Countryaah data, the country is densely populated and has a high
urbanization grass for West Africa; In 2019, 61 percent of
the population lived in cities. The two largest cities in
2014 were Kanifeng (382 100 residents) and Brikama (95 000).
The population of Gambia consists of malinke, wolof,
fulani, diola and tukulor. The largest group is Malinke,
which at the 2003 census made up 42% of the population. They
feed predominantly on agriculture, and despite colonization
and modernization, much of the traditional social structure
remains. The Malinkese community was traditionally divided
into three layers: free peasants, among whom rulers of the
traditional kingdoms were appointed from the leading
genealogies, craftsmen, among whom are especially marked
iron smiths and hoof poets (see griot), and "slaves".
Although most of them are now Muslims, indigenous religious
beliefs still play a significant role.
The likewise agricultural wolof, which constitutes 16 per
cent of the population, has a social organization similar to
malinkes. Among wolof, Islam has a stronger foothold, and in
the cities they are dominant as traders and officials.
Fulani, which accounts for 18 percent of the population,
feeds predominantly on livestock management and is nominally
Closest to the coast are the agricultural diols, which
make up 10 percent of the population; they too are
predominantly Muslims, although elements of indigenous
religion play an important role in their ethnic identity.
In addition, there is a small group called Tukulas
(5,200), who are resident farmers as well as Islamic
religious leaders and scribes; culturally and
linguistically, they are closely related to fulani. The
country also has a few thousand Europeans, 2,500 Lebanese
and 2,500 Moroccans.
English was the official language of 2014, when President
Yahya Jammeh announced that its status as an official
language would cease. The native languages belong to the
male branch of the Niger-Congo family. The main language of
the Gambia is Malinke except in a smaller area around the
middle course of the Gambia River where the western Atlantic
fulani is spoken.
Sunnislam is the dominant religion in the Gambia, and
comprises about 90% of the population. The majority of
Gambia's Muslims are sufis of the Malikite law school. Islam
came to the Gambia in the 11th century with Berber merchants
from southern Mauritania. These Berbers were strongly
influenced by Almoravid ideology and religiosity (see
Almoravids). Today the most important organizers are
Tijaniya, Qadiriya and Muridya. These arrangements pray
together in joint mosques. In the country there are also
small Muslim groups that are not Sufis, including a group of
Ahmadiyya Muslims. The Christians (2010) account for just
over 4% and among them Catholics dominate with 2.75%.
Domestic beliefs play a significant role and are covered by
about 8% of the population. The adherents of the modern
religion of Bahai are close to 1%.
The country has no state religion but denotes itself
secular. Constitution and other laws guarantee religious
freedom, something that the state in practice respects. When
it comes to cases of marriage, divorce and inheritance,
these are dealt with under traditional Islamic law. The
Supreme Muslim Council is an independent body that advises
the government on issues related to religion. The Council is
largely funded by the government, despite the fact that the
government is not represented in the Council other than
through the minister of religion's formal relations with the
council. There are no requirements for religious
organizations to be registered. Schools, both private and
public, are allowed to conduct religious instruction.
Marriage between Christians and Muslims is common and