List of ethnic groups in Burma

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An ethnolinguistic map of Burma.

Burma (Myanmar) is an ethnically diverse nation with 135 distinct ethnic groups officially recognized by the Burmese government. These are grouped into eight "major national ethnic races":

  1. Kachin
  2. Kayah
  3. Kayin
  4. Chin
  5. Mon
  6. Bamar
  7. Rakhine
  8. Shan[1]

The "major national ethnic races" are grouped primarily according to region rather than linguistic or ethnic affiliation, as for example the Shan Major National Ethnic Race includes 33 ethnic groups speaking languages in at least four widely differing language families.[2][2]

Many unrecognised ethnic groups exist, the largest being the Burmese Chinese and Panthay (who together form 3% of the population), Burmese Indians (who form 2% of the population), Rohingya, Anglo-Burmese and Gurkha. There are no official statistics regarding the population of the latter two groups, although unofficial estimates place around 52,000 Anglo-Burmese in Burma with around 1.6 million outside of the country.

Ethnic Composition in Myanmar (Rough Estimate)
Bamar
  
68.00%
Shan
  
9.00%
Kayin
  
7.00%
Rakhine
  
3.50%
Chinese
  
2.50%
Mon
  
2.00%
Kachin
  
1.50%
Indians
  
1.25%
Kayah
  
0.75%
Other groups including
Wa, Naga, Lahu, Lisu and Palaung
  
4.50%

Officially recognized ethnic groups[3][edit]

Note: The list is very controversial. Many of the names and spelling variants are known only from this list.[4]

Kachin comprises 12 different ethnic groups
1. Kachin see: Jingpo people
2. Tarone see: Taron people
3. Dalaung, unknown[5]
4. Jinghpaw see: Singpho people
5. Guari, unknown[6]
6. Hkahku see: Jingpo people
7. Duleng, unknown[7]
8. Maru (Lawgore)
9. Rawang see Nung Rawang
10. Lashi (La Chit)
11. Atsi see Zaiwa language
12. Lisu
Kayah comprises 9 different ethnic groups

Note, a known questionable source.[8]

13. Kayah (Karenni)
14. Zayein (Lahta; Gaungto; Loilong Karens)
15. Ka-Yun (Kayan; Padaung)
16. Gheko (Karen, Geko)
17. Kebar, maybe translation error for Geba Karen language
18. Bre (Ka-Yaw; Kayaw)
19. Manu Manaw (Manumanaw)
20. Yin Talai, unknown[9]
21. Yin Baw (Yinbaw)
Kayin comprises 11 different ethnic groups
22. Kayin (Karen)
23. Kayinpyu (Geba Karen)
24. Pa-Le-Chi, unknown[10]
25. Mon Kayin (Sarpyu), unknown[11]
26. Sgaw (Karen, S’gaw)
27. Ta-Lay-Pwa, unknown[12]
28. Paku (Karen, Paku)
29. Bwe (Bwe Karen)
30. Monnepwa (Karen, Paku)
31. Monpwa, unknown[13]
32. Shu (Pwo Kayin)
Chin comprises 53 different ethnic groups

Possibly originally a list of tax rate districts. With the highest tax first.

33. Chin
34. Meithei (Meitei; Kathe)
35. Saline
36. Ka-Lin-Kaw (Lushay)
37. Khami (Chin, Khumi)
38. Awa Khami (Chin, Mro-Khimi)
39. Khawno
40. Kaungso
41. Kaung Saing Chin
42. Kwelshin
43. Kwangli (Sim)
44. Gunte (Lyente; Falam)
45. Gwete (Guite)
46. Ngorn (Chin, Ngawn)
47. Siyin (Sizaang), (Sizang)[14]
48. Sentang
49. Saing Zan
50. Za-How
51. Zotung
52. Zo-Pe
53. Zo
54. Zahnyet (Zanniet)
55. Tapong
56. Tiddim (Hai-Dim)
57. Tay-Zan
58. Taishon
59. Thado
60. Torr (Tawr)
61. Dim
62. Dai (Yindu)
63. Naga
64. Tanghkul
65. Malin
66. Panun
67. Magun
68. Matu
69. Miram (Mara, Shendu, Lakher, etc.)
70. Mi-er
71. Mgan
72. Lushei (Lushay)
73. Laymyo
74. Lyente
75. Lawhtu
76. Lai (Haka Chin)
77. Laizao
78. Mro (Wakim)
79. Haulngo
80. Anu
81. Anun
82. Oo-Pu
83. Lhinbu
84. Asho (Plain)
85. Rongtu
Bamar comprises 9 ethnic groups
86. Bamar (Burman)
87. Dawei of Dawei city
88. Beik
89. Yaw
90. Yabein
91. Kadu (Kado)
92. Ganan
93. Salone (Salon; Moken)
94. Hpon
Mon comprises 1 ethnic group
95. Mon
Rakhine comprises 7 ethnic groups
96. Rakhine (Arakanese)
97. Kamein
98. Kwe Myi
99. Daingnet
100. Maramagyi
101. Mro (Wakim)
102. Thet
Shan comprises 33 ethnic groups
103. Shan (Thai)
104. Yun (Lao)
105. Kwi
106. Pyin
107. Yao (Hmong; Mien)
108. Danaw (Danau)
109. Pale
110. Eng (En)
111. Son
112. Khamu (Khmu)
113. Kaw (Akha-E-Kaw)
114. Kokant (Kokang)
115. Khamti Shan
116. Hkun (Khün)
117. Taungyo
118. Danu
119. Palaung
120. Man Zi
121. Yin Kya
122. Yin Net
123. Shan Gale
124. Shan Gyi
125. Lahu
126. Intha
127. Eik-swair
128. Pa-O (Taungthu; Black Karen)
129. Tai-Loi
130. Tai-Lem
131. Tai-Lon
132. Tai-Lay
133. Maingtha (Achang)
134. Maw Shan
135. Wa (Va)

List grouped by language family[edit]

Sino-Tibetan[edit]

Tai–Kadai[edit]

Hmong–Mien[edit]

Austroasiatic[edit]

Austronesian[edit]

Indo-European[edit]

Unrecognized ethnic groups[edit]

As in the People's Republic of China, the government of Burma does not recognize several ethnic groups as being among the list of 135 officially recognized ethnic groups:

Myanmar languages ISO 639-3 codes[16][edit]

Note: This is a list of is languages, and the name of a language are not always the same as the name of an ethnic group.

  1. Achang [acn]
  2. Akeu [aeu]
  3. Akha [ahk]
  4. Anal [anm]
  5. Anong [nun]
  6. Blang [blr]
  7. Burmese [mya]
  8. Chak [ckh]
  9. Chakma [ccp]
  10. Chin:
  11. Chinese:
  12. Danau [dnu]
  13. Danu [dnv]
  14. Drung [duu]
  15. Hmong Njua [hnj]
  16. Hpon [hpo]
  17. Intha [int]
  18. Jingpho [kac]
  19. Kadu [zkd]
  20. Kanan [zkn]
  21. Karen:
  22. Kayah:
  23. Kayan [pdu]
  24. Kayaw [kvl]
  25. Khamti [kht]
  26. Khün [kkh]
  27. Lahta [kvt]
  28. Lahu [lhu]
  29. Lahu Shi [lhi]
  30. Lashi [lsi]
  31. Lhao Vo [mhx]
  32. Lisu [lis]
  33. [khb]
  34. Manumanaw [kxf]
  35. Moken [mwt]
  36. Mon [mnw]
  37. Mru [mro]
  38. Naga:
  39. Nusu [nuf]
  40. Palaung:
  41. Pali [pli]
  42. Pa’o [blk]
  43. Pyen [pyy]
  44. Rakhine [rki]
  45. Rawang [raw]
  46. Riang [ril]
  47. Rohingya [rhg]
  48. Samtao [stu]
  49. Shan [shn]
  50. Tai Laing [tjl]
  51. Tai Loi [tlq]
  52. Tai Nüa [tdd]
  53. Taman [tcl]
  54. Taungyo [tco]
  55. Tavoyan [tvn]
  56. Tibetan:
  57. Wa:
  58. Wewaw [wea]
  59. Yinbaw [kvu]
  60. Yinchia [yin]
  61. Yintale [yin]
  62. Zaiwa [atb]
  63. Zayein [kxk]
  64. Zo [zom]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Retrieved from Myanmar Ministry of Hotels and Tourism webpage at
  2. ^ For example, the Shan speak a Tai–Kadai language, the Lahu speak a Tibeto-Burman language, the Khamu speak a Mon–Khmer language, and the Yao speak a Hmong–Mien language.
  3. ^ Composition of the Different Ethnic Groups
  4. ^ Gamanii (25 September2012). "135: Counting Races in Burma". Shan Herald. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  5. ^ Ethnologue
  6. ^ Ethnologue
  7. ^ Ethnologue
  8. ^ The source of this list is the 9 captions from an unscientific Italian book, therefore Italian spelling. I Ghekhù : tribu criana della Birmania orientale. Paolo Manna. 1902. Milano.
  9. ^ Ethnologue
  10. ^ Ethnologue
  11. ^ Ethnologue
  12. ^ Ethnologue
  13. ^ Ethnologue
  14. ^ Ethnologue
  15. ^ [1] states that the Kamein "descended from Indian archer-warriors who served Arakan emperors during sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and consisted originally of Afghan Pathans, Moguls, Bengalis and many other Indo-Aryan races of north India."
  16. ^ http://www.ethnologue.com/country/MM/languages Ethnologue: Myanmar

External links[edit]

Books[edit]

  • U Min Naing, National Ethnic Groups of Myanmar (Trans. by Hpone Thant).

Yangon: Thein Myint Win Press, 2000

  • "National Races of Myanmar" (1960) by the Ministry of Culture