The Ethnic compositions of South Sudan: How does it look like in your mental picture?

Posted: October 21, 2018 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers, Simon Wuor Gai

By Dr. Simon Wuor Gai, USA

Ethnic composition, South Sudan1

Sunday, October 21, 2018 (PW) — A little research has been done in the Republic of South Sudan, regarding its ethnic compositions, but the data I found in my research is very interesting. It gives me the ability to sketch the below two graphs statistically. With that in mind, my data leads me to conclude that there are statistically significant differences in terms of ethnic populations across the Republic of South Sudan.

For instance, the data I have collected informs me that Dinka is the largest tribe in the Republic of South Sudan, approximately about 4 million people, or 36% during the referendum years period, according to 2008 and 2009 in our national census. In the same line of reasoning, Nuer Ethnic Group falls on the second lines by 16% or roughly about 2 million people. These findings allow me to visually see and observe the two largest tribes in the Republic of South Sudan figuratively. It leads me to believe that the Dinka population is twice, as much as that of the Nuer ethnic group population.

It needs to be noted that the legally recognized 64 tribes of South Sudan are represented in these 2 figures. However, only ten ethnic groups are individually named here, perhaps because of their populations. Other 54 tribes are only clustered together and they only represent 28% of the total population, which is roughly about 2,800,000 to 2,900, 000 people, respectively. I used the word legally recognized tribes because there are some tribes that may not be legally recognized yet and still pending at this time.

Another interesting point to note in the figure is that the aforementioned 10 ethnic groups represented 72% of the total population, which makes me to believe that these ten tribes are the most populous ethnic group in the Republic of South Sudan. Furthermore, it is interesting to note in the chart that 52% of our country’s population is made up of Dinka, and Nuer, which confirms our beliefs that these are the largest two tribes in the Republic of South Sudan.

I also want the readers to note that the second diagram is a duplicate of the first figure in different forms and shapes. It shows each ethnic group’s name more clearly than the first bar chart. Otherwise, all percentages are shown in the first figure. Furthermore, I want to inform you that I am not politically motivated in this short article. Rather, the facts are reported as they are, but with a different format, as presented here by the figure. “Data don’t lie!” If you have anything to add, you are highly welcome to dispute this conclusion by either replicating it or starting your own research fresh.

What does this ethnic composition mean to you?

Well, I also want my readers to know that this ethnic population distribution does not suggest any ethnic representation, distribution of power, legal authority, or anything along those lines. My motivation here is solely for knowledge purpose. However, it will be so helpful, though, if we all know how ethnic composition looks like, especially if one wants to be a politician either now, or in the near future.

My fellow countrymen and women, the liberation struggle mentality by using bullet and AK Rifle are over. The culture of war is now replaced by a culture of peace and peaceful coexistence among the tribes. It is time now for political power. How are you going to acquire the political authority?

One, one needs to acquaint himself/herself with all ethnic group compositions within the Republic of South Sudan. By knowing all these ethnic compositions, you will be in a better position to know where to go and campaign for a political office. Two, being knowledgeable about percentages of all ethnic group populations is another significant milestone that can give you a mathematical calculus to win a political authority. Third, getting to know the terrain of your political landscape is another advantage over your political opponent. When you limit yourself to only your tribal bases, you have denied yourself all these resources at your disposal.

To conclude this short and brief piece, it is a high time for the people of South Sudan to familiarize themselves with the abovementioned resources. That is the ethnic compositions, knowledge of percentages for each ethnic group, and knowledge of terrain or geographical locations. Note: The limitation of this piece is that I am still researching this topic, but I could not wait to post this little article as a groundbreaking for all of us. Please add your inputs as much as you can.

Thank you all and have a blessed night/day.

Dr. Simon is a concerned citizen of the Republic of South Sudan, residing in the Diaspora.
You can reach me at

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made is the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël Media (PW) website. If you want to submit an opinion article, commentary or news analysis, please email it to PaanLuel Wël Media (PW) website do reserve the right to edit or reject material before publication. Please include your full name, a short biography, email address, city and the country you are writing from.

  1. Andy Murusal says:

    The National Census did not include “tribes”. revisit the Form please otherwise for those with knowledge yours shall be another biased piece.


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