Update 10 to Geopolitical Entities and Codes (formerly FIPS 10-4) is dated 2012-12-31. It adds four new
counties and assigns them codes. I have already reported those same codes for those same counties. This is a
case where the board is reconciling changes made in one place but not in another.
I replaced provisional 2008 census data with the final figures.
River Gee county was created in 2000, and Gbarpolu county in ~2001. FIPS Publication Change Notice No. 10,
affecting FIPS PUB 10-4, was issued on 2006-03-23. It assigned new FIPS codes to the two new counties, and
changed the codes for the old counties from which they were formed. ISO 3166-2's second edition, dated
2007-12-15, contains ISO codes for the two new counties.
Liberia has been an independent country during the entire 20th century.
Other names of country:
- Danish: Liberia
- Dutch: Liberia, Republiek Liberia (formal)
- English: Republic of Liberia (formal)
- Finnish: Liberia
- French: Libéria, Liberia m
- German: Liberia n
- Icelandic: Líbería
- Italian: Liberia f
- Norwegian: Liberia, Republikken Liberia (formal)
- Portuguese: Libéria, República f da Libéria f (formal)
- Russian: Республика Либерия (formal)
- Spanish: Liberia, República f de Liberia (formal)
- Swedish: Liberia
- Turkish: Liberya Cumhuriyeti (formal)
Origin of name:
Latin liber: free + -ia (suffix for country); founded by freed American slaves
Liberia is divided into fifteen counties.
|Grand Cape Mount|
Liberia uses four-digit postal codes. They don't seem to be in regular use.
See the Districts of Liberia page.
The UN LOCODE page for Liberia lists locations in the country, some of them with their latitudes and longitudes, some with their ISO 3166-2 codes for their subdivisions. This information can be put together to approximate the territorial extent of subdivisions.
Origins of names:
- Bomi: Gola for "light".
- Bong: named after Mount Bong.
- Gbarpolu: portmanteau of Gbarma and Bopolu, the statutory districts from which it was formed.
- Grand Bassa: named for the Bassa ethnic group.
- Grand Cape Mount: named after a cape, which was named Cape du Mont in 1461 by Portuguese navigator Pêro de
- Grand Kru: named for the Kru ethnic group.
- Margibi: portmanteau of Marshall and Gibi, the territories from which it was formed.
- Montserrado: named after the Messurado River.
- Nimba: named after Neinbaa Tohn, its highest mountain, whose name is Mano for "a mountain on which sisters
- Rivercess: named after the Cestos River. Cestos is Portuguese for "baskets".
Reference: source 
- 1839-01-05: Under the Constitution adopted on that date, Liberia was divided into two counties: Grand Bassa
- ~1843: Sinoe county created.
- 1847-07-26: Under the Constitution of 1847, Liberia was divided into Grand Bassa, Grand Cape Mount, Maryland,
Montserrado, and Sinoe counties; Marshall territory; and Central, Eastern, and Western provinces. The three
provinces have generally been referred to collectively as the interior region; the rest of the country is the
coastal region. For the most part, territories are not mentioned in lists of primary administrative divisions of
Liberia. They appear to be subordinate to counties; that is, each territory is contained within a county and is
administered from that county's capital. Marshall territory was subordinate to Montserrado county.
- 1857: Maryland became a county of Liberia. This area was founded in 1834-02-12 by the Maryland State
Colonization Society as another place for freed African-American slaves to settle. (Apparently the 1847
Constitution was indulging in wishful thinking when it included Maryland as one of the counties.)
- 1887: River Cess district created within Grand Bassa county.
- 1911: Liberia ceded Kailahun territory (part of Western province?) to Sierra Leone in exchange for a strip
south of the Mano River, which was annexed to Grand Cape Mount county. Now the country consisted of five counties
and three provinces. The provinces were each completely divided into districts; one of the counties contained a
territory. This table shows the divisions.
|Division||Type||Population||Capital||District or territory (t)|
|Central||p||550,857||Ganta||Gbanka, Kakata, Sanniquellie, Tappita|
|Grand Cape Mount||c||46,299||Robertsport|
|Montserrado||c||1,230,832||Monrovia||Marshall (t; pop. 28,543)|
- Type: county (c, coastal region) or province (p, interior region).
- Population: 1947 estimates.
- 1955-02-19: Status of River Cess changed from district to territory.
- ~1960: The 1964 edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica World Atlas says there were four territories. In
1955, there were only two (Marshall and River Cess). Therefore, two more must have been formed around 1960.
- 1964: The Liberian Supreme Court ruled in 1960 that the division into counties and provinces had resulted in
unconstitutional unequal representation. President Tubman announced a reorganization in 1963. County boundaries
were adjusted, mainly by extending the coastal counties into the interior. The remainder of Central province
split into Bong and Nimba counties. The remainder of Eastern province became Grand Gedeh county. The remainder
of Western province became Lofa county. The regions were abolished. The territories, still contained within
counties, remained. Secondary divisions called districts were formed, overlapping the county boundaries. The new
legislature based on this set of divisions first met on 1964-07-26.
- ~1970: Capital of Grand Gedeh county renamed from Tchien to Zwedru.
- ~1982: Gibi territory formed from part of Montserrado county.
- 1984: At about the beginning of this year, there were six territories. Bomi, Gibi, and Marshall territories
were subordinate to Montserrado county; Rivercess territory was subordinate to Grand Bassa county; and Kru Coast
and Sass Town territories were subordinate to Maryland county. The census was taken from 1984-02-01 to 1984-02-14.
The new constitution was being drawn up, although it didn't come into effect until 1986-01-06. I have two sources
for the 1984 census returns. One of them, The Statesman's Year-Book, shows that Bomi, Margibi, and Rivercess
counties had all been created. The other, the Europa World Year Book, shows Bomi and Rivercess as counties, but
instead of Margibi county it lists the two territories, Marshall and Gibi. Because of this uncertainty in the
sequence of events, I list the results of the 1984 census with counties separated from territories.
|Grand Cape Mount||c||79,322||56,601||5,830||2,250|
- Type: county (c) or territory (t).
- Pop-84: 1984-02-01 census.
- Pop-74: 1974-02-01 census.
- Area: estimate from source . Areas of territories included
- 1984: Bomi territory promoted to county, thus splitting it from Montserrado county.
- ~1984: Grand Kru county split from Maryland county. It consisted of Kru Coast and Sasstown territories. (One
source says 1984, another says 1985. Source  says 1980-04-12, but this may refer only to a decree establishing the
boundaries of Grand Kru.)
- 1985: Margibi county split from Montserrado county. It consisted of Marshall and Gibi territories.
- 1985-04-18: Rivercess territory promoted to county, thus splitting it from Grand Bassa county. The resulting
divisions were as follows:
|Grand Bassa |
|Grand Cape Mount|
|Grand Gedeh |
|Grand Kru |
| || ||Barclayville|
- ISO: County codes from ISO/DIS 3166-2. For full identification in a
global context, prefix
LR-" to the code (ex:
LR-NI represents Nimba).
- FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4.
- Population: 1989 estimate from source .
- Source  (1988) says, "The country is divided into 13 counties and the district of Careysburg."
At present, Careysburg is just another district in Montserrado county, and I don't have any other
evidence to suggest that it was ever independent of a county.
- Source  shows 1984 and 2008 populations for the 15 counties that existed in
2008. It notes, "The populations used were those that were derived for the respective counties
after accounting for boundary changes between 1984 and 2008." By comparing these 1984 population
figures to the ones originally published, I can deduce that some territory was transferred from
Maryland to Grand Kru at some time during that period - territory that had a 1984 population of
16,000 (about 19% of the total population of Maryland). Similarly, some territory whose 1984
population was 53,800 must have been transferred from Montserrado to Margibi, accounting for about
10% of the population of Montserrado at that time.
- 2000-06: River Gee county split from Grand Gedeh (former HASC code
LI02). This change was approved by House of Representatives in 1998-06, and by
the Senate on 2000-03-07.
- ~2001-01: Gbarpolu county split from Lofa (HASC
The new county was created by the Senate on 2000-09-14, with an effective date in 2001. Some
information on this split was found in source . Source  says the county was created in 2003.
- ~2007: Name of the capital of Rivercess county changed from Rivercess to Cestos City.
Other names of subdivisions:
- Bomi: Bomy (variant)
- Grand Cape Mount: Cape Mount (variant)
- Grand Gedeh: Grand Geddeh, Grand Jide (variant)
- Lofa: Loffa (variant)
- Maryland: Cape Palmas (variant)
- Sinoe: Sino, Sinu (variant)
-  "2008 National
Population and Housing Census: Preliminary Results ", Liberia
Institute of Statistics and Geo-information Services, Monrovia, 2008-06. Retrieved 2009-01-20.
-  "Liberia in Maps: Graphic Perspectives of a Developing Country", Stefan von Gnielinski,
Africana Publishing Co., N.Y. 1972.
-  The Liberia Contemporary Voice (http://www.republicofliberia.com/vol3_no10.htm#newcounty,
retrieved 2002-05-13) said that Gbarpolu had a population of about 200,000 and an area of 2,982
mi.² (7,723 km.²).
-  "Ershiyi (21) Shiji Shijie Diming Lu", Beijing, 2001.
-  "County
Development Agendas ", County Development Committee, 2008-07-18.
-  The Statesman's Year-Book 1988-89. St. Martin's Press, New York, 1988.
-  The Statesman's Year-Book 1991-92. Macmillan Press, London, 1991.
-  L'Évaluation des effectifs de la population des pays Africains, Tome I. Groupe de Démographie Africaine,
-  1979 Demographic
Yearbook , 31st Ed. Statistical Office, United Nations, New York, 1980
-  2008 Population and Housing
Census : Final Results. Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-information
Services, Monrovia, Liberia, 2009-05 (retrieved 2011-12-28).
-  Europa World Year Book 2001. Europa Publications, London, 2001.