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Sierra Leonean Youth Statistics

Ketcham, J. (2001). “Sierra Leonean Youth Statistics.” S. Hamilton, MA: Center for Youth Studies.


  • Population: 5,426,618 (Ranked 103rd in the world by the US Census Bureau).
  • Population density: 189 people per square mile.
  • Children 0-14: 44.7 %-2,427,533.
  • Teenage 10-19: 22.1 %-1,198,858.
  • Youth between 15-24: 18.5%-1,002,218.
  • Seniors Over 70: 1.7%-92,571.
  • Male to female ratio: 93.8 males per 100 females.
  • Birth rate: 45.63 per 1,000 people.
  • Life expectancy at birth: 46.59 for males and 52.89 for females.
  • Infant mortality rate: 123.07 per 1,000 live births.

Educational Landscape

Pre-primary Beginning age, 3 Duration, 2 years.
Primary Beginning age, 5 Duration, 7 years.
Secondary Beginning age, 12 Duration, 7 years.

The Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports is responsible for the administration of education in Sierra Leone. In 1990, there were 1795 primary schools, with 367,000 students; there were 102,000 secondary students and 4,700 tertiary students.


Literacy is a major issue. Estimates place the national literacy rate at about 15% of the population (those over 15 who can read). Expanding the reach of the educational system is also a challenge. In 1990, the total number of students wasn’t even 10% of the total population.


UNESCO Statistics Division.

US Central Intelligence Agency. World Factbook.

Freedom House

Jonathan Ketcham
© 2018 CYS

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