Djougou is the largest city in northwestern Benin. It is an important market town. The commune covers an area of 3,966 square kilometres and as of 2002 had a population of 181,895 people.General informationThe city of Djougou is the capital city of the department of the Donga, and is considered to be the commercial capital of the Atacora-Donga region, with Natitingou acting as the seat of government and the primary tourist city. Djougou has a population of over 200,000. While Dendi is the primary language and ethnic group in Djougou, there are also a number of Fulani, Pull, Yoruba, Bariba, as well as transplanted Fon from the South. Like most of Benin, Djougou has a young and growing population. Large families and multiple wives are common—leading to a large number of young and school-aged children and pregnant women. There are many different neighborhoods throughout the city, but they are fairly amorphous. People are quicker to identify where they live not by the name of their neighborhood, but by which main road it lies on or by a nearby landmark or mosque.The population of Djougou is predominantly Muslim, with each neighborhood boasting at least one mosque. Muslims in Djougou range from the very conservative to the fairly liberal. It is relatively common to see women completely veiled in black, including their faces. More often, however, Muslim women wear a headscarf and a few wear no veil of any kind. This wardrobe decision is made by following family tradition until marriage, after which she follows the traditions of her husband’s family. Conservative Muslim men refrain from alcohol, but most are not opposed to drinking. Nearly all Muslims abstain from eating pork and observe the calls to prayer. There is a considerable Catholic presence in Djougou as well with a large cathedral, a convent, seminary, and Catholic school system that runs through secondary school. Religion is important to the people of Djougou and it is common to be asked your religious affiliation when meeting someone new. This is done out of curiosity, not prejudice, and there appears to be a considerable amount of religious tolerance here. Christian and Muslim holidays are both celebrated.