Definition of Youth

According to the presentation “The Revised National Youth Policy (2012-2017)”, the definition of youth is from ages 15 to 35, though it is recognized that this is culturally and socially constructed.


Marriageable Age

  • Opposite Sex
  • Same Sex
  • Without parental consent
  • with parental consent
  • Male
  • 21
  • 16
  • XX
  • Female
  • 18
  • 16
  • XX

  • Homosexual acts illegal. Source: UNSD, ILGA

Candidacy Age

Criminal Responsibility

Minimum Age
Source:  Penal Law of Liberia

Voting Age


Situation of Young People

Literacy Rates

Both sexes (15-24) %
  • 64.66% Male (15-24) %
  • 43.97% Female (15-24) %

Net Enrolment Rate

Secondary School
Both sexes %
  • --Male %
  • -- Female %
  • Year: No data.
  • Source: UNESCO

Situation of Young People

Prevalence of HIV

Male (15-24) %
Female (15-24) %

Tobacco Use

Consumed any smokeless or smoking tobacco product at least once 30 days prior to the survey.
Both sexes (13-15) %
  • 14.20% Male (13-15) %
  • 11.80% Female (13-15) %
  • Year: 2010
  • Source: WHO

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
Liberia revised its national youth policy and action plan. The policy was passed by the House's Plenary as the “Liberia Youth Act”. A fragility assessment was conducted.

As reported by The New Republic Liberia, Liberia’s revised youth policy (2012-2017) was initially rejected as it was labeled “Liberia Youth Policy”. The House argued that it can only pass acts, not policies. The policy was renamed the “Liberia Youth Act” and passed by the House on 5 September 2013. It has since been sent to the Senate. Key areas of intervention include employment, education, sexual and reproductive health, justice and governance, and youth in peace-building processes. A 2009 USAID youth fragility assessment described the National Youth Policy Action Plan (NYPAP), which was the principle policy document from 2009-2012. Its objectives include: developing effective coordination for youth development and developing youth as not only

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
The Ministry of Youth and Sports (MOYS) was established in 1982. In his confirmation hearing in March 2013, Minister Eugene Lenn Nagbe identified youth training, employment and empowerment as the priorities for the ministry. As described by the 2009 USAID youth fragility assessment, the MOYS is advised by a National Youth Policy Implementation Committee, which provides input from a range of stakeholders. The report argues that MOYS severely lacks capacity, with only 25 professional staff to address the needs of approximately 1 million young people.

Youth and Representation

Does the country have a national youth organisation / association (council, platform, body)?
The Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY) describes itself as a “broad-based, democratic, pluralistic, nongovernmental and nonpartisan youth organisation”. Initially named “Urban Youth Council”, the umbrella organisation was enacted into law as FLY in 1978. During the civil conflict, FLY was inactive until it re-organised in 2002. In June 2013, FLY helped to conduct a nation-wide consultation to revise the youth policy. In the 2013/14 national budget, FLY will be transferred USD 150,000 from the Government of Liberia.

Budget & Spending

What is the budget allocated to the governmental authority (ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth and/or youth programming?
In the FY2013/14 Draft National Budget, the Ministry of Youth and Sports was allocated a total of USD 15.6 million (LRD 1.3 billion). The amounts listed in the budget are in USD. It is unclear what proportion of this amount is specifically for youth. According to the World Bank, Liberia spent 1.93% of its GDP on education in 2012, but does not calculate what this translates to in terms of percentage of government expenditure.
Total Expenditure on Education as a Percentage of Government Spending and GDP

  • % of GDP
  • % of gov. expenditure

Source: World Bank

Additional Background

From the Liberia Youth Fragility Assessment (2009):

Youth (ages 15-34) are 25% of the total rural population and 33% of the urban population. With the exception of those under age 5, virtually all children and youth in Liberia were traumatized in some way by the 14 years of civil strife. Many are ex-combatants who, for various reasons have yet to reintegrate fully into society [...]

Youth are aware of, and sensitive to, the issues of education and unemployment, both of which are intertwined with economic fragility and poverty. Seventy percent of youth in the survey identified “education and skills” as the most important factor in getting a job. Ninety percent stated that education and training were “very important” to earning money. Ironically, they also cited the lack of relevance of formal education in Liberia and the inadequacy of short-term training programs, which had no link to sustainable livelihoods. In this regard, they noted the many job training programs that had been offered in recent years by NGOs and development partners had effectively led nowhere because the training was insufficient and/or inappropriate for the actual job market in Liberia [...]