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Senegal had 14,668,522 inhabitants in 2017. The population grows by about 2-3% per year and by 2.39% in 2017. The distribution of ages is very uneven. More than 40% of the population is younger than 15 years. Only 3% of the population is over 65 years old. The life expectancy of the Senegalese is on average about 62 years.

The population density is approximately 75 inhabitants per km2. Currently about 47% of the population lives in the cities. Greater Dakar currently has nearly 3 million inhabitants. Other large cities are Thiès, Kaolack and Ziguinchor.

Wolof Women in traditional costume and hairdress, SenegalWolof Women in traditional costume and hairdress, SenegalPhoto: Queen Mother Kradin Goree CC 4.0 International no changes made

The largest population group is the Wolof (approx. 41.6%), who mainly live in the big cities and the regions of Dakar and Thiès.

The other population groups are much smaller in number. The Sérèr are mainly farmers and mainly live in the regions of Thiès and Fatick.

The Peul were trading nomads and pastoralists living in the north, center and southeast. Most Peul no longer travel around but live in the Senegal Valley and the Casamance. They are notable for their light skin color. The Toucouleur are farmers and live in the north along the Senegal River.

Diola SenegalDiola SenegalPhoto: KaBa CC 3.0 Unported no changes made

The Diola live in the Casamance. Due to the isolated location, historical and religious background, and increasing settlement of the Wolof in the Casamance, the area where the Diola live is a source of conflict. There are also about 15 smaller tribes in Senegal.

As a result of the centuries of French rule, many French, Syrians and Lebanese still live in Senegal, who are mainly active in small and medium-sized businesses and in the service sector. Small groups of Malians, Gambians, Guineans, Cape Verdeans and Guinea-Bissauers also live there. Many refugees from neighboring countries also live in Senegal. About 250,000 Senegalese live abroad, mainly in France.


Derksen, G. / Gambia, Senegal

Dirkx, J. / Reishandboek Senegal

Else, D. / The Gambia and Senegal
Lonely Planet

Gambia en Senegal

Hesseling, G. / Senegal/Gambia : mensen, politiek, economie, cultuur
Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated May 2024
Copyright: Team The World of Info