Population, Population Characteristics
Bight of Biafra, chief port, Garoua, Maroua, Bamileke
The population of Cameroon (2002 estimate) is 16,184,748. The overall population density is 34 persons per sq km (88 per sq mi).
The capital is Yaounde (greater city population, 1997 estimate, 1,000,000). Douala, on the Bight of Biafra, with an estimated population of 1,500,000 in 1997, is the chief port. Other principal towns include Garoua (160,000) and Maroua (140,000). About 25 percent of the population adheres to traditional religions; about 22 percent of the population is Muslim; the remaining majority is Christian. Muslims predominate in the north and Christians in the south. Cameroon contains about 200 ethnic groups who speak as many different languages. In general, Bantu-speaking peoples inhabit the south, and Sudanic-speaking peoples dominate in the north. Among the more important ethnic groups are the Bamileke, a Bantu-speaking people, and the Fulani, a Muslim people. French and English are both official languages. French dominates, however; English is confined mainly to the west.
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