The Han Chinese are the largest ethnic group in China, comprising about 92% of the mainland population, about 95% of the population of Taiwan, and about 92% of the population of Hong Kong. They are also the world's largest ethnic group, comprising about 18% of the global human population.
Han Chinese people are often referred to as "Chinese" or "ethnic Chinese" in English. However, there are dozens of other related and unrelated ethnic groups in China, with the People's Republic of China (PRC) officially recognizing 56 distinct ethnic groups, many of whom live in the special administrative regions of the country.
Han Chinese people, the largest ethnic group in China, are often referred to as "Chinese" or "ethnic Chinese" in English. The ethnic Chinese also form a majority or notable minority in other countries, and comprise about 18% of the global human population.
Other ethnic groups in China include the related Hui people or "Chinese Muslims", the Zhuang, Manchu, Uyghurs and Miao, who make up the five largest ethnic minorities in mainland China with populations exceeding 10 million. In addition, the Yi, Tujia, Tibetans and Mongols each number populations between six and nine million.
The People's Republic of China (PRC) officially recognizes 56 distinct ethnic groups, many of whom live in the special administrative regions of the country. However, there exists several smaller ethnicities who are "unrecognized" or subsumed as part another ethnic group. The Republic of China (ROC or commonly Taiwan) officially recognizes 14 tribes of Taiwanese aborigines, who together with unrecognized tribes comprise about 2% of the country's population.
During the Qing dynasty the term "Chinese people" (Chinese: 中國之人 Zhōngguó zhī rén; Manchu: Dulimbai gurun i niyalma) was used by the Qing government to refer to all subjects of the empire, including Han, Manchu, and Mongols.
Zhonghua minzu (simplified Chinese: 中华民族; traditional Chinese: 中華民族; pinyin: Zhōnghuá Mínzú), the "Chinese nation", is a supra-ethnic concept which includes all 56 ethnic groups living in China that are officially recognized by the government of the People's Republic of China. It includes established ethnic groups who have lived within the borders of China since at least the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911). The term zhonghua minzu was used during the Republic of China from 1911–1949 to refer to a subset of five ethnic groups in China. The term zhongguo renmin (Chinese: 中国人民), "Chinese people", was the government's preferred term during the life of Mao Zedong; zhonghua minzu is more common in recent decades.
Nationality, citizenship and residence
The Nationality law of the People's Republic of China regulates nationality within the PRC. A person obtains nationality either by birth when at least one parent is of Chinese nationality or by naturalization. All people holding nationality of the People's Republic of China are citizens of the Republic. The Resident Identity Card is the official form of identification for residents of the People's Republic of China.
Within the People's Republic of China, a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport or Macao Special Administrative Region passport may be issued to permanent residents of Hong Kong or Macao, respectively.
The Nationality law of the Republic of China regulates nationality within the Republic of China (Taiwan). A person obtains nationality either by birth or by naturalization. A person with at least one parent who is a national of the Republic of China, or born in the ROC to stateless parents qualifies for nationality by birth.
The National Identification Card is an identity document issued to people who have household registration in Taiwan. The Resident Certificate is an identification card issued to residents of the Republic of China who do not hold a National Identification Card.
The relationship between Taiwanese nationality and Chinese nationality is disputed.
Overseas Chinese refers to people of Chinese ethnicity or national heritage who live outside the People's Republic of China or Taiwan as the result of the continuing diaspora. People with one or more Chinese ancestors may consider themselves overseas Chinese. Such people vary widely in terms of cultural assimilation. In some areas throughout the world ethnic enclaves known as Chinatowns are home to populations of Chinese ancestry.
In Southeast Asia, Chinese people call themselves 華人 (Huárén), which is distinguished from (中國人) (Zhōngguórén) or the citizens of the People's Republic of China or the Republic of China. This is especially so in the Chinese communities of Southeast Asia. The term Zhongguoren has a more political or ideological aspect in its use; while many in China may use Zhongguoren to mean the Chinese ethnicity, some in Taiwan would refuse to be called Zhongguoren.
For countries with significant populations
For countries with noteworthy populations
Other countries with Chinese populations
- Chinese American
- Chinese Indonesian
- Chinese Vietnamese
- Chinese Cambodian
- Chinese Russian
- Chinese Italian
- British Chinese
- Chinese Caribbean
- Chinese Cuban
- Chinese Guyanese
- Chinese Jamaican
- Chinese Trinidadian and Tobagonian
- Chinese Surinamese
- Chinese Puerto Rican
- Chinese Brazilian
- Chinese Argentine
- Chinese Mexican
- Chinese Peruvian
- Chinese Venezuelan
Related topics of interest
- Harding, Harry (1993). "The Concept of "greater China": Themes, Variations and Reservations". The China Quarterly (136): 660–86. JSTOR 655587.
- CIA Factbook: "Han Chinese 91.6%" out of a reported population of 1,379 billion (July 2017 est.)
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