A dominant minority is a minority group that has overwhelming political, economic, or cultural dominance in a country, despite representing a small fraction of the overall population (a demographic minority). Dominant minorities are also known as alien elites if they are recent immigrants.
The term is most commonly used to refer to an ethnic group which is defined along racial, national, religious or cultural lines and that holds a disproportionate amount of power. A notable example is South Africa during the apartheid regime, where White South Africans – or Afrikaners more specifically – wielded predominant control of the country, despite never composing more than 22% of the population. African American-descended nationals in Liberia, Sunni Arabs in Ba'athist Iraq, the Alawite minority in Syria (since 1970 under the rule of the Alawite Assad family), and the Tutsi in Rwanda since the 1990s have also been cited as current or recent examples.
- Alawites in Syria
- Muhajirs in Pakistan
- Sunni Muslims in Bahrain
- Ethnic Chinese in Southeast Asia (in several countries, this group makes up 15% or less of the population while owning over 60% of the economy of such countries)
- Tigrayans in Ethiopia since 1991
- Arabs in Gulf states (Most of the population in these states are of foreign migrant workers from South and Central Asia, though native Arabs make up most of the government and have a higher standard of living than the foreign workers.)
- White Brazilians in Brazil during and after slavery
- Arab Sudanese in (pre-independence) South Sudan
- Afro-Guyanese in Guyana
- Ahom Tribe in erstwhile Ahom Kingdom now modern-day Assam, India
- Americo-Liberians in Liberia
- Anglo-Quebecers in Quebec prior and up until the Quiet Revolution
- Anglo-Burmese, Burmese Indians, Chinese Burmese and Burmese Christians in British Burma (modern-day Myanmar)
- Arabs in the Zanzibar Sultanate
- Austrians in the Austrian Empire
- Austrians and Hungarians in Austria-Hungary
- Azerbaijanis in the Safavid Iran
- Britons and Anglo-Indians in British India
- Britons in Hong Kong during British colonial rule
- Caldoches in New Caledonia
- Catholics in South Vietnam
- Ethnic Chinese in Bắc thuộc Vietnam
- Chagatai in the Mughal Empire, India
- Hindu Dogras in the Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir from early 19th to 20th century.
- Dutch and Indo people in the Dutch East Indies (modern-day Indonesia)
- French Lusignans in medieval Cyprus
- Germans in what is now Baltic States during the Order, subsequent local German states, Swedish rule in Estonia and later the Russian Empire
- Greeks in the Alexandrian Empire
- Greeks in Ptolemaic Egypt
- Greeks in the Seleucid Empire
- Greeks in the Byzantine Empire
- Hungarians in Transylvania
- Various Muslim dynasties of Turkic and Turco-Mongol origin in different parts of Medieval India, who were alien elites of foreign origin.
- Various Turkic dynasties in Medieval Iran
- Japanese in Taiwan during Japanese colonial rule
- Japanese in Korea during Japanese colonial rule
- Japanese in the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo
- Krios in Sierra Leone
- Mainland Chinese in Taiwan (Republic of China) during the martial law period
- Manchurians in the Qing Dynasty, China
- Mongolians in the Yuan Dynasty, China
- Norman French in the Norman Dynasty of England
- Peninsulares in the New World, modern-day Mexico, Colombia, Philippines, Cuba, and other nations of the former Spanish Empire
- Phoenicians in Ancient Carthage
- Pieds-Noirs in French Algeria
- The Protestant Ascendancy in British-ruled Ireland
- Romans in the Roman Empire
- Ethnic Russians in the Baltic Soviet Republics
- Scots-speaking Lowlanders in Scotland prior to the Highland Clearances
- Serbian people in Kosovo after the break-up of Socialist Yugoslavia
- Sikhs in Muslim-majority Punjab in the late 18th and 19th century.
- Sudanese Arabs in Anglo-Egyptian Sudan (modern-day Sudan and South Sudan)
- Arab Sunni Muslims in Saddam Hussein-era Iraq
- Swedes in the Swedish Empire
- Turks in the Ottoman Empire
- French speakers in Belgium before World War II
- White Americans in parts of the Southern United States during 19th century. African Americans made up a slight majority of the population in several southern states (Mississippi, South Carolina, and Louisiana), yet this group had no formal political power and almost no legal rights.
- White Namibians in South-West Africa (modern-day Namibia)
- White South Africans in South Africa under apartheid
- White Zimbabweans in Rhodesia (modern-day Zimbabwe)
- Colonialism, particularly exploitation colonialism and plantation colonies
- Middleman minority
- Model minority
- World on Fire, a book that introduces the concept of "market-dominant minority"
- We are the 99%
- Oded Haklai. A minority rule over a hostile majority: The case of Syria.
- "Bahrain country profile - Overview". BBC. BBC News. 25 November 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
- "International Religious Freedom Report for 2013". State.gov. US State Department. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
- "Bahrain: The Authorities Continue to Oppress the Shia Sect". Bahrain Center for Human Rights. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
- Dahir, Abdi Latif (30 October 2016). "Ethiopia's crisis is a result of decades of land disputes and ethnic power battles". Quartz Africa. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
For a quarter of a century, the Tigrayans, who make up only 6% of the country’s over 100 million population, have enjoyed disproportionate influence and representation in government.
- : "Under slavery, Ramos writes, 'the dominant minority, of European origin, ...'""
- : "When slavery was ended, members of the white elite were left feeling anxious and outnumbered."
- Yasmin Saikia. Fragmented Memories.
- President William V. S. Tubman, 1944 - 1971.
- U.S. Department of State. U.S. Relations With Liberia.
- Nicole Itano. For Liberians, old ties to US linger.
- Allen, Charles, ed. (1978). Plain Tales From The Raj. Futura. ISBN 0860074552.
- Welsh, Frank (1993). A Borrowed place: the history of Hong Kong. Kodansha International. ISBN 9781568360027.
- Barzilai, Gad. Communities and Law: Politics and Cultures of Legal Identities (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2003). ISBN 978-0-472-03079-8
- Gibson, Richard. African Liberation Movements: Contemporary Struggles against White Minority Rule (Institute of Race Relations: Oxford University Press, London, 1972). ISBN 0-19-218402-4
- Russell, Margo and Martin. Afrikaners of the Kalahari: White Minority in a Black State ( Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1979). ISBN 0-521-21897-7
- Johnson, Howard and Watson, Karl (eds.). The white minority in the Caribbean (Wiener Publishing, Princeton, NJ, 1998). ISBN 976-8123-10-9, ISBN 1-55876-161-6
- Chua, Amy. World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability (Doubleday, New York, 2003). ISBN 0-385-50302-4
- Haviland, William. Cultural Anthropology. (Vermont: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Publishers, 1993). p. 250-252. ISBN 0-15-508550-6.