Ethnolinguistic map of China
China's Autonomous Regions and its Designated Ethnic Minority

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).[1] 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 ethnic minorities in China are the Zhuang (19.6 million), Hui (11.4 million), Uyghurs (11 million), Miao (11 million), Manchus (10.4 million), Yi (9.8 million), Tujia (9.6 million), Tibetans (7 million), Mongols (6.3 million), Buyei (3.5 million), Dong (3.5 million), Yao (3.3 million), Bai (2 million), Koreans (1.7 million), Hani (1.7 million), Li (1.6 million), Kazakhs (1.5 million), and Dai (1.2 million).[2] At least 126,000 people from Canada, the United States, and Europe are living in mainland China.[3] In addition, there are a number of unrecognized ethnic groups which together comprise over 730,000 people.

Officially recognized groups

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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.[4][5] Languages of officially recognized minorities are used in official government documents.[6]

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.[7]

English Name
Standard Romanization
CodeA
Simplified Chinese
Mandarin Pinyin
2020 National Shares 2020 PopulationB 2010 PopulationB
2000 PopulationB
1990 PopulationB
Year of recognitionC
Han1 Han HA 汉族 Hànzú 91.1098% 1,284,446,389 1,220,844,520 1,139,773,008 1,042,482,187 1954
Zhuang Zhuang ZH 壮族 Zhuàngzú 1.3801% 19,568,546 16,926,381 16,187,163 15,489,630 1954
Uyghur Uygur UG 维吾尔族 Wéiwú'ěrzú 0.8352% 11,774,538 10,069,346 8,405,416 7,214,431 1954
Hui2 Hui HU 回族 Huízú 0.8070% 11,377,914 10,586,087 9,828,126 8,602,978 1954
Miao3 Miao MH 苗族 Miáozú 0.7851% 11,067,929 9,426,007 8,945,538 7,398,035 1954
Manchu Man MA 满族 Mǎnzú 0.7394% 10,423,303 10,387,958 10,708,464 9,821,180 1954
Yi Yi YI 彝族 Yízú 0.6973% 9,830,327 8,714,393 7,765,858 6,572,173 1954
Tujia Tujia TJ 土家族 Tǔjiāzú 0.6801% 9,587,732 8,353,912 8,037,014 5,704,223 1964
Tibetan4 Zang ZA 藏族 Zàngzú 0.5008% 7,060,731 6,282,187 5,422,954 4,593,330 1954
Mongol Mongol MG 蒙古族 Měnggǔzú 0.4461% 6,290,204 5,981,840 5,827,808 4,806,849 1954
Bouyei Bouyei BY 布依族 Bùyīzú 0.2537% 3,576,752 2,870,034 2,973,217 2,545,059 1954
Dong5 Dong DO 侗族 Dòngzú 0.2480% 3,495,993 2,879,974 2,962,911 2,514,014 1954
Yao Yao YA 瑶族 Yáozú 0.2347% 3,309,341 2,796,003 2,638,878 2,134,013 1954
Bai Bai BA 白族 Báizú 0.1484% 2,091,543 1,933,510 1,861,895 1,594,827 1954
Hani6 Hani HN 哈尼族 Hānízú 0.1229% 1,733,166 1,660,932 1,440,029 1,253,952 1954
Korean Chosŏn CS 朝鲜族 Cháoxiǎnzú 0.1207% 1,702,479 1,830,929 1,929,696 1,920,597 1954
Li Li LI 黎族 Lízú 0.1136% 1,602,104 1,463,064 1,248,022 1,110,900 1954
Kazakh Kazak KZ 哈萨克族 Hāsàkèzú 0.1108% 1,562,518 4,447,588 4,251,023 3,111,718 1954
Dai7 Dai DA 傣族 Dǎizú 0.0943% 1,329,985 1,261,311 1,159,231 1,025,128 1954
Lisu Lisu LS 傈僳族 Lìsùzú 0.0541% 762,296 702,839 635,101 574,856 1954
She She SH 畲族 Shēzú 0.0529% 746,385 708,651 710,039 630,378 1964
Dongxiang Dongxiang DX 东乡族 Dōngxiāngzú 0.0550% 774,947 621,500 513,826 373,872 1954
Gelao Gelao GL 仡佬族 Gēlǎozú 0.0481% 677,521 550,746 579,744 437,997 1964
Lahu Lahu LH 拉祜族 Lāhùzú 0.0354% 499,167 485,966 453,765 411,476 1954
Sui Sui SU 水族 Shuǐzú 0.0352% 495,928 411,847 407,000 345,993 1954
Wa Wa WA 佤族 Wǎzú 0.0306% 430,997 429,709 396,709 351,974 1954
Nakhi8 Naxi NX 纳西族 Nàxīzú 0.0230% 323,767 326,295 309,477 278,009 1954
Qiang Qiang QI 羌族 Qiāngzú 0.0222% 312,981 309,576 306,476 198,252 1954
Tu Tu TU 土族 Tǔzú 0.0200% 281,928 289,565 241,593 191,624 1954
Mulao9 Mulao ML 仫佬族 Mùlǎozú 0.0197% 277,233 216,257 207,464 159,328 1964
Kyrgyz Kirgiz KG 柯尔克孜族 Kē'ěrkèzīzú 0.0145% 204,402 186,708 160,875 141,549 1954
Xibe Xibe XB 锡伯族 Xībózú 0.0136% 191,911 190,481 189,357 172,847 1954
Salar Salar SL 撒拉族 Sālāzú 0.0117% 165,159 130,607 104,521 87,697 1954
Jingpo10 Jingpo JP 景颇族 Jǐngpōzú 0.0114% 160,471 147,828 132,158 119,209 1954
Daur Daur DU 达斡尔族 Dáwò'ěrzú 0.0094% 132,299 131,992 132,747 121,357 1964
Blang Blang BL 布朗族 Bùlǎngzú 0.0090% 127,345 119,639 91,891 82,280 1964
Maonan11 Maonan MN 毛南族 Máonánzú 0.0088% 124,092 101,192 107,184 71,968 1964
Tajik12 Tajik TA 塔吉克族 Tǎjíkèzú 0.0036% 50,896 51,069 41,056 33,538 1954
Pumi Pumi PM 普米族 Pǔmǐzú 0.0032% 45,012 42,861 33,628 29,657 1964
Achang Achang AC 阿昌族 Āchāngzú 0.0031% 43,775 39,555 33,954 27,708 1964
Nu Nu NU 怒族 Nùzú 0.0026% 36,575 37,523 28,770 27,123 1964
Evenki Ewenki EW 鄂温克族 Èwēnkèzú 0.0025% 34,617 30,875 30,545 26,315 1954
Vietnamese13 Gin GI 京族 Jīngzú 0.0024% 33,112 28,199 22,584 18,915 1964
Jino Jino JN 基诺族 Jīnuòzú 0.0018% 26,025 23,143 20,899 18,021 1979
Bonan Bonan BO 保安族 Bǎo'ānzú 0.0017% 24,434 20,074 16,505 12,212 1954
De'ang14 Deang DE 德昂族 Dé'ángzú 0.0016% 22,354 20,556 17,935 15,462 1964
Russian Russ RS 俄罗斯族 Éluósīzú 0.0011% 16,136 15,393 15,631 13,504 1954
Yugur Yugur YG 裕固族 Yùgùzú 0.0010% 14,706 14,378 13,747 12,297 1954
Uzbek Uzbek UZ 乌孜别克族 Wūzībiékèzú 0.0009% 12,742 10,569 12,423 14,502 1954
Monba Monba MB 门巴族 Ménbāzú 0.0008% 11,143 10,561 8,928 7,475 1964
Oroqen Oroqen OR 鄂伦春族 Èlúnchūnzú 0.0007% 9,168 8,659 8,216 6,965 1954
Derung Derung DR 独龙族 Dúlóngzú 0.0005% 7,310 6,930 7,431 5,816 1964
Hezhen15 Hezhen HZ 赫哲族 Hèzhézú 0.0004% 5,373 5,354 4,664 4,245 1964
Lhoba Lhoba LB 珞巴族 Luòbāzú 0.0003% 4,237 3,682 2,970 2,312 1965
Tatars Tatar TT 塔塔尔族 Tǎtǎ'ěrzú 0.0003% 3,544 3,556 4,895 4,873 1954
Gaoshan16 Gaoshan GS 高山族 Gāoshānzú 0.0002% 3,479 4,009 4,488 2,909 1954
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";[8]
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[9] and 1964;[10]
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.[citation needed]

Taiwanese aborigines

Main article: Taiwanese indigenous 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.[11] The term Gaoshan has a different connotation in Taiwan than it does in mainland China.[clarification needed]

Unlisted ethnic groups

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Main article: Unrecognized ethnic groups in China

Part of a poster in Beijing showing the 56 ethnic groups of China

The following ethnic groups living in China are not recognized by the Chinese government:

During the Fifth National Population Census of the People's Republic of China held in 2000, 734,438 people on the mainland were recorded as belonging to "undistinguished ethnic groups"—of these, 97% resided in Guizhou, .[14]

Hong Kong and Macau

See also: Demographics of Hong Kong and Demographics of Macau

Hong Kong and Macau are special administrative regions within 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.[15] Macau's main ethnic groups are of Chinese and Portuguese descent, but other ethnicities also live in the territory.[16]

Gallery

See also

References

  1. ^ "Han Chinese proportion in China's population drops: census data". Xinhua News (English). 28 April 2011. Archived from the original on 11 July 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  2. ^ "index". www.stats.gov.cn.
  3. ^ "Expats in China: Nationalities and in which cities they settle".
  4. ^ Jarmuth, Anna (2020-09-22). "Ethnic Minorities and the Fight against Poverty in China: The Case of Yunnan". Institute for Security and Development Policy. Retrieved 2023-10-19.
  5. ^ Lai, Hongyi. "China's Ethnic Policies and Challenges" (PDF).
  6. ^ "White Paper 1999: Ethnic Minorities Policy in China". un.china-mission.gov.cn. Retrieved 2023-10-19.
  7. ^ 胡鸿保; 张丽梅 (2009). 民族识别原则的变化与民族人口 [Changes in Ethnic Identification Principles and Ethnic Population]. Southwest University for Nationalities University Press (in Chinese) (4).
  8. ^ GB 3304-91 Names of nationalities of China in romanization with codes Archived 2009-11-01 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ First National Population Census of the People's Republic of China
  10. ^ Second National Population Census of the People's Republic of China
  11. ^ "Gov't officially recognizes two more aboriginal people groups". China Post. CNA. 27 June 2014. Archived from the original on 11 November 2014. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
  12. ^ Olson, James S. (1998). "Altai". An Ethnohistorical Dictionary of China. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press. pp. 9–11. ISBN 0-313-28853-4.
  13. ^ Mongush, M. V. (1996). "Tuvans of Mongolia and China". International Journal of Central Asian Studies (1): 225–243.
  14. ^ 第五次人口普查数据(2000年). 表1—6. 省、自治区、直辖市分性别、民族的人口 ( Fifth National Population Census of the People's Republic of China (2000). Table 1-6: Population of provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities by ethnicity). (in Chinese)
  15. ^ Paul O'Connor (2018). "Ethnic Minorities and Ethnicity in Hong Kong". Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Hong Kong. Routledge. pp. 59–274. ISBN 9780367580605.
  16. ^ João de Pina Cabral. "THE 'ETHNIC' COMPOSITION OF MACAO". Cultural Bureau of Macau. Retrieved 2023-11-29.

Further reading