The country has an area of 106,000 square miles and a population of 14.8 million. The 2006 census stated that 61 percent of the population practices Islam and that the majority of this group is Sunni. The Government also estimated that 19 percent of the population is Roman Catholic, 15 percent maintain exclusively indigenous beliefs, and 4 percent are members of various Protestant denominations.
Statistics on religious affiliation are approximate because the majority of citizens practice indigenous religious beliefs to varying degrees and adherence to Christian and Muslim beliefs is often nominal.
Muslims reside largely in the northern, eastern, and western border regions, and Christians live in the center of the country. Persons practice indigenous religious beliefs throughout the country, especially in rural communities. Ouagadougou, the capital, has a mixed Muslim and Christian population. Bobo-Dioulasso, the second largest city, is mostly Muslim. Small Syrian and Lebanese immigrant communities reside in the two largest cities and are more than 90 percent Christian.
There are approximately 63 different ethnic groups. Most are religiously heterogeneous, but the Fulani and Dioula communities are majority Muslim.