List of contemporary ethnic groups

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The following is a list of contemporary ethnic groups.

There has been constant debate over the classification of ethnic groups. Membership of an ethnic group tends to be associated with shared cultural heritage, ancestry, history, homeland, language or dialect, the term culture specifically including aspects such as religion, mythology and ritual, cuisine, dressing style, etc. By the nature of the concept, ethnic groups tend to be divided into ethnic subgroups, which may themselves be or not be identified as independent ethnic groups depending on the source consulted.

Largest ethnic groups

The largest groups commonly identified as "ethnic groups" (as opposed to ethno-linguistic phyla, racial groups or similar).

Name Native Language (Primary Language) Primary Homeland Population (estimate) Subgroups Majority (Plurality) Religion & Sect
Albanians Indo-EuropeanAlbanian Albania, Kosovo 6.8 – 8 million Ghegs, Tosks, Arbëreshë Christianity, Sunni Islam
Arabs Afro-AsiaticSemiticArabic Arab world 400 – 420 million[1] Bedouins IslamSunni Islam, Christianity
Armenians Indo-EuropeanArmenian Armenia 8 million Hemshin peoples ChristianityOriental Orthodoxy
Assyrians Afro-AsiaticSemiticAssyrian Assyria 2 – 3.3 million ChristianityOriental Orthodoxy
Azerbaijanis TurkicOghuzAzerbaijani Azerbaijan 28 – 35 million Karapapaks IslamShia Islam
Balochis Indo-EuropeanIranianBalochi Balochistan 8.8 million IslamSunni Islam
Basques Basque Basque Country 2.4 million ChristianityRoman Catholicism
Bengalis Indo-EuropeanIndo-AryanBengali Bengal 320 million[2] IslamSunni Islam (66%)
Hinduism (32%)
Buddhism (1%)
Christianity (0.5%)
Berbers Afro-AsiaticBerber North Africa 30 million[3] Maghrebis IslamSunni Islam
Biharis Indo-EuropeanIndo-AryanBihari languages India, Pakistan 100 million Hinduism
Bosniaks Indo-EuropeanSlavicSouth SlavicBosnian Bosnia and Herzegovina 3 – 4.5 million IslamSunni Islam
Bulgarians Indo-EuropeanSlavicSouth SlavicBulgarian Bulgaria 7 – 8 million ChristianityEastern Orthodoxy
Catalans Indo-EuropeanRomanceCatalan Catalan Countries 8 – 10 million[4] Valencians, Balearics ChristianityRoman Catholicism
Chuvash TurkicOghurChuvash Chuvashia 2 million ChristianityEastern Orthodoxy
Circassians Northwest CaucasianCircassian Circassia 4 – 8 million Adyghe, Cherkess, Kabarday, Shapsugs IslamSunni Islam
Congolese Niger–CongoKongo languagesKongo Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo 10 million Christianity
Croats Indo-EuropeanSlavicSouth SlavicCroatian Croatia 7.5 – 8.5 million Italian Croats (Molise Croats) ChristianityRoman Catholicism
Czechs Indo-EuropeanSlavicWest SlavicCzech Czech Republic 10 – 12 million (ChristianityRoman Catholicism)
Danes Indo-EuropeanGermanicNorth GermanicDanish Denmark 6.9 million ChristianityLutheranism
Dutch Indo-EuropeanGermanicWest GermanicDutch Netherlands 29 million (ChristianityCalvinism)
English Indo-EuropeanGermanicWest GermanicEnglish England 100 million[5] ChristianityAnglicanism
Estonians UralicFinnicEstonian Estonia 1 million (ChristianityLutheranism)
Faroese Indo-EuropeanGermanicNorth GermanicFaroese Faroe Islands 0.08 – 0.09 million ChristianityLutheranism
Finns UralicFinnicFinnish Finland 6.5 million ChristianityLutheranism
French Indo-EuropeanRomanceFrench France 106 million[6] Occitans, Walloons ChristianityRoman Catholicism
Gagauz TurkicOghuzGagauz Gagauzia 0.2 million ChristianityEastern Orthodoxy
Galician Indo-EuropeanRomanceGalician Galicia 3 million ChristianityRoman Catholicism
Germans Indo-EuropeanGermanicWest GermanicGerman Germany 150 million[7]
[citation needed]
Austrians, Bavarians, Franconians, Saxons, Swabians, Thuringians ChristianityRoman Catholicism, Lutheranism
Greeks Indo-EuropeanGreek Greece 14 – 17 million Griko people ChristianityEastern Orthodoxy
Georgians KartvelianGeorgian Georgia 5 – 7 million ChristianityEastern Orthodoxy
Gujaratis Indo-EuropeanIndo-AryanGujarati Gujarat 50 – 60 million[8] Hinduism, Islam
Han Chinese Sino-TibetanSiniticChinese China, Taiwan 1,300 million[9] Cantonese, Chuanqing, Fuzhouese, Min, Gan, Hakka, Hunanese, Hoklo, Shanghainese, Taishanese, Tanka (Fuzhou Tanka), Teochew Taoism, Chinese Buddhism, Confucianism
Hindustani Indo-EuropeanIndo-AryanHindi languages India, Pakistan 420 – 1,200 million[10] India, Pakistan Hinduism, Islam
Hui Sino-TibetanSiniticChinese China 10 million IslamSunni Islam
Hungarians UralicUgricHungarian Hungary 13.1 – 14.7 million ChristianityRoman Catholicism
Icelanders Indo-EuropeanGermanicNorth GermanicIcelandic Iceland 0.45 million ChristianityLutheranism
Irish Indo-EuropeanCelticIrish
(Indo-EuropeanGermanicWest GermanicHiberno-English)[11]
Ireland 70 – 80 million[12] Irish Travellers ChristianityRoman Catholicism
Italians Indo-EuropeanRomanceItalian Italy[13] 140 million[14] ChristianityRoman Catholicism
Japanese JaponicJapanese Japan 130 million[15] Buddhism, Shinto
Javanese AustronesianMalayo-PolynesianJavanese Java 105 million[16] Cirebonese, Osing, Tenggerese, Boyanese, Samin, Banyumasan IslamSunni Islam , Hinduism
Jews Afro-AsiaticSemiticHebrew Israel 13 – 18 million Ashkenazim, Mizrahim, Sephardim, Teimanim, Kochinim, Etiopim, and more. Judaism
Lebanese Afro-AsiaticSemiticLebanese Arabic Lebanon 11 – 15 million Maronites, Druze, Sunni Islam and other Lebanese religions.
Macedonians Indo-EuropeanSlavicSouth SlavicMacedonian Macedonia 2.5 - 3 million Torbesh (Muslim Macedonians) ChristianityEastern Orthodoxy
Malayali people DravidianMalayalam India 40 - 60 million Hinduism Islam
Kannada DravidianKannada India 37 – 55 million Hinduism
Kazakhs TurkicKipchakKazakh Kazakhstan 14 million IslamSunni Islam
Koreans KoreanicKorean Korea 82.5 million[17] BuddhismChristianity
Kurds Indo-EuropeanIranianKurdish Kurdistan 30 – 38 million Kurmanjis
Southern Kurds
IslamSunni Islam
Kyrgyz TurkicKipchakKyrgyz Kyrgyzstan 4.5 million IslamSunni Islam
Malays AustronesianMalayo-PolynesianMalay Malay world 30 million Bruneians, Kedahans, Pattani, Berau IslamSunni Islam
Marathi Indo-EuropeanIndo-AryanMarathi India 87 million[18] Hinduism
Norwegians Indo-EuropeanGermanicNorth GermanicNorwegian Norway 12 million ChristianityLutheranism
Laz KartvelianLaz Lazistan 0.2 – 1 million IslamSunni Islam, Christianity
Manchu AltaicTungusicManchu (Sino-TibetanSiniticChinese) China 10.4 million Manchu shamanismBuddhism
Mongols AltaicMongolian Mongolia, Inner Mongolia (China) 10 million BuddhismTibetan Buddhism
Pashtuns Indo-EuropeanIranianPashto Afghanistan, Pakistan 40 – 60 million[19] IslamSunni Islam
Oromo Afro-AsiaticCushiticOromo Ethiopia, Kenya 35 – 45 million[20] WaqafennaTraditional Oromo religion IslamSunni Islam ChristianCoptic Orthodox and Protestant
Persians Indo-EuropeanIranianPersian Iran 60 – 70 million[21] IslamShia Islam
Poles Indo-EuropeanSlavicWest SlavicPolish Poland 58 - 60 million[22][23] ChristianityRoman Catholicism
Portuguese Indo-EuropeanRomancePortuguese Portugal 42 million[24] ChristianityRoman Catholicism
Punjabis Indo-EuropeanIndo-AryanPunjabi Punjab region 120 million[25] Hinduism and Sikhism in India IslamSunni Islam in Pakistan
Romanians Indo-EuropeanRomanceRomanian Romania 24 million[26] ChristianityEastern Orthodoxy
Romani Gypsies Indo-Aryan India, Europe, The Middle East 12 million Dom people, Lom people Christianity
Russians Indo-EuropeanSlavicEast SlavicRussian Russia 130 – 150 million[27] ChristianityEastern Orthodoxy
Scottish Indo-EuropeanGermanicWest GermanicScots

Indo-EuropeanCelticScottish Gaelic

Indo-EuropeanGermanicWest GermanicScottish English

Scotland 28 – 40 million[28] ChristianityChurch of Scotland
Serbs Indo-EuropeanSlavicSouth SlavicSerbian Serbia 10 – 12 million ChristianityEastern Orthodoxy
Sindhis Indo-EuropeanIndo-AryanSindhi SindhPakistan , India 42 million[29] IslamSunni Islam (66%)
Hinduism (32%)
Buddhism (1%)
Christianity (0.1%)
Sinhalese Sinhalese language Sri Lanka 13 – 15 million Speakers of the Sinhala language that has endemic, indo-Aryan and European origins from the island of Sri Lanka. Theravada BuddhismRoman Catholicism
Slovaks Indo-EuropeanSlavicWest SlavicSlovak Slovakia 6 million ChristianityRoman Catholicism
Slovenes Indo-EuropeanSlavicSouth SlavicSlovene Slovenia 2.5 million ChristianityRoman Catholicism
Spaniards Indo-EuropeanRomanceSpanish Spain 150 million[30] Andalusians, Aragoneses, Asturians, Castillians, Leonese ChristianityRoman Catholicism
Sundanese AustronesianMalayo-PolynesianSundanese Java 40 million IslamSunni Islam
Swedes Indo-EuropeanGermanicNorth GermanicSwedish Sweden 13.2 million ChristianityLutheranism
Tamils Proto-DravidianDravidianTamil India, Sri Lanka, Java, West Indies, Kenya 78 million[31] Hinduism
Telugu DravidianTelugu India 90 million[32] Hinduism
Thais Tai–KadaiThai Thailand 50 million Central Thai, Southern (Siamese, Tai Siam), Northern (Lanna), Isan people Buddhism
Tibetan Sino–TibetanTibeto-KanauriBodishTibetan Tibet (China) 6.2 million BuddhismTibetan Buddhism
Tuaregs Afro-AsiaticBerberTuareg Sahara 1.2 million IslamSunni Islam
Turks TurkicOghuzTurkish Turkey 66 – 83 million Manavs, Yörüks IslamSunni Islam
Turkmens TurkicOghuzTurkmen Turkmenistan 8 million IslamSunni Islam
Ukrainians Indo-EuropeanSlavicEast SlavicUkrainian Ukraine 38 – 40 million[33] ChristianityEastern Orthodoxy
Uyghur TurkicKarlukUyghur Xinjiang(China) 10 million IslamSunni Islam
Vietnamese AustroasiaticVieticVietnamese Vietnam 84 million[34] BuddhismMahayana
Volga Tatars TurkicKipchakTatar Tatarstan 6.8 million IslamSunni Islam
Welsh Indo-EuropeanCelticWelsh

Indo-EuropeanGermanicWest GermanicWelsh English

Wales 6-16.3 million ChristianityChurch in Wales, Presbyterian Church of Wales
Zhuang Tai KadaiTaiZhuang Guangxi (China) 16.9 million Moism

Lists of ethnic groups

by status

regional lists

See also


  1. Calculated, when available, from the latest national censuses or most recent official estimates (many of which are cited in their respective column), using the exponential formula shown on the List of countries by past and future population article. This is done to normalize the different populations to a unique date, so that they are really comparable. The total Population is: Egypt 88,523,000 (2015) Algeria 39,903,000 (2015) Sudan 38,435,000 (2015) Iraq 36,575,000 (2015) Morocco 33,656,000 (2015) Saudi Arabia 31,521,000 (2015) Yemen 26,745,000 (2013) Syria 23,270,000 (2011) Tunisia 11,118,000 (2014) Somalia 10,972,000 (2014 United Arab Emirates 8,933,000 (2010) Jordan 6,837,000 (2015) Libya 6,521,000 Palestine 4,683,000 (2014) Lebanon 4,288,000 (2007) Oman 4,208,000 (2015) Kuwait 4,161,000 (2014) Mauritania 3,632,000 (2015) Qatar 2,386,000 (2015) Bahrain 1,781,000 (2010) Djibouti 961,000 (2011) Comoros 783,000 (2012) Which equal 390,000,000 This estimation is based on the official information for each country. And another 13 Millions migrants ,According to the International Organization for Migration, there are 13 million Arab migrants
  2. roughly 163 million in Bangladesh and 100 million in the Republic of India (CIA Factbook 2014 estimates, numbers subject to rapid population growth); about 3 million Bangladeshis in the Middle East, 1 million Bengalis in Pakistan, 0.4 million British Bangladeshi.
  3. "Berberism & Berber Political Movements".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Including all population with Catalan heritage, language, culture.
  5. 37.6 million in the UK, between 25 and 49 million reporting "English ancestry" in the United States, 6.6 million reporting English "ethnic origin" in Canada, and between 7 million in Australia.
  6. Estimates range from anywhere between 66 to 106 million. The French language has an estimated 75 million native speakers. The CIA Factbook does not report any French ethnicity (considering it a nationality), giving the ethnic composition of France as "Celtic and Latin with Teutonic". [1]
  7. 65 million people are Germans without any immigrant background in the Federal Republic of Germany. With circa 50 million people claiming German ancestry in the United States, it is 115 million people alone. When German Brazilians, German Argentines and German Canadians are added, the number rises to circa 133 million people. When people of German ancestry from the rest of the world are added, the number is roughly 150 million.[citation needed]
  8. CIA Factbook (2014) estimates 55 million in India. SIL Ethnologue cites 46 million native speakers of Gujarati. About 1 million in Pakistan and 1 million in the USA.
  9. 1.24 billion (92% of total population) in the PRC (CIA Factbook 2014 est.), about 22 million in Taiwan, and an estimated 50 million Overseas Chinese
  10. depending on definition; CIA Factbook (2014) gives 890 million Indo-Aryans as the majority group of the Republic of India. The Indo-Aryan languages are estimated to have some 1.2 billion native speakers. The 2001 Indian census records two figures, 258 million and 422 million "Hindi" speakers. Both figures include languages other than Standard Hindi, such as Rajasthani (ca. 80 million in independent estimates), Bhojpuri (40 million), Awadhi (38 million), Chhattisgarhi (18 million), and dozens of other languages with a million to over ten million speakers each. The figure of 422 million specifically includes all such people, whereas the figure of 258 depends on speaker identification as recorded in the census. Maithili (one of the Bihari languages) was listed as a separate language in the 2001 census but previously considered a dialect of Hindi.
  11. The Irish were predominantly Gaelic-speaking until the 17th century, but significantly anglicized during the early modern period. Since the mid-19th century, the large majority of Irish have been native speakers of English.
  12. The Scottish Diaspora and Diaspora Strategy: Insights and Lessons from Ireland
  13. As a nation state, Italy was unified in the 19th century, combining ethnically diverse territories in the Italian peninsula, Sicily and Sardinia.
  14. Figures cited range anywhere between some 60 and 140 million, the latter figure including citizens of Brazil and the United States who identify as of partial Italian ancestry. The Italian language has some 60 million native speakers.[2]
  15. 127 million in Japan, about 2.5 million abroad.
  16. 102 million in Indonesia (CIA Factbook 2014 estimate); small numbers in Malaysia, Suriname and elsewhere.
  17. 50 million in South Korea, 25 million in North Korea, roughly 7 million in diaspora.
  18. 87 million in the Republic of India (CIA Factbook 2014 estimate), subject to rapid population growth.
  19. About 30 million in Pakistan and 12 million in Afghanistan; Penzl and Sloan, Pashto Grammar (2009) estimated a total number of Pashto speakers between 40 and 60 million. SIL Ethnologue in 2011 estimated an ethnic population of 49 million.
  20. About 38 million in Ethiopia, ~2 million in Kenya, roughly half a million in diaspora. Afan Oromo language has an estimated 45 million native speakers.
  21. 50 million in Iran, 8 million in Afghanistan, 2 million in Tajikistan, roughly 2 million in diaspora. The Persian language has an estimated 60 million native speakers.
  22. 37,5 - 38 million in Poland and 21 - 22 million ethnic Poles or people of ethnic Polish extraction elsewhere. "Polmap. Rozmieszczenie ludności pochodzenia polskiego (w mln)"
  23. Główny Urząd Statystyczny (January 2013). Ludność. Stan i struktura demograficzno-społeczna (pdf) (in Polish). Główny Urząd Statystyczny. pp. 89–101. Retrieved 12 December 2014. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. Portuguese ethnicity is more clear-cut than Spanish ethnicity, but here also, the case is complicated by the Portuguese ancestry of populations in the former colonial empire. Portugal has 11 million nationals. The 42 million figure is due to a study estimating a total of an additional 31 million descendants from Portuguese grandparents; these people would be eligible for Portuguese citizenship under Portuguese nationality law (which grants citizenship to grandchildren of Portuguese nationals). Emigração: A diáspora dos portugueses (2009)
  25. 88 M in Pakistan, 35 M in the Republic of India (CIA Factbook 2014 estimates).
  26. "Romanian". Ethnologue. Retrieved 13 November 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. Estimates range between 130 and 150 million. 111 million in the Russian Federation (2010 census), about 16 million ethnic Russians in post-Soviet states (8 M in Ukraine, 4.5 M in Kazakhstan, 1 M in Belarus, 0.6 M Latvia, 0.6 M in Uzbekistan, 0.6 M in Kyrgyzstan. Up to 10 million Russian diaspora elsewhere (mostly Americas and Western Europe).
  28. The Scottish Diaspora
  29. roughly 35 million in Sindh and 2.8 million in the Republic of India (CIA Factbook 2014 estimates, numbers subject to rapid population growth); about 3 million Sindhis in the Middle East, 1 million Sindhis in USA, 0.4 million British Sindhi.
  30. There is no clear definition of Spanish ethnicity. In Spain, ethnic identity is divided into regional groups, and internationally, Spanish ethnicity is not clearly delineated from "Spanish ancestry" in the territories of the former colonial empire. There are 41 million Spanish nationals in Spain, and some 2 million living abroad.
  31. 73 million in the Republic of India (CIA Factbook 2014 estimate, subject to rapid population growth), 2 million in Sri Lanka (CIA Factbook 2014 estimate), roughly 3 million in diaspora.
  32. 89 million in the Republic of India (CIA Factbook 2014 estimate), subject to rapid population growth.
  33. Ukrainians at the Joshua Project
  34. 80 million in Vietnam (CIA Factbook 2014 estimate), roughly 4 million in diaspora.
  • Levinson, David (1998), Ethnic Groups Worldwide: A Ready Reference Handbook, Greenwood Publishing Group, ISBN 978-1-57356-019-1<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>