Ethnolinguistic map of the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China (Taiwan)
Multiple ethnic groups populate China, where "China" is taken to mean areas controlled by either of the two states using "China" in their formal names, the People's Republic of China (China) and the Republic of China (Taiwan).
The Han Chinese are the largest ethnic group, where some 91.59% of the population was classified as Han Chinese (~1.2 billion). Besides the majority Han Chinese, 55 other ethnic groups are recognised in mainland China by the PRC government, numbering approximately 105 million people, mostly concentrated in the northwest, north, northeast, south, and southwest but with some in central interior areas.
Officially recognized ethnic groups in mainland China
In order of population, this is the list of the 56 ethnic groups in China that are officially recognized by the government of the People's Republic of China. The number of officially recognized ethic groups in China used to be 39 in 1954, which increased to 54 by 1964. The last change was the addition of the Jino people in 1979, bringing the number of recognized ethnic groups to the current 56.
Several ethnic groups including the Punti, Hakka, Hoklo and Tanka ("boat dwellers") reside in Hong Kong and Macau.[clarification needed]
The People's Republic of China government officially refers to all Taiwanese aborigines as Gaoshan, whereas the Republic of China (Taiwan) recognizes 14 groups of Taiwanese aborigines. The term Gaoshan has a different connotation in Taiwan than it does in mainland China. While several thousands of these aborigines have migrated to Fujian province in mainland China, most remain in Taiwan. Due to the contested political status and legal status of Taiwan, the PRC classification of Taiwanese aborigines may be controversial. Also, scientific research conducted by Chen Shun-sheng of the Kaohsiung Hospital’s psychiatric department confirms DNA studies of Taiwan’s people revealed a large percentage of the population has mixed Han Chinese and aboriginal bloodlines.
When Taiwanese Han "blood nationalists" tried to claim Plains Aboriginal ancestry in order to promote Taiwan independence and try to claim an identity different from that of mainland Chinese in spite of the fact that their own ancestry is overwhelmingly that of recent migrants from China and genetic tests show differences between them and plains aborigines, their claims were decidedly rejected by the actual descendants of Taiwanese Plains Aborigines, who seek to preserve their own traditional culture since the abuse of claiming their ancestry by Taiwanese "blood nationalists" to create a unique Taiwanese identity based on blood negates the actual significance of having Plains Aboriginal ancestors.
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. As a result, minority groups such as Europeans (mainly English), and South or South East Asians (mainly Filipinos, Indian, Indonesians, Nepalese and Pakistani) in Hong Kong.
^Ward, Barbara, (1977) "Readers and Audiences: An Exploration of the Spread of Traditional Chinese Culture" from Jain, Ravindra K., Text and Context: The Social Anthropology of Tradition pp.181-203, Philadelphia: Institute for the Study of Human Issues