The population belongs to four major ethnic groups—the Kongo (48%), Sangha (20%), Teke (17%), and M'Bochi (12%)—which comprise more than 40 tribes. In addition, there are small groups of Pygmies, possibly Congo's original inhabitants, in the high forest region.
The major ethnic group, the Kongo, occupies the entire area southwest of Brazzaville and accounts for nearly half the nation's population. The Teke, who live north of Brazzaville, are chiefly hunters and fishermen. The M'Bochi (or Boulangi) live where the savanna and the forest meet in the northwest; this group has furnished many immigrants to the urban centers, including the majority of Brazzaville's skilled workers and civil servants. There are about 12,000 Pygmies. In regard to the non-African community, Europeans numbered 8,500, mostly French, before the 1997 civil war. However, the number was thought to be half of that by 1998, following the widespread destruction of foreign businesses in 1997.