People and Culture

The Ugandan population is primarily made up of three ethnic groups, the Bantu, the Central-Sudanic (known traditionally as the Nilo-Hamitic) and the Nilotic. The Bantu constitute the largest group and they include the Baganda (17%) in central Uganda, the Bahima (2%), the Bafumbira (6%), the Banyankole (8%) and the Bakiga (8%) in the southwest, the Bagisu in the east, the Basoga in the southeast, the Banyaro (3%) and the Batooroo (3%) in the mid-west and other groups in smaller numbers.

North Uganda is largely populated by the Nilotic who constitute the second largest group. They include the Acholi (4%), the Langi (6%), and the Lugbara (4%), who live in the northwest. The pastoral northeast is comparatively drier and is populated by the Karamojong (2%). About 1% of the population is made up of Arabs, Asians, Europeans and others. Approximately 3,000 Arabs of various nationalities live in Uganda today.

Historically, Asians had accounted for the largest non-indigenous ethnic group but in 1972, Idi Amin expelled 50,000 of them from Uganda. Most of the Asians had been involved in industry, trade and other professions. After Idi Amin was overthrown in 1979, Asians started returning to Uganda. The number of Asians in Uganda is still quite small today.