Sierra Leone is a country in West Africa, on the Atlantic Ocean. It’s known for the white-sand beaches lining the Freetown Peninsula. The capital city, Freetown, commemorates the nation’s slave-trade history with the Cotton Tree landmark and King’s Yard Gate. Both were known as places of refuge for returned slaves in the 18th and 19th centuries. Nearby Bunce Island was a key departure point during the slave trade.
Languages: English (official, regular use limited to literate minority), Mende (principal vernacular in the south), Temne (principal vernacular in the north), Krio (English-based Creole, spoken by the descendants of freed Jamaican slaves who were settled in the Freetown area, a lingua franca and a first language for 10% of the Population but understood by 95%)
Ethnic Groups: 20 African ethnic groups 90% (Temne 30%, Mende 30%, other 30%), Creole (Krio) 10% (descendants of freed Jamaican slaves who were settled in the Freetown area in the late-18th century), refugees from Liberia's recent civil war, small numbers of Europeans, Lebanese, Pakistanis, and Indians
Belief Systems: Muslim 60%, Christian 10%, indigenous beliefs 30%
Population: 6.38 million people (World Rank: 108th) (2014 estimate)
Population Density: 231 people/mi^2 (People per Square Mile) (World Rank: 120th) (2014 estimate)
Population Growth: 2.1 %/yr (World Rank: 53rd) (2013 estimate)
Life Expectancy: 45.6 years (World Rank: 230th) (2013 estimate)
Median Age: 18.8 years (World Rank: 164th) (2010 estimate)
Sites for More Information:
Map of Sierra Leone
Current News About Sierra Leone
Columbia Encyclopedia Entry for Sierra Leone
Sierra Leonean Embassy
in Washington D.C.
Sierra Leone Government Web Sites
Directory of government Web sites and other links
by Gunnar Anzinger.
Traveling to Sierra Leone
Comprehensive travel information from africaguide.com