Ethnic Minorities in China

“In China, the Han people make China’s and the world’s largest ethnic group, making up 91.96 per cent of the country’s population.

The formation and development of the Han people was a continuous process of integration of the earliest Huaxia tribe with other related tribes and ethnic groups. It was in the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 220) that they adopted the name “Han”; their language belongs to the Han group of the Chinese-Tibetan language family.

 The population of the other 55 ethnic minority groups adds up to 8.04 per cent of China’s population. But there is a great difference in the size of these minority nationalities. The ethnic minority groups with over a million people include: Zhuang, Manchu, Hui, Miao, Uygur, Yi, Tujia, Tibetan, Mongolian, Bouyei, Dong, Yao, Korean, Bai, Hani, Li, Kazak and Dai, 18 in all. The largest of these is the Zhuang, with a total of more than 15 million people.

Those with populations between 100,000 and one million each are the She, Lisu, Gelo, Lahu, Dongxiang, Va, Shui, Naxi, Qiang, Tu, Xibe, Mulam, Kirgiz, Daur and Jingpo.

Those with a population of 10,000 to 100,000 each are the Blang, Salar, Maonan, Tajik, Pumi, Achang, Nu, Ewenki, Jing, Jino, Deang, Ozbek, Russian, Yugur and Bonan. Those whose population is below 10,000 are the Moinba, Oroqen, Drung, Tatar, Oroqen, Hezhe, Gaoshan (excluding those in Taiwan) and Lhoba.

Although small in number, the peoples of the various ethnic minorities inhabit 50 to 60 per cent of the country. This area includes Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Tibet, Guangxi, Ningxia, Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Gansu, Qinghai, Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou, Guangdong, Hunan, Hebei, Hubei, Fujian and Taiwan.”

― china.org.cn