Adolescents and Youth

The age structure of the population of Liberia is young; 63 per cent is less than 25 years old and 32.8 per cent is 10-24 years old. The youth, some of whom are ex-combatants, face formidable challenges, including limited access to employment and stable sources of income, and sexual and reproductive health information and services. Early marriage, and teenage pregnancy are common among girls. Nearly 11 per cent of females initiate sex at ages 11-14.

The age structure of the population of Liberia is young; 63 per cent is less than 25 years old and 32.8 per cent is 10-24 years old. The youth, some of whom are ex-combatants, face formidable challenges, including limited access to employment and stable sources of income, and sexual and reproductive health information and services. Early marriage, and teenage pregnancy are common among girls. Nearly 11 per cent of females initiate sex at ages 11-14.

Teenage pregnancy contributes significantly to dropout rates among school going girls and 67 percent of adolescent girls with no education are mothers, compared to 17 percent of those with secondary and higher education. . In addition, 26 per cent of adolescent pregnancies are unintended and 30 percent end in unsafe abortion.

Underlying factors that further exacerbate the reproductive health situation of young people in Liberia include prevalence of gender based violence including sexual abuse and rape, engagement in commercial sex work, intravenous drug usage, risky same sex relationships and limited access to  SRH/FP information and services.

UNFPA provides technical and financial support to the government through the ministries of youth and sports, education, and partners for an improved sexual and reproductive health services to meet the needs of marginalized youth and adolescents through advocacy and capacity development for the provision of adolescent-friendly and youth-friendly services.