The presence of peaceful heterogeneous ethnic group across any country will be a greatest sign of harmony but in today’s world it looks quite impossible to have such type of ideal society. Colonialism and immigration are the most common causes of growing diversity. Most ethnic diverse countries are most trapped in political violence and civil war that always retard economic growth. Worsening economic conditions or war make people more inclined to expand their ethnic division. Furthermore, such nations also lack experiencing strong democracy, harmony and mutual understanding. Weak economics and unstable politics make powerful groups to go violent and compete with others to take control of scare resources. On the other hand richer countries tend to be the least diverse.
European and Northeast Asian countries appear more likely to be the most homogenous while sub-Saharan African nations tend to be the most diverse. African countries have the most ethnic diversity. Papua New Guinea has by far the highest ethnic diversity rating, according to the data, followed by Tanzania. In fact, the world’s 20 most diverse countries are all African.
Based on Fearon’s analysis, Papua New Guinea got highest score on Ethnic Fraction Index of just one probably most as compared to all other nations in the world. Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda stand at 2nd, 3rd and 4th spot that have most ethnic diversity. Listed below are ten countries with most ethnic diversity. The higher the index score, the more ethnically “fractionalized” or diverse the country is.
|Country||Ethnic Fractionalization Index||Ethnic groups|
|Papua New Guinea||1||Melanesian, Papuan, Negrito, Micronesian, Polynesian|
|Tanzania||0.953||mainland – African 99% (of which 95% are Bantu consisting of more than 130 tribes), other 1% (consisting of Asian, European, and Arab); Zanzibar – Arab, African, mixed Arab and African|
|Democratic Republic of Congo||0.933||over 200 African ethnic groups of which the majority are Bantu; the four largest tribes – Mongo, Luba, Kongo (all Bantu), and the Mangbetu-Azande (Hamitic) make up about 45% of the population|
|Uganda||0.93||Baganda 16.9%, Banyankole 9.5%, Basoga 8.4%, Bakiga 6.9%, Iteso 6.4%, Langi 6.1%, Acholi 4.7%, Bagisu 4.6%, Lugbara 4.2%, Bunyoro 2.7%, other 29.6% (2002 census)|
|Liberia||0.899||Kpelle 20.3%, Bassa 13.4%, Grebo 10%, Gio 8%, Mano 7.9%, Kru 6%, Lorma 5.1%, Kissi 4.8%, Gola 4.4%, other 20.1% (2008 Census)|
|Cameroon||0.887||Cameroon Highlanders 31%, Equatorial Bantu 19%, Kirdi 11%, Fulani 10%, Northwestern Bantu 8%, Eastern Nigritic 7%, other African 13%, non-African less than 1%|
|Togo||0.883||African (37 tribes; largest and most important are Ewe, Mina, and Kabre) 99%, European and Syrian-Lebanese less than 1%|
|South Africa||0.88||Black African 80.2%, white 8.4%, colored 8.8%, Indian/Asian 2.5%
note: colored is a term used in South Africa, including on the national census, for persons of mixed race ancestry (2014 est.)
|Congo||0.878||Kongo 48%, Sangha 20%, M’Bochi 12%, Teke 17%, Europeans and other 3%|
|Madagascar||0.861||Malayo-Indonesian (Merina and related Betsileo), Cotiers (mixed African, Malayo-Indonesian, and Arab ancestry – Betsimisaraka, Tsimihety, Antaisaka, Sakalava), French, Indian, Creole, Comoran|
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