The population of Liberia in 2003 was estimated by the United Nations at 3,367,000, which placed it as number 127 in population among the 193 nations of the world. In that year approximately 3% of the population was over 65 years of age, with another 43% of the population under 15 years of age. There were an equal number of males and females in the country in 2003. According to the UN, the annual population growth rate for 2000–2005 is 4.05%, with the projected population for the year 2015 at 4,713,000. The population density in 2002 was 29 per sq km (76 per sq mi). The population consists of indigenous Africans and descendants of American black settlers (also known as Liberico-Americans or Amerafricans), in the ratio of at least 30 to 1.
It was estimated by the Population Reference Bureau that 45% of the population lived in urban areas in 2001. The capital city, Monrovia, had a population of 479,000 in that year. More than one-third of the population lives within an 80-km (50-mi) radius of Monrovia. After Monrovia, Buchanan, Harper, and Greenville are the largest port cities; Gbarnga, Kakata, Sanniquellie, Zorzor, and Ghanpa are major interior towns. According to the United Nations, the urban population growth rate for 2000–2005 was 4.9%.
The prevalence of AIDS/HIV has had a significant impact on the population of Liberia. The United Nations estimated that6.5% of adults between the ages of 15–49 were living with HIV/AIDS in 2001. The AIDS epidemic causes higher death and infant mortality rates, and lowers life expectancy.