The ethnic groups of Africa number in the thousands, each generally having its own language (or dialect of a language) and culture. The ethnolinguistic groups include various Afro-Asiatic, Indo-European, Khoisan, Niger-Congo and Nilo-Tenerean populations.


The official population count of the various ethnic groups in Africa has in some instances been controversial because certain groups believe populations are fixed to give other ethnicities numerical superiority (as in the case of Nigeria's Hausa, Fulani, Yoruba and Igbo people). The following ethnic groups number ten million people or more:

Central Africa

Horn of Africa

1. Oromo

  • Family: Cushitic
  • Language: Oromo
  • Population (million): 40
  • Countries: Ethiopia (89%), Kenya
  • Religion: Ethiopian Orthodox (57.4%), Protestant (36.3%)

2. Amhara

  • Family: Semitic
  • Language: Amharic
  • Population (million): 24
  • Countries: Ethiopia (83%)
  • Religion: Ethiopian Orthodox (91.2%), Protestant (8.1%)

3. Somali

  • Family: Cushitic
  • Language: Somali
  • Population (million): 18.5
  • Countries: Somalia (59%), Ethiopia (25%), Kenya (13%)
  • Religion: Somali traditional religion (%), Protestant (%)

North Africa

Southeast Africa

Southern Africa

West Africa

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