Demographics of Libya

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Demographics of Libya
Libya single age population pyramid 2020.png
Population pyramid of Libya in 2020
Population7,137,931 (2022 est.)
Growth rate1.65% (2022 est.)
Birth rate21.56 births/1,000 population
Death rate3.45 deaths/1,000 population
Life expectancy73.29 years
 • male70.27 years
 • female76.11 years
Fertility rate3.09 children
Infant mortality rate11.22 deaths/1,000 live births
Net migration rate-1.61 migrant(s)/1,000 population
Sex ratio
Total1.04 male(s)/female (2022 est.)
At birth1.05 male(s)/female
Nationality
NationalityLibyans
Major ethnicArabs (92%)[1]
Minor ethnicBerbers (5%)
Others (3%)[1]
Language
OfficialArabic
Libyans
ليبيون (Libiūn)
Flag of Libya.svg
Total population
c. 8 million
Regions with significant populations
 Libya
7,137,931 (2022 est.)[2]
 Tunisia7,000 (2016)[3]
 Egypt5,000 (2016)[4]
 Morocco5,000 (2015)
 Algeria4,900 (2018)
 Israel50,600 (2019)[5]
 Italy2,000 (2017)
 United Kingdom4,000[6]
 Germany3,827[6]
 Canada4,515[7][8]
 Malta3,622 (2017)
 United States2,979 (2000)[9]
 Serbia2,269[10]
 Brazil1,820
Languages
Majority: Arabic (Libyan Arabic)
Minority: Berber (Nafusi, Tamasheq), Teda
Foreign: Italian, Turkish, English, Greek
Religion
Majority: Sunni Islam
Minority: Christianity

This article is about Libyans (ليبيون) and their population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, and religious affiliations, as well as other aspects of the Libyan population. No complete population or vital statistics registration exists in Libya.[citation needed]

The Libyan population resides in the country of Libya, a territory located on the Mediterranean coast of North Africa, to the west of and adjacent to Egypt. Libyans live in Tripoli. It is the capital of the country and first in terms of urban population, as well as Benghazi, Libya's second largest city.

Ethnic groups in Libya[1]

  Arabs (92%)
  Berbers (5%)
  Others (3%)

History[edit]

Demographics of Libya, Data of Our World in Data, year 2021; Number of inhabitants in millions.

Historically Berber, over the centuries, Libya has been occupied by the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, and Italians. The Phoenicians had a big impact on Libya. Many of the coastal towns and cities of Libya were founded by the Phoenicians as trade outposts within the southern Mediterranean coast in order to facilitate the Phoenician business activities in the area. Starting in the 8th century BC, Libya was under the rule of the Phoenician Carthage. After the Romans defeated Carthage in the Third Punic War, Libya became a Roman province under the name of Tripolitania until the 7th century AD when Libya was conquered by the Arab Muslims as part of the Arab conquest of North Africa, and Arab migrations to the region began since then. In the 11th century, major migrations of Banu Hilal and Banu Sulaym from the Arabian Peninsula to Libya began, with other nomadic tribes from Eastern Arabia.[11] Centuries after that, the Ottoman Empire conquered Libya in 1551. It remained in control of its territory until 1911 when the country was conquered by Italy. In the 18th century Libya was used as the base for various pirates.the story of the Awlad Sulayman, an Arab group from present-day Libia who dominated northern Lake Chad in the 19th century,. Since the Middle Ages, the populations of this region have shared close political, economic and social ties maintained by the mobility specific to the nomadic way of life. These relationships, fluid due to the difficulties of surviving in this difficult environment, have always been structured in turn, through conflict and cooperation, both of which produced rapidly changing alliances. In the middle of the 18th century, the Awlad Sulayman carved out a vast area of influence for themselves in Sirte and Fezzan by force of arms and by their alliances with neighboring peoples and the Libian administration. Defeated by the Ottoman administration in Tripoli at the end of the 1830s, the survivors of the Awlad Sulayman took refuge in the Lake Chad basin where they reconstituted the conditions for their success in Libya; they controlled trans-Saharan trade and maintained their links with Libian society. Despite the limits imposed on their action by the French colonization of Chad and the Italian colonization of Libia; the Awlad Sulayman retained regional influence during colonial times and appear to maintain it today. In the Second World War Libya was one of the main battlegrounds of North Africa. During the war, the territory was under an Anglo-French military government until it was overrun by the Axis Powers, who, in turn, were defeated by the Allies in 1943.[12]

In 1951, the country was granted independence by the United Nations, being governed by King Idris. In 1969, a military coup led by Muammar Gaddafi resulted in the overthrow of King Idris I. Gaddafi then established an anti-Western leadership. In 1970, Gaddafi ordered all British and American military bases closed.

The Libyan population has increased rapidly after 1969. They were only 2 million in 1968, and 5 million in 2006.[citation needed]. Many migrant workers came to Libya since 1969. Among the workers were construction workers and laborers from Tunisia, teachers and laborers from Egypt, teachers from Palestine, and doctors and nurses from Yugoslavia and Bulgaria. 1,000,000 workers, mainly from other neighboring African countries like Sudan, Niger, Chad and Mali, migrated to Libya in the 1990s, after changes were made to Libya's Pan-African policies.[13]

Gaddafi used money from the sale of oil to improve the living conditions of the population and to assist Palestinian guerrillas in their fight against the Israelis. In 1979, Libya fought in Uganda to assist the government of Idi Amin in the Ugandan Civil War, and in 1981, fought in the Libyan-Chadian War. Libya had occupied the Aozou Strip; however, in 1990 the International Court of Justice submitted the case and allowed the full recuperation of territory to Chad.

In September 2008, Italy and Libya signed a memorandum by which Italy would pay $5 billion over the next 20 years to compensate Libya for its dominion over Libya for its reign of 30 years.[14]

Since 2011, the country is swept by Libyan Civil War, which broke out between the Anti-Gaddafi rebels and the Pro-Gaddafi government in 2011, culminating in the death and overthrow of Gaddafi. Nevertheless, even today Libya still continues to generate problems within the area and beyond, greatly affecting its population and the migrant route to Europe.

Population[edit]

Population pyramid for Libya in 2011
Libyan young men in Bayda. In 2019, about 28 % of the population was under the age of 15.

Libya has a small population residing in a large land area. Population density is about 50 persons per km² (130/sq. mi.) in the two northern regions of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, but falls to less than one person per km² (2.7/sq. mi.) elsewhere. Ninety percent of the people live in less than 10% of the area, primarily along the coast. About 90%[15] of the population is urban, mostly concentrated in the four largest cities, Tripoli, Benghazi, Misrata and Bayda. As of 2019, twenty-eight percent of the population is estimated to be under the age of 15, but this proportion has decreased considerably during the past decades.[16] The majority of the population of Libya is composed of Arabs.[11][17][18]

Total population (x 1000) Population aged 0–14 (%) Population aged 15–64 (%) Population aged 65+ (%)
1950 1 029 41.9 53.4 4.7
1955 1 126 43.0 52.7 4.3
1960 1 349 43.3 52.7 4.0
1965 1 623 43.4 53.0 3.6
1970 1 994 45.2 52.1 2.7
1975 2 466 46.5 51.3 2.2
1980 3 063 47.0 50.7 2.2
1985 3 850 47.3 50.5 2.3
1990 4 334 43.5 53.9 2.6
1995 4 775 38.3 58.8 2.9
2000 5 231 32.4 64.2 3.4
2005 5 770 30.6 65.6 3.8
2010 6 355 30.4 65.3 4.3

[citation needed]

Age distribution[edit]

Data taken from United Nations Demographic Yearbook 2020 [19]

Population Estimates by Sex and Age Group (1.VII.2015):

Age Group Male Female Total %
0–4 316 497 299 059 615 556 9.99
5–9 297 303 280 602 577 905 9.38
10–14 284 318 270 831 555 149 9.01
15–19 268 106 257 009 525 115 8.52
20–24 278 875 267 533 546 408 8.87
25–29 289 113 282 117 571 230 9.27
30–34 287 480 281 354 568 834 9.23
35–39 279 699 271 907 551 606 8.95
40–44 235 088 231 285 466 373 7.57
45–49 180 029 180 796 360 825 5.86
50–54 126 799 126 848 253 647 4.12
55–59 87 135 86 625 173 760 2.82
60–64 56 199 59 834 116 033 1.89
65–69 51 782 50 863 102 645 1.67
70–74 38 750 33 736 72 486 1.18
75-79 26 942 25 616 52 558 0.85
80-84 15 038 15 233 30 271 0.49
85+ 9 873 11 973 21 846 0.35
Total 3 129 026 3 033 221 6 162 247 100
Age group Male Female Total Percent
0–14 898 118 850 492 1 748 610 28.38
15–64 2 088 523 2 045 308 4 133 831 67.08
65+ 142 385 137 421 279 806 4.54

Population history[edit]

Population census[edit]

Eight population censuses have been carried out in Libya, the first in 1931 and the most recent one in 2006.[20][21] The population multiplied sixfold between 1931 and 2006.

Year Males (thousands) Females (thousands) Total population (thousands) Average annual growth rate (%)
1931 704
1936 463 386 849 3.8
1954 564 524 1,089 1.4
1964 (July 31) 813 751 1,564 3.7
1973 (July 31) 1,192 1,057 2,249 4.1
1984 (July 31) 1,954 1,689 3,643 4.5
1995 (August 11) 2,237 2,168 4,405 1.7
2006 (April 15) 2,934 2,723 5,658 2.3

Vital statistics[edit]

During the past 60 years the demographic situation of Libya changed considerably. Since the 1950s, life expectancy increased steadily and the infant mortality rates decreased. As the fertility rates remained high until the 1980s (the number of births tripled between 1950–55 and 1980–85), population growth was very high for three decades. However, after 1985 a fast decrease in fertility was observed from over 7 children per woman in the beginning of the 1980s to less than 3 in 2005-2010.[22] Because of this decrease in fertility the population growth slowed down and also the proportion of Libyans under the age of 15 decreased from 45% in 1985 to 29% in 2010.[23]

Births and deaths[edit]

Period Population
(thousands)
Live births
(thousands)
Deaths
(thousands)
Natural change
(thousands)
CBR[i] CDR[i] NC[i] TFR[i] IMR[i] Life expectancy (years)
1950 1 131   53   36   17 47.0 31.8 15.2 6.93 232.8 33.59
1951   1 143   54   36   17 47.1 31.8 15.3 6.94 233.9 33.55
1952   1 158   55   37   18 47.3 32.1 15.2 6.95 235.4 33.31
1953   1 176   56   38   19 47.9 32.0 15.9 7.03 235.3 33.47
1954   1 198   58   38   20 48.4 31.8 16.6 7.08 233.5 33.78
1955   1 226   60   38   21 48.9 31.4 17.6 7.14 230.1 34.29
1956   1 259   62   38   24 49.4 30.7 18.8 7.20 225.1 35.12
1957   1 296   64   38   26 49.9 29.8 20.1 7.26 218.5 36.08
1958   1 336   67   38   29 50.2 28.7 21.5 7.31 210.3 37.28
1959   1 379   69   38   31 50.3 27.4 22.9 7.33 200.9 38.75
1960   1 427   72   37   35 50.5 26.0 24.5 7.37 190.4 40.27
1961   1 479   75   36   39 50.7 24.4 26.3 7.45 179.3 42.06
1962   1 535   78   35   43 51.1 22.9 28.2 7.55 168.1 43.84
1963   1 595   82   34   48 51.7 21.7 30.0 7.70 157.5 45.31
1964   1 652   86   33   52 52.0 20.2 31.8 7.82 147.0 47.14
1965   1 700   89   32   56 51.9 19.0 32.9 7.91 137.8 48.66
1966   1 740   90   31   58 51.2 17.8 33.3 7.99 129.5 50.13
1967   1 779   89   30   59 49.9 16.8 33.1 8.02 121.5 51.39
1968   1 819   89   29   60 48.6 15.6 33.0 8.05 113.8 52.71
1969   1 863   89   27   62 47.5 14.5 33.0 8.08 106.7 54.00
1970   1 909   89   26   63 46.4 13.5 32.9 8.10 99.8 55.19
1971   1 958   89   25   65 45.5 12.6 32.9 8.13 93.4 56.34
1972   2 013   89   24   66 44.3 11.7 32.6 8.10 87.5 57.49
1973   2 084   90   23   67 43.4 11.0 32.4 8.07 82.1 58.29
1974   2 179   94   22   72 43.3 10.1 33.2 8.02 77.2 59.59
1975   2 292   97   21   75 42.6 9.4 33.2 7.96 72.6 60.81
1976   2 414   100   21   80 41.9 8.6 33.2 7.90 68.6 62.06
1977   2 542   104   21   83 41.3 8.2 33.1 7.82 64.9 62.79
1978   2 676   108   20   88 40.7 7.7 33.0 7.71 61.6 63.57
1979   2 817   112   20   92 40.1 7.3 32.9 7.58 58.6 64.26
1980   2 963   113   20   93 38.5 6.9 31.7 7.22 55.8 64.89
1981   3 112   115   20   94 37.1 6.5 30.6 7.02 53.2 65.36
1982   3 265   118   20   97 36.3 6.3 30.1 6.83 50.8 65.81
1983   3 424   121   20   100 35.6 6.0 29.6 6.63 48.5 66.41
1984   3 565   124   20   103 34.8 5.7 29.1 6.44 46.3 66.87
1985   3 684   126   20   106 34.4 5.5 28.8 6.24 44.2 67.29
1986   3 800   128   20   108 33.7 5.3 28.4 6.02 42.0 67.77
1987   3 912   128   20   108 32.9 5.1 27.7 5.79 40.0 68.20
1988   4 022   128   20   108 31.9 5.0 26.9 5.53 38.1 68.62
1989   4 130   127   20   107 30.7 4.8 25.9 5.26 36.2 68.99
1990   4 237   125   20   105 29.5 4.7 24.8 4.97 34.4 69.42
1991   4 342   123   20   103 28.3 4.5 23.7 4.67 32.7 69.82
1992   4 445   120   20   101 27.1 4.4 22.7 4.38 31.3 70.23
1993   4 545   118   20   98 25.9 4.3 21.6 4.11 29.9 70.42
1994   4 641   116   20   96 24.9 4.3 20.7 3.86 28.7 70.71
1995   4 733   114   20   94 24.1 4.2 20.0 3.64 27.7 71.09
1996   4 820   113   20   93 23.5 4.2 19.3 3.44 26.7 71.28
1997   4 902   112   21   91 22.8 4.3 18.5 3.27 25.8 71.13
1998   4 981   111   22   89 22.2 4.4 17.8 3.11 25.1 71.08
1999   5 058   110   23   87 21.6 4.5 17.2 2.97 24.3 71.06
2000   5 155   109   24   85 21.2 4.7 16.5 2.85 23.7 70.68
2001   5 276   119   25   94 22.6 4.7 17.9 2.97 23.0 70.86
2002   5 405   123   25   98 22.8 4.7 18.1 2.91 22.4 71.00
2003   5 543   127   26   102 23.1 4.7 18.4 2.86 21.6 71.13
2004   5 688   132   26   106 23.3 4.5 18.8 2.81 20.7 71.49
2005   5 838   138   26   111 23.6 4.5 19.1 2.77 19.7 71.59
2006   5 973   142   27   115 23.8 4.5 19.3 2.70 18.5 71.72
2007   6 097   144   27   116 23.6 4.5 19.1 2.65 17.2 71.86
2008   6 228   146   27   118 23.4 4.4 19.0 2.60 16.1 72.27
2009   6 360   147   28   119 23.1 4.4 18.7 2.56 15.1 72.36
2010   6 492   153   29   124 23.6 4.5 19.1 2.60 14.2 72.37
2011   6 188   158   36   122 23.9 5.5 18.4 2.65 15.0 70.07
2012   5 870   129   29   99 22.0 5.0 16.9 2.68 13.0 72.25
2013   5 985   131   30   101 21.9 5.1 16.8 2.72 12.5 72.34
2014   6 098   134   33   101 21.9 5.4 16.5 2.75 12.3 71.51
2015   6 192   131   34   98 21.2 5.4 15.8 2.71 11.9 71.70
2016   6 282   129   34   95 20.6 5.5 15.1 2.67 11.5 71.76
2017   6 378   127   34   93 19.9 5.3 14.6 2.63 10.9 72.48
2018   6 478   125   34   91 19.3 5.2 14.0 2.58 10.5 72.79
2019   6 569   123   36   87 18.7 5.5 13.3 2.54 10.4 72.46
2020   6 654   122   37   85 18.3 5.6 12.7 2.51 9.9 72.47
2021   6 735   120   41   80 17.8 6.0 11.8 2.46 9.3 71.91
  1. ^ a b c d e CBR = crude birth rate (per 1000); CDR = crude death rate (per 1000); NC = natural change (per 1000); TFR = total fertility rate (number of children per woman); IMR = infant mortality rate per 1000 births

Source: UN DESA, World Population Prospects, 2022[24]

Other demographic statistics[edit]

Demographic statistics according to the World Population Review in 2022.[25]

  • One birth every 4 minutes
  • One death every 15 minutes
  • One net migrant every 288 minutes
  • Net gain of one person in the population of libya every 6 minutes..

CIA World Factbook demographic statistics[edit]

The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook.[2]

Population[edit]

7,137,931 (2022 est.)
6,754,507 (July 2018 est.)
note: immigrants make up just over 12% of the total population, according to UN data (2019)

Religions[edit]

Muslim (official; virtually all Sunni) 96.6%, Christian 2.7%, Buddhist <1%, Hindu <1%, Jewish <1%, folk religion <1%, other <1%, unafilliated <1% (2020 est.)
note: non-Sunni Muslims include native Ibadhi Muslims (<1% of the population) and foreign Muslims

Age structure[edit]

Population population of Libya in 2020
0-14 years: 33.65% (male 1,184,755/female 1,134,084)
15-24 years: 15.21% (male 534,245/female 513,728)
25-54 years: 41.57% (male 1,491,461/female 1,373,086)
55-64 years: 5.52% (male 186,913/female 193,560)
65 years and over: 4.04% (male 129,177/female 149,526) (2020 est.)
0-14 years: 25.53% (male 882,099/ female 842,320)
15-24 years: 16.81% (male 582,247/ female 553,004)
25-54 years: 47.47% (male 1,684,019/ female 1,522,027)
55-64 years: 5.77% (male 197,196/ female 192,320)
65 years and over: 4.43% (male 147,168/ female 152,107) (2018 est.)

Median age[edit]

total: 25.8 years. Country comparison to the world: 156th
male: 25.9 years
female: 25.7 years (2020 est.)
total: 29.4 years
male: 29.5 years
female: 29.2 years (2018 est.)

Population growth rate[edit]

1.65% (2022 est.) Country comparison to the world: 57th
1.45% (2018 est.)

Birth rate[edit]

21.56 births/1,000 population (2022 est.) Country comparison to the world: 62th
17.2 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)

Death rate[edit]

3.45 deaths/1,000 population (2022 est.) Country comparison to the world: 221st
3.7 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)

Net migration rate[edit]

-1.61 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2022 est.) Country comparison to the world: 161st
0.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)

Total fertility rate[edit]

3.09 children born/woman (2022 est.) Country comparison to the world: 46th
3.71 children born/woman (2000 est.)
3.01 children born/woman (2010 est.)
2.12 children born/woman (2012 est.)
2.03 children born/woman (2018 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate[edit]

27.7% (2014)

Urbanization[edit]

urban population: 80.1% of total population (2018)
rate of urbanization: 1.68% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

Sex ratio[edit]

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0–14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15–24 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
25–54 years: 1.1 male(s)/female
55–64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.01 male(s)/female
total population: 1.07 male(s)/female (2017 est.)

Infant mortality rate[edit]

total: 10.5 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 11.3 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 9.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)

Urbanization[edit]

urban population: 81.3% of total population (2022)
rate of urbanization: 1.45% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Life expectancy at birth[edit]

Total population: 73.08 years. (2020 est.)
Male: 70.27 years. (2020 est.)
Female: 76.11 years. (2020 est.)
Total population: 73.44 years. (2022 est.)
Male: 70.6 years. (2022 est.)
Female: 76.46 years. (2022 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 110rd

Literacy[edit]

Definition: The percentage of the population of a given age group that can read and write
Total population: 91%
Male: 96.7%
Female: 85.6% (2015)

Ethnic and tribal groups[edit]

Ethnic composition of the Libyan population in 1974 (CIA map)
  Berber
  Tuareg
  Toubou
  Uninhabited

Ethnic groups[edit]

97% of Libya's population is made up of Arabs and Berbers,[26] of which 92% are Arabs and 5% are Berbers.[1]

The majority of the population of Libya is primarily of Arab ancestral origin.[27] Unofficial estimates put the number of Berbers in Libya at around 600,000, about 10% of the population of Libya.[28] Among the Berber groups are the minority Berber populations of Zuwarah and the Nafusa Mountains,[29] and the nomadic Tuareg, who inhabit the southwestern areas as well as parts of southeastern Algeria, northern Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso.[29] In the southeast, there are small populations of Toubou (Tibbu). They occupy about a quarter of the country and also inhabit Niger and Chad. Among foreign residents, the largest groups are from other African nations, including citizens of other North African nations (primarily Egyptians) and West Africans.

Tribal groups[edit]

Libyan society is to a large extent structured along tribal lines, with more than 20 major tribal groups.[30]

The major tribal groups of Libya in 2011 were listed:[30]

Some of the ancient Berber tribes include: Adyrmachidae, Auschisae, Es'bet, Temeh'u, Teh'nu, Rebu, Kehek, KeyKesh, Imukehek, Meshwesh, Macetae, Macatutae, Nasamones, Nitriotae, and Tautamaei.[13]

As of 2012 the major tribal groups of Libya, by region, were as follows:[31]

  • Tripolitania: alawana-Souk El Joma'a, AL-Mahameed, Warfalla, Tarhona, Misurata tribes, Al-Jawary, Siyan Tribe, The Warshfana tribes, Zawia Groups, Ghryan Tribes, AL-Asabea, Al-Fwatir, Awlad Busayf, Zintan, Al-jbalya, Zwara, Alajelat, Al-Nawael tribe, Alalqa tribe, Al-Rijban, al Mashashi, Amaym.
  • Cyrenaica: AJ-JWAZY, Al-Awagir, Magharba, Al-Abaydat, Drasa, Al-Barasa, Al-Fawakhir, Zuwayya, Majabra, Awama, Minfa, Taraki, alawana, Shwa'ir and in Kufra Zuwayya, Toubou.
  • Sirte: Awlad Suleiman, Qadhadhfa, Magharba, Al-Hosoon, Ferrjan
  • Fezzan: Awlad Suleiman, Al-Riyyah, Magarha, Al-Zuwaid, Al-Hutman, Al-Hassawna; Toubou, Tuareg.
  • Kufra: Zuwayya; Toubou.

Foreign population[edit]

Migrant workers from Sub-Saharan Africa

The foreign population is estimated at 3%, most of whom are migrant workers in the oil industry from Tunisia and Egypt, but also including small numbers of Greeks, Maltese, Italians, Pakistanis, Palestinians, Turks, Indians, and people from former Yugoslavia. Due to the Libyan Civil War, most of these migrant workers have returned to their homelands or simply left the country for a different one, however a good minority still work in Libya. According to news accounts in Allafrica.com, and the Libya Herald, between 1 million and 2 million Egyptians are resident in Libya with Sudanese and Tunisians numbering in the hundreds to thousands. There's also up to a million undocumented migrants mainly from sub-saharan africa residing in Libya, usually waiting to smuggle themselves to Europe.

Genetics[edit]

Y-chromosome[edit]

Analysis of Y-chromosome have found that the Libyan population is characterized by the high frequency of haplogroup J1-M267 (39.5%)[32] and haplogroup E-M81 (33.7%).[33]

Listed here are the human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroups in Libya.[34][failed verification]

Hg Libya (n=215)
J-M267 39.5%[35]
E-M81 33.7%[33]
E-M78 11.07%
E-M2 8.78%
G-M201 4.20%
J-M172 3.44%
R* 3.43%
E-M123 1.53%
E* 0.76%
R-M17 0.38%

Religions[edit]

Religions of Libya[26]
Religions percent
Sunni Islam (Official)
96.6%
Christian
2.7%
Folk religion
0.1%
Unspecified
0.2%
Other
0.1%

The vast majority Libyans are nominally Sunni Muslim. Almost 3% of the population is Christian, with some local Christian church adherents in Eastern Libya - the Copts. A small Jewish community historically lived in Libya since antiquity (see History of the Jews in Libya), but the almost the entire Jewish community in Libya eventually fled the country for Italy, Israel, or the United States, particularly after anti-Jewish riots in the wake of the 1967 Six-Day War between Arab countries and Israel. The final Jew in Libya, Esmeralda Meghnagi, died in 2002 ending the several millennia long Jewish ancestral body in Libya.[36]

Culture[edit]

Cuisine[edit]

Libyan cuisine is mainly Arab and Mediterranean with Italian influence.[37] Notable dishes include Shorba Arabiya, or Arabian soup, which is a thick, highly spiced soup.[38] Like other Maghrebi countries, couscous and tajine are traditional of Libya. Bazeen is a traditional Libyan food, made from a mix of barley flour and a small amount of plain flour.

Music[edit]

Libyan music is largely Arab in nature, however some Andalusi and Berber cultures also exist.[18] Libyan origin instruments are the Zukra (a bagpipe), a flute (made of bamboo), the tambourine, the oud (a fretless lute) and the darbuka (a goblet drum held sideways and played with the fingers). Bedouin poet-singers had a great influence on the musical folklore of Libya, particularly the style of huda, the camel driver's song.

Language[edit]

The official language of Libya is Standard Arabic, while the most prevalent spoken language is Libyan Arabic. Arabic varieties are partly spoken by immigrant workers and partly by local Libyan populations. These varieties include Egyptian, Tunisian, Sudanese, Moroccan, Yemeni, Hassaniya and South Levantine Arabic. Minority Berber languages are still spoken by the Tuareg, a rural Berber population inhabiting Libya's south,[39] and is spoken by about 300,000 in the north, about 5% of the Libyan population.[29]

Indigenous minority languages in Libya:[40]

  • Berber languages: ca. 305,000 speakers (5% of the population)
    • Nafusi: 184,000 speakers (2006) (3%)
    • Tamahaq: 47,000 speakers (2006) (<1%)
    • Ghadamès: 30,000 speakers (2006) (<1%)
    • Sawknah: 5,600 speakers (2006) (<1%)
    • Awjilah: 3,000 speakers (2000) (<1%)
  • Domari: ca. 33,000 speakers (2006) (<1%)
  • Tedaga: 2,000 speakers (<1%)

Non-Arabic languages had largely been spoken by foreign workers (who had been massively employed in Libya in various infrastructure projects prior to the 2011 civil war), and those languages with more than 10,000 speakers included Punjabi, Urdu, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Sinhala, Bengal, Tamil, Tagalog, French, Italian, Ukrainian, Serbian, and English.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  15. ^ "Save BIG with $9.99 .COMs from GoDaddy!". Go Daddy. Archived from the original on 6 June 2017. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
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  27. ^ "Population of Libya". Fanack.com. Archived from the original on 26 February 2021. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  28. ^ Zurutuza, Karlos. "Berbers fear ethnic conflict". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 20 October 2022.
  29. ^ a b c "Ghadamès". Ethnologue. Retrieved 18 September 2022.
  30. ^ a b "UPDATE 1-FACTBOX-Tribal ties key to Gaddafi rule". Reuters. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  31. ^ Souhail Karam, Jon Hemming, Tribal ties key to Gaddafi rule, Reuters (2011)[1]
  32. ^ Alvarez, Luis; Ciria, Estela; Marques, Sofia L.; Santos, Cristina; Aluja, Maria Pilar (2014). "Y-chromosome analysis in a Northwest Iberian population: Unraveling the impact of Northern African lineages". American Journal of Human Biology. 26 (6): 740–746. doi:10.1002/ajhb.22602. PMID 25123837. S2CID 205303372.
  33. ^ a b Elmrghni, Samir (June 2011). "Population genetic data for 17 Y STR markers from Benghazi (East Libya)". ResearchGate.
  34. ^ Karima Fadhlaoui-Zid et al. (2013) Genome-Wide and Paternal Diversity Reveal a Recent Origin of Human Populations in North Africa. PLoS One. 2013; 8(11): e80293. See Table S2
  35. ^ Alvarez, Luis; Ciria, Estela; Marques, Sofia L.; Santos, Cristina; Aluja, Maria Pilar (2014). "Y-chromosome analysis in a Northwest Iberian population: Unraveling the impact of Northern African lineages". American Journal of Human Biology. 26 (6): 740–746. doi:10.1002/ajhb.22602. PMID 25123837. S2CID 205303372.
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  37. ^ Falola, Toyin (2004). Teen Life in Africa. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 142. ISBN 978-0-313-32194-8.
  38. ^ Served as "starter", the soup is mentioned in the New York Times
  39. ^ "Libyan People". www.libyaweb.com. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  40. ^ (in English) Ethnologue report for Libya, Languages of Libya


Attribution