Although the Malagasy ethnic group makes up around 90% of its population, it has 18 ethnic sub-groups which contribute heavily to the nation’s diversity. Genetic research has shown that Asian influences are particularly strong, as are East African and Arab ones.
The countdown of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world continues on the next page.
9. Republic of Congo
What makes a country ethnically diverse? Well, when more than 60 languages are spoken within your borders, as they are in the Republic of Congo, that is surely more than enough to qualify.
8. South Africa
Although South Africa shed its race-related issues some time ago, the ethnic diversity in the country is stunning. Immigration only adds to the wide range of ethnicities present in the country.
With more than 40 different ethnic groups and several religions, Togo is one of the most diverse countries in the world. In addition to the official French language, several native African tongues are spoken, depending on the ethnic background of the individual.
More than 260 different languages are spoken in Cameroon, with immigration adding new ones to the list on a constant basis. Yet immigration is not the only factor, as refugee arrivals have also had their impact on ethnic diversity.
Around 95% of Liberia’s population is indigenous, yet this does not mean that there is a lack of ethnic diversity. A wide range of tribal groups dating back centuries, ethnic groups in different regions, and immigration are important reasons for this.
Uganda is so diverse that no single ethnic group makes up the majority of the population. Hence, Idi Amin’s expulsion of the Ugandan-Asians forty years ago did not really have much of an impact on ethnic diversity.
3. Democratic Republic of Congo
Over 200 ethnic groups reside in the Democratic Republic of Congo, of which the majority are the Bantu peoples. The large increase in population has only helped to accentuate this diversity even more.
Although 99% of Tanzania’s population is of African descent, this does not mean that it lacks ethnic diversity. Ethnic groups are numerous, as are the amount of spoken languages and religions.
1. Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea is by far the most heterogeneous country in the world, with hundreds of ethnic groups living within its borders. In addition, more than 820 languages are spoken, thanks to immigrants from all over and a diverse indigenous population.