Liberia /laɪˈbɪəriə/ (help·info), officially the Republic of Liberia, is a country on the west coast of Africa, bordered by Sierra Leone, Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire, and the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2008 Census, the nation is home to 3,476,608 people and covers 111,369 square kilometres (43,000 sq mi).
Liberia's capital is Monrovia. Liberia has a hot equatorial climate with most rainfall arriving in summer with harsh harmattan winds in the dry season. Liberia's populated Pepper Coast is composed of mostly mangrove forests while the sparsely populated inland is forested, later opening to a plateau of drier grasslands.
The history of Liberia is unique among African nations
because of its relationship with the United States
. It is one of the few countries in Africa, and the only country in West Africa
, without roots in the European Scramble for Africa
. It was founded and colonized by freed American slaves with the help of a private organization called the American Colonization Society
in 1821-1822, on the premise former American slaves would have greater freedom and equality there.