Ethnic Groups in Senegal

Senegal has one of the most diverse and tolerant cultures in the world; it is home to many different ethnic groups that contribute to the cultural and linguistic richness of the country. Below is a rundown of the main ethnic groups that make up the Senegalese people.


The Wolof make up around 40% of the population and are the largest ethnic group. They are known for their traditions of music, storytelling and dance. They are based mostly in the western areas of the country and their language, known as Wolof, is the  most widely spoken in the country.



Mandinka is the second largest ethnic group in Senegal.  They are traditionally merchants and farmers and their language, Maninka, is the second widely spoken language in the country. The Mandinka were the first people to settle in the region, and their influence can still be seen in the architecture, culture and food of Senegal.


The Fula people of Senegal are the third largest ethnic group. The Fula are semi-nomadic herders and are largely based in the northern and eastern parts of the country. Their language, Fula, is the third most widely spoken language.


The Serer people have been living in Senegal for centuries. They are mostly farmers and fishermen and are known for their strong, religious beliefs and adherence to tradition. The Serer language is spoken by over two million people, most of them in Senegal.


Other Ethnic Groups

Other ethnic groups in Senegal include the Jola, Toucouleur, Djola and Balanta. All of these groups have their own distinct cultures and languages, and their influence can be seen throughout the country.

In conclusion, Senegal is a country of diversity, with many different ethnic groups that each have their own language and culture. Due to centuries of co-existence and peaceful co-habitation, Senegal is one of the most tolerant and peaceful societies in the world.