There are about 20 ethnic groups in Senegal which are represented socially and culturally. There are four ethnic groups which are considered as the major tribes in Senegal, they are;

  • Wolof
  • Fula
  • Serer
  • Jola


The Wolof ethnic group is the largest ethnic group found in Senegal comprising over 40% of the total population of the country. The Wolof tribe can be found in other West African countries like Gambia and Mauritania.

The native language of the Wolof tribe is the Wolof language which is the most widely spoken language in the Republic of Senegal. Majority of the Wolof tribe practice Islam as their religion.


The Fula ethnic group is the second largest in Senegal which comprises about 25% of the total population of the country. The Fula tribe are mainly muslims occupying the Futa Toro region, a semi-desert region towards the Senegal River between Senegal and Mauritania. The Fula tribe can also be found in the Sahel region of West Africa.

The major occupation of the Fula tribe is pastoral farming. They speak the Fula or Fulani or Fulfude language.


The Serer ethnic group is the third largest in the Republic of Senegal covering about 15% of the total population of the country and they occupy the western part of Senegal. The Serer tribe consists of muslims and christians while others practice traditional religion.

The Serer people are into activities such as trade, animal husbandry, farming and pastoral farming.


The Jola ethnic group is the fourth largest in Senegal consisting about 5% of the country’s total population. They are believed to have migrated from Egypt into the western parts of Africa. 

The major occupation of the Jola tribe is farming, producing food and cash crops as well as livestock.

Written and edited by Ebenezer Oladokun


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