The Han people are the largest ethnic group in mainland China. In 2010, 91.51% of the population were classified as Han (~1.2 billion). Besides the Han Chinese majority, 55 other ethnic (minority) groups are categorized in present-day China, numbering approximately 105 million people (8%), mostly concentrated in the bordering northwest, north, northeast, south and southwest but with some in central interior areas.
The major minority ethnic groups in China are Zhuang (16.9 million), Hui (10.5 million), Manchu (10.3 million), Uyghur (10 million), Miao (9.4 million), Yi (8.7 million), Tujia (8.3 million), Tibetan (6.2 million), Mongolian (5.9 million), Kazakh (5 million), Dong (2.8 million), Buyei (2.8 million), Yao (2.7 million), Bai (1.9 million), Korean (1.8 million), Hani (1.6 million), Li (1.4 million), and Dai (1.2 million). At least 126,000 people from Canada, the United States, and Europe are living in mainland China. In addition, there are also unrecognized ethnic groups, for example: Chuanqing people (穿青人), and others, who comprise over 730,000 people.
Ethnic groups recognized by the People's Republic of China
Officially recognized ethnic groups receive or have received certain benefits over Han Chinese under the regional ethnic autonomy system, including affirmative action, exemptions from the one-child policy, designated seats in political organs and government support to preserve their culture. Ethnic minority autonomous areas receive additional state subsidies. Languages of officially recognized minorities are used in official government documents.
Soon after the establishment of the People's Republic of China, 39 ethnic groups were recognized by the first national census in 1954. This further increased to 54 by the second national census in 1964, with the Lhoba group added in 1965. The last change was the addition of the Jino people in 1979, bringing the number of recognized ethnic groups to the current 56. The following are the 56 ethnic groups (listed by population) officially recognized by the People's Republic of China.
||2020 National Shares||2020 PopulationB||2010 PopulationB
||Year of recognitionC|
|Undistinguished||—||none||未识别民族||Wèi Shìbié Mínzú||0.0593%||836,488||640,101||734,438||749,341||—|
|Naturalized Citizen||—||none||外国人加入中国籍||Wàiguórén Jiārù Zhōngguójí||0.0012%||16,595||1,448||941||3,421||—|
AGB 3304－91 "Names of ethnicities of China in romanization with codes";
BThe population only includes mainland China;
CFor ethnic groups officially recognised in 1964 or earlier, this is the year of first inclusion in the national census, which were in 1954 and 1964;
1Also included are the Chuanqing;
2Also includes Utsuls of Hainan, descended from Cham refugees;
3One subset of which is also known as Hmong and other include Hmu, Xong and A-Hmao. Some of the related languages and groups of peoples are not necessarily classified under the Miao umbrella, which makes this term somewhat vague;
4including Amdowa and Khampa, as well as roughly half of Pumi speakers, the remainder of whom are classified as a separate Pumi ethnicity;
5Also known as Kam;
6Also included are the Sangkong;
7This category includes several different Tai-speaking groups historically referred to as Bai-yi. In fact, the Dai nationality consists of speakers of varieties of Shan languages. For instance, the Tai Lue and Tai Nuea peoples are actually subgroups of the Shan people. Despite this, speakers of Bumang are also included in the Dai nationality;
8Also included are the Mosuo;
9Also included are the Qago (木佬人);
10Known as Kachin in Myanmar;
11Also included are the Then;
12They are not Tajik people but Pamiri people;
13The same group as Vietnamese or Kinh people in Sino-Vietnamese;
14Known as Palaung in Myanmar;
15The same group as Nanai on the Russian side of the border;
16A collective name for all Taiwanese aborigine groups in Taiwan. In fact, the numbers of Gaoshan in census covers only those who lives in mainland China (mainly in Fujian) and consists of Amis (autonym: Pangcah), Paiwan and Bunun peoples.
The People's Republic of China government officially refers to all Taiwanese aborigines (Chinese: 原住民族; pinyin: Yuánzhùmínzú) as Gaoshan (Chinese: 高山族; pinyin: Gāoshānzú), whereas the Republic of China (Taiwan) recognizes 16 groups of Taiwanese aborigines. The term Gaoshan has a different connotation in Taiwan than it does in mainland China.[clarification needed]
"Unrecognized" ethnic minority groups
- Äynu (艾努人 Àinǔrén)
- Altaians (Oirots) are classified as Mongols
- Fuyu Kyrgyz are classified as Kyrgyz
- Gejia (家人 Gèjiārén)
- Bajia (八甲人 Bājiǎrén)
- Deng (僜人 Dèngrén)
- Hu (户人 Hùrén)
- Khmu (克木人 Kèmùrén)
- Kucong (Yellow Lahu / Lahu Shi; 苦聪人 / 苦聰人 Kǔcōngrén)
- Mang (芒人 Mángrén)
- Ili Turks (土尔克人 / 土爾克人)
- Sherpas (夏尔巴人 / 夏爾巴人 Xià'ěrbārén)
- Tankas (疍家人 / 蜑家人 Dànjiārén) including Fuzhou Tanka
- Tebbu (迭部人 Diébùrén)
- Tuvans (图瓦人 Túwǎrén) are considered part of the Mongol ethnicity
- Waxiang (瓦乡人 Wǎxiāng rén)
- Jews (犹太人 / 猶太人 Yóutàirén) (Jewish people of China and Jews in general)
- Macanese (土生葡人 Tǔshēng púrén), mixed race Catholic Portuguese speakers who lived in Macau since 16th century of various ethnic origins
- Utsuls (回辉人 Huíhuīrén), descendants of Cham Muslims who fled Vietnamese invasions of Champa
During the Fifth National Population Census of the People's Republic of China (2000), 734,438 persons in the Chinese mainland, 97% of them in Guizhou, were specifically recorded as belonging to "Undistinguished ethnic groups". Presumably, other members of such groups may have been counted within larger "recognized" groups.
Ethnic groups in Hong Kong and Macau
Hong Kong and Macau are special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China. The governments of Hong Kong and Macau do not use the official PRC ethnic classification system, nor does the PRC's official classification system take ethnic groups in Hong Kong and Macau into account. Minority groups such as Western Europeans (mainly English and Portuguese), and Southern or Southeastern Asians (mainly Filipinos, Indians, Indonesians, Nepalese, and Pakistanis) live in Hong Kong. Macau's main ethnic groups are of Chinese and Portuguese descent, but other ethnicities also live in the territory.
- Affirmative action in China
- Demographics of China
- Demographics of Taiwan
- Taiwanese people
- Ethnic minorities in China
- Han Chinese subgroups
- Hua–Yi distinction
- Languages of China
- List of endangered languages in China
- Kra–Dai ethnic groups in China
- Taiwanese indigenous peoples
- Unrecognized ethnic groups in China
- Zhonghua minzu
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