The Kapampangan (Pampanggo, Pampango, Capampangan, Pampangueño, Pampangan) are one of the largest ethnic groups of the country, generally occupying the land about the flood plains and marshes of the Pampanga River of Central Luzon. Hemmed in by the Zambal to the east, the Pangasinan to the north, and the Tagalog to the south and northeast in a land that is not segmented by highly textured topography, they have managed to maintain a distinctive language that has some affinity with Sambal. It may be noted that Sambal, on the other hand, is genetically related with the Sinaunang Tagalog of Tanay, Rizal. The populations are dense in the urbanized centers of Angeles City (174,962), San Fernando (139,342), Lubao (92,123), Mabalacat (92,778), and many other areas, with an estimated aggregate of some 2,864,949 (NSO 1990).
Their agriculture is based on intensive wet rice cultivation, their land being situated in the rice bowl of Central Luzon, with extensive flood plains watered by the Pampanga River, especially the Candaba swamps, the southern part of the province of Pampanga is noted for its fishing industry. The vast flatlands are planted to rice and sugar cane. Woodcraft is highly developed especially in Betis where the most skillful of wood carvers could be found; other areas are known for mat-making, pastries, and various preserved meats.
The people are known for their culinary talents. Deeply mainstream, the Kapampangan are foremost entrepreneurs and national leaders.