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In: Population perspectives. Statements by world leaders. Second edition, [compiled by] United Nations Fund for Population Activities [UNFPA]. New York, New York, UNFPA, 1985. 98-9.Liberia is characterized by a high fertility rate; its current total fertility rate of 6.7 children/woman is one of the highest in Africa. Also quite high is the country's 18/1000 mortality rate. Until the 1980s, Liberia was able to maintain a favorable balance between an increasing population and the gross domestic product. In more recent years, however, the economic growth rate has fallen behind the population growth rate, with a subsequent sharp decline in the standard of living. Economic recovery is currently the cornerstone of Liberia's development policy, and the protection and enhancement of the population's welfare by proper planning is a key goal. Population policies that will accelerate the pace of achieving national economic objectives are under consideration. Of particular concern is the massive migration of rural residents to urban areas. In response to this trend, development projects in rural areas are being expanded.