Ethnic Groups in China

Today’s PRC is much different from the world depicted by Pearl buck. Today’s China is a united multi-ethnic nation characterized by the peaceful co-existence of 56 ethnic groups.

Here are some facts about ethnic composition of China:

  • The Han ethnic groups are the dominating part of the Chine population; they make for 91.96 percent of the country’s total population.
  • The other ethnic groups belonging to the rest 55 are officially categorized as the national minorities.
  • These minority ethnic groups consist of about 8% of China’s population.
  • In addition to that there are Chinese nationals who are unofficially referred to as unrecognized ethnic groups. The Jewish, Tuvan, Oirat and Ili Turki belong to these groups.

Now just refer to the map of China to understand the demographic distribution of different ethnic groups.

  • You will find the Han group of people all over china. However, their population is thicker mainly on the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River and the Pearl River valleys. The Han population is also denser in the Northeast Plain.
  • You will find the people belonging to national minority groups again throughout the country. But the density of their population in these areas is thinner than their Han cousins. According to the statistical data, the national minorities are dispersed over 64.3 percent lands of China.
  • Although the national minorities can be found to reside all over China, their population is thicker in the border regions, mainly in the northeast, north, northwest and southwest borders of China.
  • More than 20 ethnic groups are concentrated in the Yunnan Province and here you will also find the greatest diversity among the minority population.

An analysis of the Chinese history will let you know that the state always encouraged people of different ethnic groups to live in one region but still retain their unique ethnic characteristics. This helped China to work out the administrative feature of autonomous national minority areas system.


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