Gabon

There seem to be particular difficulties in conducting a census of Gabon’s population and figures therefore vary depending on the source. The latest figures from the 2010 census give a total of 1,480,000 inhabitants, more than 600,000 of whom live in the capital and its surrounding area.

The average population density is 4.6 inhabitants/km2 for a land area of 257,667 km2. If we take into account the population density in the capital (1,800 inhabitants/km2), however, the rest of the country remains inhabited at only a density of around 1 inhabitant/km2.

The population comprises some 50 ethnic groups of different cultures and languages, the main ones being the Fang (32%), Mpongw(15%), Mbd(14%), Punu (12%), Barkor Batk, Bakota and Obamba. 

Indigenous Peoples in Gabon 

Throughout Gabon, there are also hunter/gatherer communities (often called Pygmies) comprising numerous ethnic groups (Baka, Babongo, Bakoya, Baghame, Barimba, Akoula, Akwoa, etc.) with different languages, cultures and geographical locations. The Pygmy communities live both in the towns and in the forest. Their livelihoods and their cultures are inextricably linked to the forest, which covers 85% of Gabon. According to official data stated during a conference in Libreville on 27 April 2017, there are now some 16,162 Pygmies living across the national territory.The Baka live in Woleu-Ntem, particularly in the seven villages of Minvoul, and they number between 373 and 683 individuals. Other Baka have also been noted in Makokou, and upstream of Ivindo. They number some 866 individuals.

There are also Bakoya living in Ivindo, in Djouah (north) and Loué (east) districts of Zadié department (Mékambo). They number some 1,618 individuals across Ogooué-Ivindo. The greatest concentration of Pygmies is found among the Babongo of Lopé (Ogooué-Lolo), estimated at 708 individuals, but also the Bakouyi (Mulundu) and Babongo of Koulamoutou, Pana and lboundji, numbering some 2,325.To these statistics must be added the Babongo or Akoula of Haut-Ogooué (4,075 individuals) and those in Ngounié and Nyanga, 4,442 individuals. To complete this geographical tour of Gabon’s ethnolinguistic Pygmy communities, there are the Bavarama and Barimba in Nyanga (2,263 persons) and the Akowa (Port-Gentil, Omboue and Gamba) who account for around 327 individuals.

Recognition and the UNDRIP

In 2005, Gabon agreed that its Indigenous Peoples Development Plan (PDPA) should form part of the World Bank loan agreement for the Forest and Environment Sector Project. This was the Gabonese government’s first official recognition of the existence of Indigenous Peoples and of its responsibilities towards them. In 2007, Gabon voted in favour of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The Indigenous World 2024: Gabon

Gabon's total population is estimated at 2,397,368. The percentage of Indigenous Peoples in Gabon is thought to be less than 1% of the national population, or between 18,000 and 20,000 people.[i] This estimate will become clearer when the final report of the 2023 general population census is published.

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Indigenous World 2020: Gabon

There seem to be particular difficulties in conducting a census of Gabon’s population and figures therefore vary depending on the source. The latest figures from the 2010 census give a total of 1,480,000 inhabitants, more than 600,000 of whom live in the capital and its surrounding area.

The average population density is 4.6 inhabitants/km2 for a land area of 257,667 km2. If we take into account the population density in the capital (1,800 inhabitants/km2), however, the rest of the country remains inhabited at only a density of around 1 inhabitant/km2.

The population comprises some 50 ethnic groups of different cultures and languages, the main ones being the Fang (32%), Mpongwè (15%), Mbédé (14%), Punu (12%), Baréké or Batéké, Bakota and Obamba.

Continue Reading

Indigenous World 2023: Gabon

There seem to be particular difficulties in conducting a census of Gabon’s population and figures therefore vary depending on the source. The latest figures from the 2010 Census give a total of 1,480,000 inhabitants, more than 600,000 of whom live in the capital and its surrounding area.

Continue Reading

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