The People Of Namibia

About 2.2 million people share the vast spaces of Namibia, the country has one of the lowest population densities in the world with 1.5 people per square kilometre. It is thought that only about a quarter of Namibians live in urban areas, although this figure is certainly increasing as growing numbers of unemployed people leave their villages and farms.

The population of Namibia is not evenly distributed with about 60% of people living in the northern regions, while the southern and coastal areas are almost unpopulated. Namibia's population can be divided into (at least) 11 ethnic groups, the biggest group of which is the Owambo people. As a country Namibia is still trying to find a national identity, but each of the countries cultural groups has its own a rich heritage and traditions.

Due to the unfortunate apartheid history of Namibia the division of people into cultural or tribal groups is an extremely sensitive issue, and most people prefer to think of themselves as Namibians.

The population of Namibia can be divided into the following groups.

The Owambo People

The Owambo is by far the largest population group in Namibia, comprising about one third of the countries total population. Owabo is a collective name for twelve tribal groups that live in northern Namibia and southern Angola. The largest of these tribes

The Kavango People

The Kavango River in north eastern Namibia forms part of the border between Namibia and Angola and also serves as the focal point of the Kavango people.

The Herero People

The Herero people of Namibia are a pastoral cattle breeding nation. it is believed they migrated from the east African lakes arriving in Namibia about 350 years ago.

The Himba People

The Himba are a tribe of nomadic pastoralists who inhabit the Kaokoland area of Namibia.

The Damara People

About 100 000 Damara people live in Namibia, they share a common language with the Nama but have no kinship.

The Nama People

The Nama originally lived around the Orange River in southern Namibia and northern South Africa in the mid nineteenth century their leader Jan Jonker Afrikaner led them to the are of present day Windhoek.

The Topnaar People

The Topnaar are technically a branch of the Nama people. They live in the the western central Namib along the Kuiseb River in the area around the Walvis Bay.

The Rehoboth Baster People

About 55 000 basters live in Namibia, they are the offspring of Nama and Dutch Settlers. these children were called coloured or basters.

The Coloured People

Namibia's Coloured community has its roots in the Cape Province of South Africa.

The Caprivian People

About 100 000 Caprivians live in north eastern Namibia along the Kwando and Zambezi rivers in the Caprivi Strip.

The Bushman / San People

There are approximately 27 000 San in Namibia. The San have inhabited Southern Africa for at least 30 000 years, proof of this habitation can be found in the wealth of rock art that can be found in numerous locations throughout the country.

The Tswana People

There are only about 6000 Tswana people in Namibia, making them the smallest cultural group.

The White People

There are about 75 000 Namibians of European descent, approximately two thirds of these speak Afrikaans, one quarter German and most of the rest English and a few speak Portuguese.

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