Montserrado County is a county in the northwestern portion of the West African nation of Liberia. One of 15 counties that comprise the first-level of administrative division in the nation, it has four districts. Bensonville serves as the capital with the area of the county measuring 1,909 square kilometres (737 sq mi), the smallest in the country. As of the 2008 Census, it had a population of 1,144,806, making it the most populous county in Liberia.
Created in 1847 at the foundation of the country, the county is the oldest in Liberia. The most populous city in the county is Liberia’s capital, Monrovia with 1,010,970 residents, while Montserrado’s County Superintendent is Florence F. Brandy. The county is bordered by Bomi County to the west, Bong County to the north, and Margibi County to the east. The southern part of Montserrado lies on the Atlantic Coast.
Located on the coast in the northwestern third of Liberia, Montserrado County is bordered by three counties. The Atlantic Ocean makes up the county’s southern border, while Bomi County lies on the western border. Bong County is to the north and Margibi County to the east. The land is mainly alluvial soils, primarily clay, washed seaward from the streams and rivers of the interior valleys. In the lowlands on the coast grow palm trees, mangrove woods, and savanna grasslands with tropical forest covering the interior hills and valleys. Rivers include the St. Paul, Mesurado, Du, and Po.
The climate is tropical with dry and wet seasons. Annual precipitation measures approximately 75 inches (190 cm). From May to November is the rainy season, followed by the dry season from December through April. During the dry season winds from the Sahara Desert called the Harmattan create wild temperature fluctuations from December to the beginning of March.
Careysburg District and Todee District are the two statutorily created districts in the county. Greater Monrovia District and St. Paul River District are also recognized, but are not officially recognized as administrative districts. There are 21 townships, seven cities, one borough, and two chiefdoms contain with these districts. Administration varies by subunit with a governor running the borough, mayors in charge of cities, commissioners administering townships, and superintendents controlling districts.
Careysburg’s capital is Bentol City, with a district population of 28,463. The main ethnic groups are Kpelle, Bassa, Mano, Kissi, Loma, and Gola. Both the White Plains Water Treatment Plant and the Mount Coffee Hydropower Project are in the district.
Todee District’s population is 32,695 with farming the primary economic activity. The district is run by chiefdoms and clan systems, as the county contains a large number of native African communities.
The most populous district in the county and the nation, Greater Monrovia District, is home to 1,010,970 people. The district is made up of all the communities surrounding the city of Monrovia, but not the capital itself. Employment is mainly informal, small scale trade and government employment through the national government or foreign governments. The population has members of each of Liberia’s 16 main tribes.
St. Paul River District is the second most populous district in the county with 63,541 residents. Residents are primarily Christians and a member of the Bassa, Dey, or Kpelle tribes. Farming and fishing are the main economic activities along with some small scale trading. The district has one paved road.