I am looking for open data on the Sierra Leone Ethnic groups. Preferably in Shapefile format or any other format that can be used on a map.

So far I created a map with the districts and their population (population was just for testing purposes) in R. Now I want to overlay these districts with the Ethnic groups located in Sierra Leone. Such as show in this image.

My search on the internet didn't come up with any Shapefiles regarding Ethnic Groups in Sierra Leone. Maybe someone knows where I can find these?

Also if it's not to difficult and time consuming I can try to create one myself... Although some advice on this will be very helpful!


  • If R has image processing packages you could use them to discretise the ethnicity image to get shapes of the regions. Then rescale them to the long/lat coordinates using the most southern, northern, eastern, and western points.
    – Edmund
    Nov 13, 2015 at 10:45

2 Answers 2


Google search:african ethnic groups GIS

First item: ArcGIS.com | Feature Service - Ethnic Groups in Africa


There are several sources for this data, none of them are perfect:

  • Thanks for you answer, already came across some of these sites but couldn't find enough detailed information for my needs. However, shapefiles from International Conflict Research (@Emund) fulfills my needs! Nov 16, 2015 at 10:29

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