Map of the ethnic groups of Senegal drawn by David Boilat (1853)

There are various ethnic groups in Senegal. According to "CIA World Factbook: Senegal" (2019 estimates), the ethnic groups are Wolof (39%); Fula (probably including the Halpulaar speaking Toucouleur) (27.5%)); Serer group (probably including the Serer Cangin peoples (16%)); Mandinka (4.9%); Jola (4.2%); Soninke (2.4%); other 5.4% (includes Europeans and persons of Lebanese descent), and other minor ethnic groups like the Bassari, Maures or (Naarkajors)).[1] Many subgroups of those can be further distinguished, based on religion, location and language. According to one 2005 estimate, there are at least twenty distinguishable groups of largely varying size.[2]

Major groups

Wolof of Cayor (1890 engraving)
On the way to a boukout in Baïla in Jola country
Bedick girls in Iwol
Senegalese boy on Gorée Island

A few Bassari and Bedick live in the hills in eastern Senegal around Kédougou. These are subgroups of the Tenda, same as the Coniagui and the Badiaranké.

Europeans and descendants of Lebanese migrants are fairly numerous in urban centres in Senegal, about 50,000. Most of the Lebanese originate from the Southern Lebanese city of Tyre, which is known as "Little West Africa" and has a main promenade that is called "Avenue du Senegal".[11]

Minor groups

There are also many other smaller representations of other ethnic groups in Senegal, including the Khassonké, the Lawbe and the Papel.

There are also small Chinese and Vietnamese migrant communities.


The predominant ethnic groups in Senegal share a common cultural background so that, apart from their languages that also have many similarities, there are no effective cultural barriers between them. [dubious ] This is why marriage between ethnic groups in Senegal is so common.[original research?]

The Serer people who have vehemently resisted Islamization for almost a thousand years in order to preserve their religious beliefs and way of life have been historically persecuted by the Muslims.[12][13][14][15] Since the 20th century, their religious and ethnic persecution is less visible. However, they are now viewed as the object of scorn and prejudice.[16][17]

See also

Related articles



  1. ^ a b c d e f g CIA World Factbook: Senegal. [1] (retrieved 15 April 2024):
    • "Wolof 39.7%, Pulaar 27.5%, Sereer 16%, Mandinka 4.9%, Jola 4.2%, Soninke 2.4%, other 5.4% (includes Europeans and persons of Lebanese descent) (2019 est.)."
  2. ^ Atlas du Sénégal (in French). Paris: Éditions J. A. 2007. pp. 72–73.
  3. ^ "The World Factbook:Senegal". CIA. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  4. ^ Godwin Sonko, Patience (2003). Ethnic groups of the Senegambia Region: A brief history. Patience Sonko-Godwin.
  5. ^ Peuples du Sénégal (in French). Éditions Sépia. 1996. p. 182.
  6. ^ Donal Cruise O'Brien (1979). "Langues et nationalité au Sénégal. L'enjeu politique de la wolofisation". Année Africaine (in French): 319–335.
  7. ^ "The World Factbook:Senegal". CIA. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  8. ^ "The World Factbook:Senegal". CIA. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  9. ^ Christian Roche (2000). Histoire de la Casamance : Conquête et résistance 1850-1920 (in French). Karthala. p. 408. ISBN 978-2-86537-125-9.
  10. ^ Jean-Claude Marut (2002). Le problème casamançais est-il soluble dans l'Etat-nation? (in French). Paris: Karthala. pp. 425–458. ISBN 978-2-84586-236-4. ((cite book)): |journal= ignored (help)
  11. ^ Leichtman, Mara (2015). Shi'i Cosmopolitanisms in Africa: Lebanese Migration and Religious Conversion in Senegal. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press. pp. 26, 31, 51, 54, 86. ISBN 978-0253015990.
  12. ^ Page, Willie F., "Encyclopedia of African history and culture: African kingdoms (500 to 1500)." Vol.2, Facts on File (2001), pp. 209, 676, ISBN 0-8160-4472-4
  13. ^ Streissguth, Thomas, "Senegal in Pictures, Visual Geography", Second Series, Twenty-First Century Books (2009), p. 23,ISBN 1-57505-951-7
  14. ^ Oliver, Roland Anthony, Fage, J. D., "Journal of African history", Volume 10, p. 367. Cambridge University Press (1969), p. 367
  15. ^ Mwakikagile, Godfrey, "Ethnic Diversity and Integration in The Gambia: The Land, The People and The Culture," (2010), p. 11, ISBN 9987-9322-2-3
  16. ^ Abbey, M T Rosalie Akouele, "Customary Law and Slavery in West Africa", Trafford Publishing (2011), pp. 481–482, ISBN 1-4269-7117-6
  17. ^ Mwakikagile, Godfrey, "Ethnic Diversity and Integration in The Gambia: The Land, The People and The Culture," (2010), p. 241, ISBN 9987-9322-2 Parameter error in ((ISBN)): length