The town gets its name after the head of a local anteater creek. Zwedru is surrounded by a lot of forests, and lies in a tropical region. The northwestern section of Zwedru has an important forest region with rare bird species.
Before the Liberian Civil War, Zwedru was known for timber production and its wood products industry. As of the 2008 census, Zwedru has a population of 23,903. Of this, 11,828 were male and 12,075 female.