Ethnien 11 Ethnien 10 Ethnien 09 Ethnien 08 Ethnien 07 Ethnien 06 Ethnien 05 Ethnien 04 Ethnien 03 Ethnien 02 Ethnien 01

Namibia's Population

"One Namibia - one Nation" is the Namibian government's motto since Independence was achieved. And indeed, today there is a great feeling of solidarity amongst the Namibian people despite the variety of ethnic groups and the fact that Namibia is a multicultural nation. Each of the eleven national groups has its own history, language and culture and, as a result of the South African apartheid policy, its own homeland, although that system has been abolished. People still follow, particularly in rural areas, a traditional lifestyle with tribal and family communities.

In total, Namibia only has about 2 million inhabitants. More than half of them, the Ovambos, Kavangos, Himbas and Caprivians, live in the rural regions of the north.

Photo: Himba woman with children in Kaokoland
Ethnic groups in Namibia Nama Rehoboth Baster Herero San (Bushmen) Damara Caprivians Kavango Ovambo Himba
In central Namibia live about 30% of the Namibians, mainly Herero and Damara and the majority of the white population, most of them in Windhoek and in the towns of Walvis Bay and Swakopmund.

The least populated part is the dry south, where only 7% of the population live, mainly Nama and farmers of Afrikaans or German origin. Most of them live in the towns of Keetmanshoop and Luederitz.

Like South Africa and other African countries, Namibia has a high birthrate. The main problems in Namibia are poverty and lack of education, although the SWAPO government has made some progress in this regard. Another pressing problem is, again like in other parts of Africa, the high rate of HIV infection and mortality from Aids.