|c. 20–25 million|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Cameroon, Senegal, The Gambia, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Sudan, Chad, Mauritania|
| Sierra Leone||7,075,641|
| Burkina Faso||1,639,052|
|Fula, Arabic (Sudanese Arabic, Chadian Arabic), French, Portuguese, English|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Hausa, Kanuri, Toucouleur|
|Language||Pulaar (West), Fulfulde (East)|
The Fula people or Fulani or Fulany or Fulɓe (Fula: Fulɓe; French: Peul; Hausa: Fulani or Hilani; Portuguese: Fula; Wolof: Pël; Bambara: Fulaw), numbering between 20 and 25 million people in total, are one of the largest ethnic groups in the Sahel and West Africa, widely dispersed across the region. The Fula people are traditionally believed to have roots stemming from North Africa and the Middle East, who later intermingled with local West African ethnic groups. As an ethnic group, they are bound together by the Fula language and their Islamic religious affiliation, their history and their culture.
A significant proportion of the Fula – a third, or an estimated 7 to 8 million – are pastoralists, making them the ethnic group with the largest nomadic pastoral community in the world. The majority of the Fula ethnic group consisted of semi-sedentary people as well as sedentary settled farmers, artisans, merchants and nobility. Inhabiting many countries, they live mainly in West Africa and northern parts of Central Africa, but also in Chad, Sudan and regions near the Red Sea.
Many Fulbe were taken captive to the Americas from the 16th through the 19th century as part of the Atlantic slave trade. They were largely captured from Senegal and Guinea, with a significant percentage also taken from Mali and Cameroon. Some Fulbe of note abducted into slavery were Bilali Muhammad, Ayuba Suleiman Diallo, Salih Bilali, Abdulrahman Ibrahim Ibn Sori, and Omar ibn Said. Some of Bilali Muhammad's known descendants still live on Sapelo Island, Georgia, United States, and he also left descendants in the Lucayan Archipelago. Abdul-Rahman and many others likewise have many descendants across the Americas both as a result of their own destinations and as a consequence of continued trading in human life after initial abductions from Africa.
Fulani couple in folk costume