South Cotabato is a melting pot of people coming from different regions and tribes. There are over 20 different dialects spoken in the province and most of the South Cotabateños are multilingual,
Ilonggos from Panay and Negros in the Visayas settled in the municipalities of Norala, Banga, Surallah, Sto. Niño and the City of Koronadal. On the other hand, people from the Ilocano speaking regions of Luzon settled in Tampakan, Tantangan and Tupi, and the Ilocano language may still be heard spoken in these towns. The Visayan language, Cebuano is also the main dialect in the municipalities of Polomolok and Tupi (along with Ilonggo and Tagalog). Both towns are near to Cebuano-speaking General Santos City.
The Maguindanao tribe is the major Muslim Filipino tribe in South Cotabato. Other tribes are the T'boli and B'laan tribes in the municipalities of Lake Sebu and T'boli .