- May 2016
That's the thing. From the information I can find Liberia wasn't a "dirt poor" country, at least not for the so called Americos.Perhaps because even living in the US under extremely bad conditions was viewed as being preferable to living in Liberia? I mean, Jim Crow was truly vile (and a lot of blacks did leave the South after 1910 and moved to other parts of the US--probably at least in large part in response to this), but living in a dirt-poor African country isn't necessarily better. I mean, Yes, they're going to have freedom, but due to Liberia's backwardness, it would take them a long time to fully develop it.
Deals and Development in a Resource-Dependent, Fragile State: The Political Economy of Growth in Liberia, 1960–2014 - Oxford ScholarshipLiberia’s growth collapse is the largest on the modern record. From its peak in 1972 to its nadir in 1995, Liberia’s real income per capita fell by an astonishing 93 per cent. In 1972, on standard purchasing power comparisons,1 Liberia was ranked just ahead of Thailand and Egypt, 107th of 163 countries—not rich, but by no means poor. Its GDP per capita was more than 80 per cent higher than that of China, Indonesia, Vietnam, and India.
I'm of course no expert on the country and no expert when it comes to economics, but much of what I could find states that it wasn't a poor country and it's hey days were the 50's-60's.