List of contemporary ethnic groups

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The following is a list of contemporary ethnic groups.

There has been constant debate over the classification of ethnic groups. Membership of an ethnic group tends to be associated with shared cultural heritage, ancestry, history, homeland, language or dialect, the term culture specifically including aspects such as religion, mythology and ritual, cuisine, dressing style, etc. By the nature of the concept, ethnic groups tend to be divided into ethnic subgroups, which may themselves be or not be identified as independent ethnic groups depending on the source consulted.

Largest ethnic groups[edit]

The largest groups commonly identified as "ethnic groups" (as opposed to ethno-linguistic phyla, racial groups or similar).

Name Native Language (Primary Language) Homeland Population (estimate) Subgroups Majority (Plurality) Religion & Sect
Albanians Indo-EuropeanAlbanian Albania 6.8 – 8 million Ghegs, Tosks IslamSunni Islam
Arabs Afro-AsiaticSemiticArabic Arab World 300 – 400 million[1] Bedouins IslamSunni Islam
Armenians Indo-EuropeanArmenian Armenia 8 million ChristianityOriental Orthodoxy
Assyrians Afro-AsiaticSemiticAssyrian Assyria 2 – 3.3 million ChristianityOriental Orthodoxy
Azerbaijanis TurkicOghuzAzerbaijani Azerbaijan 28 – 35 million Karapapaks IslamShia Islam
Bengalis Indo-EuropeanIndo-AryanBengali Bengal 320 million[2] Hinduism in India, IslamSunni Islam
Biharis Indo-EuropeanIndo-AryanBihari languages India 100 million Hinduism
Bulgarians Indo-EuropeanSlavicSouth SlavicBulgarian Bulgaria 7 – 8 million ChristianityEastern Orthodoxy
Chuvash TurkicOghurChuvash Chuvashia 2 million ChristianityEastern Orthodoxy
Croats Indo-EuropeanSlavicSouth SlavicCroatian Croatia 7.5 – 8.5 million ChristianityRoman Catholicism
Czechs Indo-EuropeanSlavicWest SlavicCzech Czech Republic 10 – 12 million (ChristianityRoman Catholicism)
Dutch Indo-EuropeanGermanicWest GermanicDutch Netherlands 16 – 29 million (ChristianityRoman Catholicism)
English Indo-EuropeanGermanicWest GermanicEnglish England 50 – 110 million[3] ChristianityAnglicanism
Danes Indo-EuropeanGermanicNorth GermanicDanish Denmark 5.6 million ChristianityLutheranism
Finns Finnish Finland 6.5 million ChristianityLutheranism
French Indo-EuropeanRomanceFrench France 66 – 106 million[4] Occitans, Walloons ChristianityRoman Catholicism
Gagauz TurkicOghuzGagauz Gagauzia 0.2 million ChristianityEastern Orthodoxy
Germans Indo-EuropeanGermanicWest GermanicGerman Germany 70 – 160 million[5] Bavarians, Franconians, Saxons, Swabians, Thuringians Christianity → (Roman Catholicism)
Greeks Indo-EuropeanGreek Greece 14 – 17 million ChristianityEastern Orthodoxy
Georgians KartvelianGeorgian Georgia 5 – 7 million ChristianityEastern Orthodoxy
Gujaratis Indo-EuropeanIndo-AryanGujarati Gujarat 50 – 60 million[6] Hinduism
Han Chinese Sino-TibetanSiniticChinese China 1,300 million[7] Cantonese, Chuanqing, Fuzhouese, Min, Gan, Hakka, Hunanese, Hoklo, Shanghainese, Taishanese, Tanka (Fuzhou Tanka), Teochew N/A
Hindustani Indo-EuropeanIndo-AryanHindi languages India 420 – 1,200 million [8] Biharis, Rajasthanis, Oriyas, Bengalis, Punjabis, Gujaratis Hinduism
Hungarians Hungarian Hungary 13.1–14.7 million ChristianityRoman Catholicism
Irish Indo-EuropeanCelticIrish
(Indo-EuropeanGermanicWest GermanicHiberno-English)[9]
Ireland 80 million[10] ChristianityRoman Catholicism
Italians Indo-EuropeanRomanceItalian Italy[11] 60 – 140 million[12] ChristianityRoman Catholicism
Japanese JaponicJapanese Japan 130 million[13]
Javanese AustronesianJavanese Java 105 million[14] Abangan, Priyayi, Santri IslamSunni Islam
Jews Afro-AsiaticSemiticHebrew Israel 13 – 18 million Ashkenazim, Mizrahim, Sephardim Judaism
Kannada DravidianKannada India 37 – 55 million Hinduism
Kazakhs TurkicKipchakKazakh Kazakhstan 14 million IslamSunni Islam
Koreans KoreanicKorean Korea 80 million[15] N/A
Kurds Indo-EuropeanIranianKurdish Kurdistan 30 – 38 million IslamSunni Islam
Marathi Indo-EuropeanIndo-AryanMarathi India 87 million[16] Hinduism
Norwegians Indo-EuropeanGermanicNorth GermanicNorwegian Norway 12 million ChristianityLutheranism
Laz KartvelianLaz Lazistan 0.2 – 1 million IslamSunni Islam
Pashtuns Indo-EuropeanIranianPashto Afghanistan 40 – 60 million[17] IslamSunni Islam
Oromo Affan Ormomo Ethiopia, Kenya 35 – 45 million[18] WaqafennaTraditional Oromo religion IslamSunni Islam ChristianCoptic Orthodox and Protestant
Persians Indo-EuropeanIranianPersian Iran 60 – 70 million[19] IslamShia Islam
Poles Indo-EuropeanSlavicWest SlavicPolish Poland 40 – 56 million[20] ChristianityRoman Catholicism
Portuguese Indo-EuropeanRomancePortuguese Portugal 42 million (11 – 100 million[21] ChristianityRoman Catholicism
Punjabis Indo-EuropeanIndo-AryanPunjabi Punjab 120 million [22] Hinduism and Sikhism in India IslamSunni Islam in Pakistan
Russians Indo-EuropeanSlavicEast SlavicRussian Russia 130 – 150 million[23] ChristianityEastern Orthodoxy
Serbs Indo-EuropeanSlavicSouth SlavicSerbian Serbia 10 – 12 million ChristianityEastern Orthodoxy
Slovaks Indo-EuropeanSlavicWest SlavicSlovak Slovakia 10 – 12 million ChristianityRoman Catholicism
Spaniards Indo-EuropeanRomanceSpanish Spain 43 – 150 million [24] Andalusians, Asturians, Castillians, Leonese, Galicians, Basques, Catalonians ChristianityRoman Catholicism
Swedes Indo-EuropeanGermanicNorth GermanicSwedish Sweden 13.2 million ChristianityLutheranism
Tamils DravidianTamil India 78 million[25] Hinduism
Telugu DravidianTelugu India 90 million [26] Hinduism
Thais Tai–KadaiThai Thailand 50 million Central Thai, Southern (Siamese, Tai Siam), Northern (Lanna), Isan people Buddhism
Tuaregs Afro-AsiaticBerberTuareg Sahara 1.2 million IslamSunni Islam
Turks TurkicOghuzTurkish Turkey 48 – 53 million [27] Manavs, Yörüks IslamSunni Islam
Turkmens TurkicOghuzTurkmen Turkmenistan 8 million IslamSunni Islam
Ukrainians Indo-EuropeanSlavicEast SlavicUkrainian Ukraine 38 – 40 million[28] ChristianityEastern Orthodoxy
Vietnamese AustroasiaticVieticVietnamese Vietnam 84 million[29] BuddhismMahayana
Volga Tatars TurkicKipchakTatar Tatarstan 6.8 million IslamSunni Islam

Lists of ethnic groups[edit]

by status

regional lists

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ identification as Arab of all Arab speaking populations (historically Arabized due to the Islamic conquests) is relatively recent (20th century), a product of Pan-Arabism, and may be subject to political dispute. The Arabic language has an estimated 293 million native speakers. The majority of these identifies as Arab. The CIA Factbook estimates the number of ethnic Arabs as follows: 86.9 M in Egypt, 38.8 M in Algeria, 33.0 M in Morocco, 32.6 M in Iraq, 26.2 M in Saudi Arabia, 25.9 M in Sudan, 24.3 M in Yemen, 22.5 M in Syria, 10.4 M in Tunisia (also identified as Arab-Berber, 10.3 M in Chad, 8.0 M in Israel, 6.5 M in Libya (also identified as Arab-Berber), 6.5 M in Jordan, 6.1 M in Eritrea, 4.7 M in the United Arab Emirates, 41 M in Lebanon, 4.2 M in the Palestinian territories, 3.1 M in Oman, 3.0 M in Kuwait, 3.3 M in Mauritania (also identified as Arab-Berber or Moors), 1.9 M in Sri Lanka (Ceylon Moors), 1.5 M in Qatar, 1.2 M in Bahrain, 0.8 M in Djibouti, 0.6 M in Western Sahara. This amounts to a population of 366 million Arabs. To this are added an estimated 7 million Arab immigrants in western countries.
  2. ^ roughly 163 million in Bangladesh and 100 million in the Republic of India (CIA Factbook 2014 estimates, numbers subject to rapid population growth); about 3 million Bangladeshis in the Middle East, 1 million Bengalis in Pakistan, 0.4 million British Bangladeshi.
  3. ^ 45 million in England, some 24 million reporting "English ancestry" in the United States, 1.4 million reporting English "ethnic origin" in Canada, and between 7 and 10 million in Australia.
  4. ^ Estimates range from anywhere between 66 to 106 million. The French language has an estimated 75 million native speakers. The CIA Factbook does not report any French ethnicity (considering it a nationality), giving the ethnic composition of France as "Celtic and Latin with Teutonic". [1]
  5. ^ The total number of ethnic Germans is estimated anywhere between some 70 and 160 million, mostly depending on whether "German ancestry" is counted (50 million German Americans, including self-reported partial German ancestry in the US census). Of approximately 120 million native speakers of German in the world, roughly 70 million consider themselves Germans (not including 8 million Austrians and 4 million Swiss). German nationality law equates German ethnicity with German nationality, accounting for 65 million Germans in Germany, and more than 1 million German citizens living abroad. The case is complicated by the right of return granted to the so-called Spätaussiedler, non-nationals recognized as ethnic Germans.
  6. ^ CIA Factbook (2014) estimates 55 million in India. SIL Ethnologue cites 46 million native speakers of Gujarati. About 1 million in Pakistan and 1 million in the USA.
  7. ^ 1.24 billion (92% of total population) in the PRC (CIA Factbook 2014 est.), about 22 million in Taiwan, and an estimated 50 million Overseas Chinese
  8. ^ depending on definition; CIA Factbook (2014) gives 890 million Indo-Aryans as the majority group of the Republic of India. The Indo-Aryan languages are estimated to have some 1.2 billion native speakers. The 2001 Indian census records two figures, 258 million and 422 million "Hindi" speakers. Both figures include languages other than Standard Hindi, such as Rajasthani (ca. 80 million in independent estimates), Bhojpuri (40 million), Awadhi (38 million), Chhattisgarhi (18 million), and dozens of other languages with a million to over ten million speakers each. The figure of 422 million specifically includes all such people, whereas the figure of 258 depends on speaker identification as recorded in the census. Maithili (one of the Bihari languages) was listed as a separate language in the 2001 census but previously considered a dialect of Hindi.
  9. ^ The Irish were predominantly Gaelic-speaking until the 17th century, but significantly anglicized during the early modern period. Since the mid-19th century, the large majority of Irish have been native speakers of English.
  10. ^ c. 7 million in Ireland, about 30 million Irish Americans (including non-primary ancestry), 2 million in Australia (self-declared Irish ancestry), 4.5 million in Canada and up to 1 million in Argentina. The UK census does not record ethnicity (other than generic "White British", and an unknown number of people in the UK identify as Irish (Irish community in Britain, estimated between roughly 1 and 6 million).
  11. ^ As a nation state, Italy was unified in the 19th century, combining ethnically diverse territories in the Italian peninsula, Sicily and Sardinia.
  12. ^ Figures cited range anywhere between some 60 and 140 million, the latter figure including citizens of Brazil and the United States who identify as of partial Italian ancestry. The Italian language has some 60 million native speakers.[2]
  13. ^ 127 million in Japan, about 2.5 million abroad.
  14. ^ 102 million in Indonesia (CIA Factbook 2014 estimate); small numbers in Malaysia, Suriname and elsewhere.
  15. ^ 50 million in South Korea, 24 million in North Korea, roughly 7 million in diaspora.
  16. ^ 87 million in the Republic of India (CIA Factbook 2014 estimate), subject to rapid population growth.
  17. ^ About 30 million in Pakistan and 12 million in Afghanistan; Penzl and Sloan, Pashto Grammar (2009) estimated a total number of Pashto speakers between 40 and 60 million. SIL Ethnologue in 2011 estimated an ethnic population of 49 million.
  18. ^ About 38 million in Ethiopia, ~2 million in Kenya, roughly half a million in diaspora. Afan Oromo language has an estimated 45 million native speakers.
  19. ^ 50 million in Iran, 8 million in Afghanistan, 2 million in Tajikistan, roughly 2 million in diaspora. The Persian language has an estimated 60 million native speakers.
  20. ^ 36 million in Poland; up to 20 million people claiming "Polish ancestry" (including 9 million Polish Americans) elsewhere.
  21. ^ Portuguese ethnicity is more clear-cut than Spanish ethnicity, but here also, the case is complicated by the Portuguese ancestry of populations in the former colonial empire. Portugal has 11 million nationals. The 42 million figure is due to a study estimating a total of an additional 31 million descendants from Portuguese grandparents; these people would be eligible for Portuguese citizenship under Portuguese nationality law (which grants citizenship to grandchildren of Portuguese nationals). Emigração: A diáspora dos portugueses (2009)
  22. ^ 88 M in Pakistan, 35 M in the Republic of India (CIA Factbook 2014 estimates).
  23. ^ Estimates range between 130 and 150 million. 111 million in the Russian Federation (2010 census), about 16 million ethnic Russians in post-Soviet states (8 M in Ukraine, 4.5 M in Kazakhstan, 1 M in Belarus, 0.6 M Latvia, 0.6 M in Uzbekistan, 0.6 M in Kyrgyzstan. Up to 10 million Russian diaspora elsewhere (mostly Americas and Western Europe).
  24. ^ There is no clear definition of Spanish ethnicity. In Spain, ethnic identity is divided into regional groups, and internationally, Spanish ethnicity is not clearly delineated from "Spanish ancestry" in the territories of the former colonial empire. There are 41 million Spanish nationals in Spain, and some 2 million living abroad.
  25. ^ 73 million in the Republic of India (CIA Factbook 2014 estimate, subject to rapid population growth), 2 million in Sri Lanka (CIA Factbook 2014 estimate), roughly 3 million in diaspora.
  26. ^ 89 million in the Republic of India (CIA Factbook 2014 estimate), subject to rapid population growth.
  27. ^ The uncertainty is mostly due to the classification of ethnic groups in Turkey, and the identification of Turkish ancestry in the former Ottoman Empire, see Turkish population. Kurds make up an estimate 20 million of the population of Turkey. The largest diaspora group are the c. 4 million Turks in Germany.
  28. ^ Ukrainians at the Joshua Project
  29. ^ 80 million in Vietnam (CIA Factbook 2014 estimate), roughly 4 million in diaspora.
  • Levinson, David (1998), Ethnic Groups Worldwide: A Ready Reference Handbook, Greenwood Publishing Group, ISBN 978-1-57356-019-1