almost 11,000 Sierra Leonias have been infected by Ebola, of which more than 3,300 have died in the disease until early February. This means that Sierra Leone is the country with the most Ebola cases (the highest number of deaths, however, has neighboring Liberia with over 4,000 deaths), but that almost 70 percent of those who have become ill have recovered, compared with 25 percent in the first period after the outbreak of the disease. According to President Koroma, Sierra Leone can be free from Ebola as early as May. However, he receives criticism, among other things, for not mentioning new cases of illness but also for the fact that some measures are more focused on winning political points for action rather than fighting the disease.
Auditing leads to criticism by authorities
An audit shows that there is no documentation on where one-third of the money the state has invested in combating Ebola has gone. The audit does not include the money received from international donors.