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1. Geography
2. Political situation
3. Defense
4. Economy
a. Figures
b. Currency
5. Health
6. Education
a. Universities
7. Demographics
8. Religions
a. Freedom
9. Peoples
10. Languages
11. Human rights
12. History
13. Cities and Towns

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Index / Peoples
Open map of AlgeriaAlgeria /

Ethnic groups
Figures in 1000.
25,500 77.0%
7,000 21.0%
5,000 15.0%
1,700 5.0%
90 0.3%
200 0.6%
200 0.4%
Sahrawis *)
200 0.4%
*) A large part are refugees from Western Sahara.

More than any other country the differences between Arabs and Berbers is clearer in Algeria. The Berbers today are the most educated group, and hold many leading positions in society. During the colonial period, the French tried to weaken the Arab parts of Algerian culture by preferring Berbers in education and administration. This pattern continues. Algeria has, therefore, the strongest Berber culture of all countries with a Berber population, and Berber language lives on, but only as an everyday language (French is the administrative and cultural language for them, and many Berbers don't know very much Arabic).
Populationwise, Berbers and Arabs live in the north of the country, while Tuareg live in the south as a local minority of the Arabs and the Berbers.
The dividing line between the two cultures has some influence on today's conflict between Islamists and the government, in which most Islamists consider themselves Arabs. But on the governmental side one finds both Arabs and Berbers. In between them, one finds a large group of people less politically active, which in many cases are Berbers.

By Tore Kjeilen