The urbanisation rate in 2011 was 57.3%. Provisional figures from the 2003 census show that the gap between the urban and rural populations is narrowing as more areas are declared urban.
While urban migration, development projects, and modernisation are bringing more Gambians into contact with Western habits and values, indigenous forms of dress and celebration and the traditional emphasis on the extended family remain integral parts of everyday life.
The UNDP’s Human Development Report for 2010 ranks the Gambia 151st out of 169 countries on its Human Development Index, putting it in the ‘Low Human Development’ category.
This index compares life expectancy, years of schooling, gross national income (GNI) per capita and some other factors.
The total fertility rate (TFR) was estimated at 3.98 children/woman in 2013.
Avariety of ethnic groups live in the Gambia, each preserving its own language and traditions. The Mandinka ethnicity is the largest followed by the Fula, Wolof, Jola/Karoninka, Serahule, Serers, Manjago, Bambara, Aku Marabou and others.
The Krio people, locally known as Akus, constitute one of the smallest ethnic minorities in the Gambia. They are descendants of the Sierra Leone Creole people and have been traditionally concentrated in the capital.
The roughly 3,500 non-African residents include Europeans and families of Lebanese origin (0.23% of the total population). Most of the European minority is British, although many of the British left after independence.
Languages of the Gambia
English is the official language of the Gambia. Other languages are Mandinka, Wolof, Fula, Serer, Krio, Jola and other indigenous vernaculars. Owing to the country’s geographical setting, knowledge of French (an official language in much of West Africa) is relatively widespread.