Ethnic groups in the Middle East

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Ethnolinguistic distribution in Central/Southwest Asia of the Altaic, Caucasian, Afroasiatic (Hamito-Semitic) and Indo-European families.

The ethnic groups in the Middle East refers to the peoples that reside in West Asia as well as Egypt in North Africa, a transcontinental region commonly known as the Middle East. The region has historically been a crossroad of different cultures. Since the 1960s, the changes in political and economic factors (especially the enormous oil wealth in the region and conflicts) have significantly altered the ethnic composition of groups in the region. While some ethnic groups have been present in the region for millennia, others have arrived fairly recently through immigration. The largest ethnic groups in the region are Arabs, Egyptians,[1][2][3] Kurds, Persians, Turks and Azerbaijanis[4] but there are dozens of other ethnic groups which have hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of members.

Other indigenous, native, or long-standing ethnic groups include: Amazigh, Berbers, Arameans, Assyrians, Baloch, Copts, Cappadocian Greeks, Cypriots, Druze, Gilaks, Greeks, Jews, Laz, Lurs, Mandaeans, Maronites, Mazanderanis, Mhallami, Nawar, Pontic Greeks, Rûm, Samaritans, Shabaks, Talysh, Tats and Zazas.

Diaspora ethnic groups include: Albanians, Bengalis, Britons, Bosniaks, Chinese, Circassians, Crimean Tatars, Filipinos, French people, Indians, Indonesians, Kawliya, Italians, Malays, Malayali, Pakistanis, Pashtuns, Punjabis, Romani, Sikhs, Sindhis, Somalis, Sri Lankans, Turkmens, and Sub-Saharan Africans.


Countries Demographics
 Bahrain Ethnic groups in Bahrain
 Cyprus Ethnic groups in Cyprus
 Egypt Ethnic groups in Egypt
 Iran Ethnic groups in Iran
 Iraq Ethnic groups in Iraq
 Israel Ethnic groups in Israel
 Jordan Ethnic groups in Jordan
 Kuwait Ethnic groups in Kuwait
 Lebanon Ethnic groups in Lebanon
 Oman Ethnic groups in Oman
 Palestine Ethnic groups in Palestine
 Qatar Ethnic groups in Qatar
 Saudi Arabia Ethnic groups in Saudi Arabia
 Syria Ethnic groups in Syria
 Turkey Ethnic groups in Turkey
 United Arab Emirates Ethnic groups in the United Arab Emirates
 Yemen Ethnic groups in Yemen

Middle East[edit]

Arab peoples
North Africans
Sub-Saharan Africans
Syriac-speaking peoples
Indo-European peoples
Turkic peoples


Ethnic map of Asia Minor and Caucasus in 1914
Indo-European peoples
Kartvelian peoples
Turkic peoples


Iranian Plateau[edit]

Geographic distribution of modern Iranian languages
Indo-European peoples
Kartvelian peoples
Turkic peoples
Peoples of the Caucasus in Iran

Diaspora populations[edit]

Because of the low population of many of the Arab States of the Persian Gulf and the demand for labor created by the large discoveries of oil in these countries there has been a steady stream of immigration to the region (mainly from South Asia). Ethnic groups which comprise the largest portions of this immigration include Afghans, Bengalis, Britons, Chinese, Filipinos, Indians, Indonesians, Malays, Nepalis, Pakistanis, Punjabis, Sikhs, Sindhis, Somalis, Sri Lankans, and Sub-Saharan Africans. Many of these people are denied certain political and legal rights in the countries in which they live and frequently face mistreatment by the native-born citizens of the host countries.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Egypt". By far the largest ethnic group in Egypt are the Egyptians, which refers to both an ethnic group and a nationality
  2. ^ a b "National Geographic DNA analysis project proves that Egyptians and Tunisians are not Arabs". 68 percent of the indigenous population is from North Africa, four percent are from Jewish ancestry...
  3. ^ "Egyptians are 71% North Eastern African nation".
  4. ^ Ethnic Groups of Africa and the Middle East: An Encyclopedia. Retrieved 26 May 2014.