In 2019 Somalia had a population density of 24 residents
per km2. According to
Countryaah, about 50 percent of residents are
nomadic. A settled population is normally found along the Shebeli and Juba rivers and in some areas of the northwest.
The country has a relatively low degree of urbanization
for East Africa; In 2019, 45 percent of the population lived
in cities. The dominant city is the capital Mogadishu (1.7
million residents, 2015). As a result of the civil war, it
is estimated that 3/4 of the residents have left their
normal living areas since 1991. A large number of Somalis
have also moved the country as a result of the fighting. The
drought of recent years has also driven hundreds of
thousands of people from their homes.
Somalis make up about 85 percent of the country's
population. Somalis are divided into six large groups of
clans, named after the man who is considered to be the
ancestor of the various clans in each group. These groups
are dir, mainly living in the northwest, Ishaaq,
who inhabit northern Somalia's central areas, Hawiye,
who reside in the central parts and Shabeeleflodens valley.
Daarood is the most widely distributed group of
clans on the surface. They are found in the northeastern
parts of the country as well as south of the Juba River. The
greatest dialectal difference is that of the two closely
related groups of digil and rahanweyn,
which inhabit the area between the two rivers.
The clan and the clan community are central to Somali
political and social life. Although Somalia is often
regarded as ethnically, religiously and linguistically
homogeneous, it is mainly towards the clan kin that a Somali
is solidarity. By counting the lineage of the ancestry,
every Somali can place himself in the network of obligations
and rights that clan membership entails. Above all, this
includes the collective payment of blood money (diya).
In addition to the six large groups of clans, all of whom
ultimately believe to have a common origin, Somalia is also
inhabited by several bantu-speaking groups, including zigula
and gosha (shambara), mainly in the valley of the Juba
river. There they feed on agriculture. These groups are said
to be descendants of slaves from eastern Africa. However,
many of them have been forced to leave their homes because
of persecution, and in 2004 several were transferred to the
United States. Other Bantu people live in the coastal areas.
Prior to the Civil War, many of the cities had residents of
Persian and Arab immigrants.
As a source of supply, old nomadic livestock management
of camels, cattle, goats and sheep dominates. Livestock
caregivers are estimated at 60 percent of the population.
Extensive cultivations of millet and maize, for example, are
mainly concentrated in the river valleys and the area
between the rivers. As a result of prolonged political
instability and war, over a million people live as
internally displaced people in the country, and a large
number have left Somalia.
Somalia is very uniformly linguistic. Somali dominates
completely and has been official language since 1973.
Italian, English and Arabic are also spoken by many. Small
groups speak the Cushitic oromo and boni as well as a few
Islam is the official religion. Practically the entire
population (1999) is Muslim, almost all Sunnis. Shafi'ite
law school dominates. Sufism has a very strong position, and
Qadiriya is probably the largest of the order. The Siyad
Barre regime's Equal Rights Act for Women and Men 1975 was
strongly criticized by Muslim leaders; in practice, the old
inheritance rules continue to apply. Some Islamist
organizations have had some successes, but the demands for
increased political significance for Islam are countered by
many who want to separate religious influence from secular