Invited review to appear in the proceedings of "Microlensing 2000: A New Era of Microlensing Astrophysics", Cape Town, South Africa, ASP Conf. Ser., eds. J.W. Menzies and P.D. Sackett
Abstract. Local Group galaxies such as the Milky Way, the Magellanic Clouds and M31 are being used by a number of international collaborations to search for microlensing events. Type and number of detections place constraints on dark matter and the stellar populations within and along the line of sight to these galaxies. In this review I briefly discuss the stellar populations, evolutionary histories, and other properties of different types of Local Group galaxies as well as constraints on the dark matter content of these galaxies. Particular emphasis is placed on the dwarf companions of the spiral galaxies in the Local Group.
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