Chic African Culture Blog

Did you know? No African countries begin with the letters F, H, I, J, O, P, Q, V, W, X, or Y.

List of Largest Ethnic Groups in Africa

List of the largest ethnic group in each African Country.

An ethnic group is a category of people who belonging to or deriving from the cultural, religious, or linguistic traditions of a people or country. People who identify with each other based on similarities, such as common ancestral, language, social, and cultural experiences.

Race is associated with biology, whereas ethnicity is associated with culture.
Learning at a refugee camp in East Africa

Some believe belonging to an ethnic group does not come from individual choice but others impose ethnicity. Race is associated with biology, whereas ethnicity is associated with culture. Therefore, an ethnic group is a subjective category based on personal feelings, tastes, or opinions of others. 

Largest Ethnic Groups in every African Country

2006-2016 CIA census reports

African Country
Largest Ethnic Group
Arab-Berber 99%
Ovimbundu 37%
Fon and related 38.4%
Setswana 79%
Burkina Faso
Mossi 52.5%
Hutu 85%
Cameroon Highlanders 31%
Cabo Verde
Creole mulatto 71%
Central African Republic
Baya 33%
Sara 25.9%
Antalote, Cafre, Makoa, Oimatsaha, Sakalava (Comoros’ population is a mixture of Arabs, Persians, Indonesians, Africans, and Indians)
The Democratic Republic of the Congo
Over 200 African ethnic groups of which the majority are Bantu; the four largest tribes - Mongo, Luba, Kongo (all Bantu), and the Mangbetu-Azande (Hamitic) make up about 45% of the population
Republic of the Congo
Kongo 48%
Akan 32.1%
Somali 60%
Egyptian 99.6%
Fang 85.7%
Tigrinya 55%
Oromo 34.4%
Fang 32%
The Gambia
Mandinka/Jahanka 33.8%
Akan 47.5%
Fulani (Peul) 33.9%
Fulani 28.5%
Kikuyu 22%
Sotho 99.7%
Kpelle 20.3%
Berber and Arab 97%
Merina 26%
Chewa 32.6%
Bambara 34.1%
Black Moors 40%
Creole 86.5%
Arab-Berber 99%
Ethnic groups are not broken down in percentages however, the country is 99.66% African. The main ethnic groups in Mozambique are Makhuwa, Tsonga, Makonde, Shangaan, Shona, Sena, Ndau, and other indigenous groups.
Ovambo 50%
Hausa 53.1%
Hausa and Fulani 29%
Hutu 84%
Sao Tome and Principe
Mestico or mixed-blood, descendants of Portuguese colonists and African slaves figures vary from 33%-68%
Wolof 38.7%
Mixed French, African, Indian, Chinese, and Arab. Seychelles has no indigenous population and was first permanently settled by a small group of French planters, African slaves, and South Indians in 1770.
Sierra Leone
Temne 35%
Somali 85%
South Africa
Zulu 21 %
South Sudan
Dinka 35.8%
Sudanese Arab 70%
Swaziland (renamed the country eSwatini in April 2018)
Swazi 84.3%
Bantu 95%
Ewe figures vary from 21%-32%
Arab 98%
Baganda 16.5%
Bemba 21%
Shona 82%

Some believe belonging to an ethnic group does not come from individual choice but others impose ethnicity.

Did you know?
Throughout the world, ethnicity is used as a social measure of differences between groups of people.

Africa is surrounded by water here are a few African Island facts.

Madagascar is the 4th large island in the world and is located in the Indian Ocean supporting a unique biology, about 90% of its plants and animals are found nowhere else on earth.

Composed of 155 islands, Seychelles is Africa's smallest country. By far the largest island is Mahe, home to about 90% of the population and the site of its capital city of Victoria.

Cabo Verde has a strategic location 310 miles or 500 km from the west coast of Africa near major north-south sea routes; important communications station; important sea and air refueling site.

Africa is surrounded by water but by definition Africa is not a island because Africa is a continent and continents can not be considered islands because of their size and also by historic definition since many geographers define islands and continents as two different things.

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Being African in America I have grown up learning about different ethnic cultures. My father and mother are historians of African culture and history and their influence expanded my activities to several best-selling cookbooks, magazine columns, self-branded products, and a popular African culture and food blog.

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