Liberia is a country in west Africa. It is bordered by Sierra Leone on the northwest, Guinea on the northeast, Côte d’Ivoire on the east, and the Atlantic Ocean on the west. Monrovia <<muhn ROH vee uh>> is the capital and largest city. Liberia has a rugged coastline. Away from the ocean, the land is higher, with low hills.
Most Liberians are Africans. Some of them are people whose families came from the United States more than 150 years ago. In the early 1800′s, a group of people in the United States bought land along the coast. Some African slaves in the United States had been freed. The group sent them to settle there. Other Liberians come from families who have always lived in Africa. They include Kpelle and Bassa people.
Many Liberians farm for a living. People in cities work in schools, stores, factories, and offices. Liberia has iron ore, and some people work in mining.
In 1847, Liberia became independent. It was a poor country. Most of the power belonged to the people whose families had come from the United States. War broke out in 1989 between various groups. In 1996, the people agreed to stop fighting and try to start a new government. Elections were held in 1997. But various groups continued to fight the government. In 2003, such groups controlled most of the country. Soldiers from other countries came to help restore peace. In 2005, elections were held.