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Gambia, Population

Malinke, Mandinka, Jola, Wolof, Fulani

A wide variety of ethnic groups live side by side in The Gambia while preserving individual languages and traditions. The population comprises the Mandinka (also known as Mandingo or Malinke), the largest ethnic group (representing about 42 percent of the country’s inhabitants); the Fulani (about 18 percent), who predominate in the eastern part of the country; the Wolof (about 16 percent), who live mainly in Banjul and the western region; the Jola (about 10 percent), who live in the western region; the Serahuli (about 9 percent), whose rulers introduced Islam into the region in the 12th century and who are primarily traders and nomads; and the small Aku community, partly descended from liberated slaves. In 2000, 32 percent of the population lived in urban areas.

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Article key phrases:

Malinke, Mandinka, Jola, Wolof, Fulani, Banjul, largest ethnic group, nomads, Islam, Gambia, rulers, traders, western region, traditions, Mandingo, urban areas, century, percent, population


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