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A number of ethnic groups of the People's Republic of China are not officially recognized.[1] Taken together, these groups (Chinese: 未识别民族; pinyin: wèi shíbié mínzú) would constitute the twentieth most populous ethnic group of China. Some scholars have estimated that there are over 200 distinct ethnic groups that inhabit China,[1] compared to 56 groups are officially recognized. There are in addition small distinct ethnic groups that have been classified as part of larger ethnic groups that are officially recognized. Some groups, like the Hui of Xinjiang with the Hui of Fujian, are geographically and culturally separate, except for the shared belief of Islam. Han Chinese, being the world's largest ethnic group, has a large diversity within it, such as in Gansu, whose Han individuals may have genetic traits from the assimilated Tangut civilization.[citation needed] Although they are indigenous to Hainan island and do not speak a Chinese language, the Lingao (Ong-Be) people near the capital (8% of the population) are counted as Han Chinese[citation needed].

List of ethnic groups

English Name
Simplified Chinese
Mandarin Pinyin
Population Classified in census as ..... Territory Details
Bunu 布努人 Bùnǔrén 700,000 Yao Guangxi [2]
Chuanqing 穿青人 Chuānqīngrén 670,000 Han Liupanshui/Zhijin County, Bijie Prefecture, Guizhou The Chuanqings view themselves as a distinct group of people despite being descendants of Han Chinese military servicemen. Most of them live in Anshun area of Guizhou province. Other locals call the Chuanqings "Da Jiao Ban" (Big Foot) or "Da Xiuzi" (Big Sleeves). Uniquely, they worship a god called Wuxian (五显).
Lingao 临高人 Língāorén 500,000 [3][full citation needed] Han or Zhuang Hainan[4][full citation needed] Speakers of the Be languages. Some have chosen to register as Zhuang, while the majority of them registered as Han.[5][6][full citation needed]
Waxiang 瓦乡人 Wǎxiāngrén 400,000[7] Han Yuanling County, Yongding, Yongshun County of Hunan Many of the Waxiang people are designated as Miao, while some are designated as Tujia or Han.
Torghut 土尔扈特 Tǔěrhùtè 150,000[8][unreliable source?] Mongols Xinjiang[9][full citation needed]
Gyalrong 嘉絨人 Jiāróngrén 120,000 Tibetan Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Speakers of the Gyalrong language related to Qiang.
Limin 里民人 Lǐmínrén 100,000 Li Anshun/Qianxinan Buyei and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Guizhou Part of the Chuanqing people. Not related to the Li people of Hainan.
Gejia 克木族 Géjiārén 50,000 Miao Qiandongnan Prefecture, Guizhou
Äynu 艾努 人 Àinǔrén 50,000 Uyghur Moyu/Hetian/Luopu/Shache/Shule/Yingjisha Counties, Hotan Prefecture, Xinjiang Ethnically and linguistically distinct, speak Äynu language (Siberian Turkic subfamily) and adhere Shia Islam (Alevism).
Caijia 蔡家人 Càijiārén 40,000 Han or Bai Guizhou Caijia people's language is said to be a relative of the Bai language.
Muxi 木佬人 Mùlǎorén 30,000 Yi Majiang/Kaili/Huangping (Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture), Duyun/Fuquan (Qiannan Buyei and Miao Autonomous Prefecture), Guizhou and Chun'an County, Zhejiang Their language Muyu belongs to the Kra language group, close to the proverb, but due to similarities to the Gelao they are being classified into the Yi.
Mojia 莫家人 Mòjiārén 20,000 Bouyei[10] Libo County, Qiannan Buyei and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Guizhou They speak the Mak language (Kam-Sui).
Baima 白马人 Báimǎrén 15,000 Tibetan Jiuzhaigou, Sichuan and Wen County, Gansu The Baima people are said to be the descendants of Di (氐) people.
Utsul 回辉人 Huíhuīrén 8,500 Hui Hainan The Utsuls are thought to be descendants of Cham refugees who fled their homeland of Champa in Vietnam.
Khmu 克木族 Kèmùzú 7,000 Bulang Xishuangbanna, Yunnan
Guge 古格人 Gǔgérén 5,000 Hui (Qinghai), Tibetan (Yunnan) Hualong Hui Autonomous County, Haidong Prefecture, Qinghai, Deqen/Weixi Counties, Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan and Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region It is distributed in Hualong Hui Autonomous County of Qinghai Province, Shangri-La, Deqin, Weixi County, and Lhasa City of Tibet Autonomous Region in the Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yunnan Province. The Guge people are culturally coordinated and adapted to be compatible with and preserve multi-ethnic culture. Suddenly retain the characteristics of the Hui culture, forming a unique nation.
Akha 阿卡人 Ākǎrén 6,000 Hani Jinghong/Jinghan/Qilong town (Jinghong County), Bulangshan town (Menghai County) and Qilun town (Mengla County), Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan The Akha claimed to be "over gram", and Akha was the name of the Yi people (meaning "slaves").
Bisu 毕苏人 Bìsūrén 6,000 Some are classified as Lahu while those who live in Menghai County are counted as "undistinguished nationalities" Menghai County, Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan
Lemo 勒墨人 Lēimòrén 7,000 Bai and Lisu Lushui County, Nujiang Lisu Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan They are results of intermarriage between Tai Mao (Dehong Dai/Shan) and Lisu peoples.
Altaians 阿爾泰人 Ā'ěrtàirén several thousand Mongolian

Altay Prefecture of Xinjiang[11]

Tuvans 图瓦人 Túwǎrén 3,900 Mongolian Far north of Xinjiang[12][13] Only around 2,000 Tuvan speakers left.
Bugan 布赓人 Bùgēngrén 2,700 Yi Southern Guangnan (广南) and northern Xichou (西畴), Yunnan Speakers of the Bugan language.
Pakan 布赓人 Bùgēngrén 2,000 Yi Wennan, Xiqiao. Wenshan, Yunnan
Buyang 布央人 Bùyāngrén 2,000 Yao, Zhuang Wenshan Prefecture, Yunnan and Napo County, Guangxi They are closely related to the Laha, Qabiao, Gelao, and Lachi.
Deng 僜人 Chēngrén 2,000 May be classified as Tibetan Zayu County, Linzhi (Nyingchi), Tibet Autonomous Region They speak various Mishmi languages (including Kaman/Miju and Idu Mishmi language).
Bolyu 巴琉 Bāliú 1,800 Longlin County, Guangxi Also known as Lai.
Kunge 昆格人 Kūngérén 1,656 (338 households) Blang Jinghong County, Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan The custom of the Kunge is different from that of the general Blang. The unique special day has the Dragon and the Dragon Festival. The Dragon Column is an iron festival. The time is in the solar calendar in February. During the festival, you must kill the cows, burn the bonfire, and worship the ancestors.
Bajia 八甲人 Bājiǎrén 1,500 Blang and Yi Yu'a/Yucha Township, Menghai County, Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Distributed in Menghai County, Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province. Those who mixed with Blang are being classified as Blang peoples while those who unmixed are being classified as Yi peoples (this happened on 2011 after approval by Chinese National Civil Affairs Commission and the Yunnan Provincial Government).
Fuyu Kyrgyz 富裕柯尔克孜人 1,400 Kyrgyz Fuyu County, Heilongjiang Ethnically and linguistically distinct from Kyrgyz, closely related to the ancient Yenisei Kyrgyz and modern Khakas in Siberia.
Keriya 克里雅人 Kèlǐyǎrén 1,300 Uyghur Yutian/Minfeng County, Hotan Prefecture, Xinjiang The Keriya people are said to be descendants of the Tibet Aliguge dynasty. Another group are said to be desert indigenous people living there. The natural environment determines the lifestyle of the Keriya people in the deep Taklimakan Desert. It still retains the simple and pure folk customs. Culture and a more primitive way of life. Most of them lived together for generations. The elderly at home are the most respected elders. The tribes rarely marry outsiders. They are called "the primitive tribes in the desert".
Manmi 曼咪人 Mànmīrén 1,000 Blang Jinghong County, Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Manmi people have their own language, Man Met which belongs to the Mon-Khmer (Austroasiatic) language group, and the Manmi people's housing, costumes, religious beliefs, and festivals are similar to the Yi people, but the ethnic group is classified as the Blang ethnic group. Now, Manmi people hope to be counted as an independent nation.
Kaifeng Jews 开封犹太人 Kāifēng Yóutàizú 600 – 1,000[14] Hui or Han Kaifeng, Henan Descendants of Jewish silk road traders.
Kangjia 康家人 Kāngjiārén 500–600 Hui Jainca (Jianzha) County, Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai The Kangjia people have their own language, Kangjia language. It belongs to the Mongolian language group. The lifestyle is mixed with the Hui and Tu nationalities. Therefore, the Kangjia peoples now consider themselves to be an independent nationality, different from the surrounding people.
Mang 莽人 Mǎngrén 568 Blang Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan
Tomao 托茂人 Tuōmàorén 500 Hui Yanqi Hui Autonomous County, Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture, Xinjiang and Zhidoi County, Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Muslim minority distributed in Qinghai and Xinjiang,[15][full citation needed] with its own unique customs, using Tomo language (a Mongolian mixed Arabic and Persian vocabulary).
Qabiao 布标族 Bùbiāozú 302 Yi Malipo County, Yunnan Also known in Vietnam as the Pu Peo.
Laopin 老品人 Lǎopǐnrén 233 (in 52 households) May be classified as Dai Menghai County, Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan The Lao Ping ethnics call themselves "old products", also known as "card products". Old people retain their own language, such as eating for "Tangza", housing for "crowding", and fluent slang. The old-fashioned housing is a Chinese-style bungalow. A unique original religion, with temples and godless statues, is held every year in the whole village.
Laomian 老緬人 Lǎomiǎnrén 233 (in 52 households) Lahu Menghai County, Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan The Laomian has nothing to do with the Burmese. The Laomian people is a cross-border ethnic group distributed in the border areas of China, Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos. In China, Laojia Dazhai in Zhutang Township of Mula County and Miaohai Village in Menghai County of Mianhai County are the main settlements.
Daman 达曼人 Dámànrén 200 Tibetan Gyirong County, Shigatse Prefecture, Tibet They are popularly believed to be descendants of the Nepalese Gurkha army.
Caizu 菜族人 Càizúrén 170 (in 32 households) Han Unknown
Ili Turks 土尔克人,
Tǔěrkèrén 120[16] Uzbek, Uyghur Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture, Northern Xinjiang Ethnically and linguistically distinct from Uyghurs.
Ongkor 翁阔人 Wēngkuòrén 20 Evenki Yining County, Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture, Xinjiang It is said that Ongkor is the smallest ethnic group in China. The 1993 survey showed that there were only 20 people.
Tanka 疍家人 Dànjiārén Han Guangdong, Fujian, Hainan Thought to have Baiyue origins. Traditionally boat people who lived by the sea, they were sometimes referred to as "sea gypsies".
Dolan 刀朗人 Dāolǎngrén Uyghur Awat County, Xinjiang
Kucong 苦聪人 Kǔcōngrén Lahu Yunnan

See also


  1. ^ a b Shih, Chih-yu (2002). Negotiating Ethnicity in China: Citizenship as a Response to the State. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-28372-8.
  2. ^ Luo, Liuning 罗柳宁 (2018-04-07). "Bùnǔ Yáo léigōng miào de wénhuà nèihán jiědú" 布努瑶雷公庙的文化内涵解读. Pǔshì shèhuì kēxué yánjiū wǎng 普世社会科学研究网 (in Chinese). Retrieved 2021-06-06.
  3. ^ Zhōngguó dìlǐ 中国地理 (in Chinese). Zhongguo renmin daxue shubao ziliaoshe. 1986.
  4. ^ "Hua nan shi fan da xue xue bao: Journal of South China Normal University. She hui ke xue ban". Huánán shīfàn dàxué xuébào 华南师范大学学报 (in Chinese). 1983.
  5. ^ Shi, Lianzhu 施联朱 (2005). Zhōngguó de mínzú shìbié: 56 gè mínzú de láilì 中国的民族识别: 56个民族的来历 (in Chinese). Beijing Shi: Minzu chubanshe. ISBN 978-7-105-06613-1.
  6. ^ "東南文化". Dōngnán wénhuà 東南文化 (in Chinese). 1987.
  7. ^ Liu, Xinglu 刘兴禄 (2009). "Xiāngxī Wǎxiāng rénmín wèn shòuliè xísú chūtàn" 湘西瓦乡人民问狩猎习俗初探 [An Exploration of Hunting Custom of the Waxiang People in Xiangxi]. Jíshǒu dàxué xuébào (shèhuì kēxué bǎn) (in Chinese). 30 (5): 49. doi:10.3969/j.issn.1007-4074.2009.05.010.
  8. ^ "Jiědú: Měiguó wèihé huì yǒu 3200 míng Tǔěrhùtèrén? Tāmen shì zěnme dào dì Měiguó?" 解读:美国为何会有3200名土尔扈特人?他们是怎么到的美国?. Wǎngyì 网易 (in Chinese). 2020-09-04. Retrieved 2021-06-25.
  9. ^ "民族硏究". Mínzú yánjiū 民族硏究 (in Chinese). 1999.
  10. ^ Yang, Tongyin 杨通銀 (2000). Mòyǔ yánjiū 莫语硏究 (in Chinese). Beijing Shi: Zhongyang minzu daxue chubanshe. ISBN 978-7-81056-427-4.
  11. ^ Olson, James S. (1998). "Altai". An Ethnohistorical Dictionary of China. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. pp. 9–11. ISBN 0-313-28853-4.
  12. ^ Mongush, M. V. (1996). "Tuvans of Mongolia and China". International Journal of Central Asian Studies. 1: 225–243.
  13. ^ Suihkonen, Pirkko; Whaley, Lindsay J., eds. (2014). On Diversity and Complexity of Languages Spoken in Europe and North and Central Asia. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. p. 340. ISBN 978-90-272-6936-2.
  14. ^ Pfeffer, Anshel (12 January 2018). "Taking the Silk Route Back Home". Haaretz. Retrieved 2021-09-08.
  15. ^ "Shi jie zong jiao yan jiu". Shìjiè zōngjiào yánjiū 世界宗教研究 (in Chinese). 1990.
  16. ^ "Ili Turki". Ethnologue. Archived from the original on 2019-06-06.

Further reading