Patheos Watermark

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Population (2009 est.)12,666,987
Religious DemographicsMuslim 90%, Christian 1%, indigenous beliefs 9%
Ethnic GroupsMande 50% (Bambara, Malinke, Soninke), Peul 17%, Voltaic 12%, Songhai 6%, Tuareg and Moor 10%, other 5%
LanguagesFrench (official), Bambara 80%, numerous African languages

The country has an area of 474,764 square miles and a population of 12.7 million. Muslims make up an estimated 90 percent of the population. Nearly all Muslims are Sunni. Most of these are Sufi; however, a sizeable minority reject Sufi traditions and refer to themselves as Sunnite or Ahl-al Sunna. An estimated 5 percent of the population is Christian; the Christian community is approximately two-thirds Catholic and one-third Protestant. The remaining 5 percent practices indigenous religious beliefs or no religion. The majority of citizens practice their religion daily.
Groups that practice indigenous religious beliefs reside throughout the country, but are most active in rural areas.
There are several mosques associated with the fundamentalist group Dawa al Tabligh; however, their influence appears to have declined in recent years.