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List of Chinese ethnic groups

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The People's Republic of China officially recognizes 56 ethnic groups, or Mnz (民族), sometimes translated as nationalities, within China: the Han being the majority (>92%), and the rest 55 ethnicities being the minorities. Chinese ethnic group theory is heavily influenced by that of the Soviet Union and officially China is considered a multi-ethnic (multinational) country. Official policy is against assimilation and maintains that each ethnic group should have the right to develop its own culture and language.

The degree of integration of minority ethnic groups with the national community varies widely from group to group. With some groups, such as the Tibetans and the Uighurs there is a great deal of resentment against the majority. Other groups such as the Zhuang, Hui Chinese, and ethnic Koreans are well integrated into the national community.

In order of population these are:


Note that some of these ethnic groups hold belief systems that cannot be distinctly classified based upon the following system.

  • Islam: the Bonan, Dongxiang, Hui, Kazak, Kirgiz, Salar, Tajik, Tatar, Uygur and Uzbek.
  • Buddhism: the Dai, Mongolian, Naxi (including Mosuo), Tibetan and Yugun.
  • Shamanism: the Daurs, Ewenkis, and Oroqens.

See also: Languages of China, Chinese ethnic groups of the past, List of ethnic groups

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