China has the world’s largest population, and it is composed of 56 ethnic groups. Among the 56 groups, Han Chinese is the largest group (with about 900 million people), which is about 93% of the overall Chinese population. The 55 minority groups make up the remaining 7% based on most recent census statistics.
The Han Chinese
The Han Chinese can be found in almost every part of China, but they mainly live near the Yellow River, the Yangtze River, the Pearl River, and the Northeast Plain Region. Among the Han people, there are linguistic, cultural, and social differences. However, many within Han Chinese have maintained their distinct linguistic and regional customs and traditions.
The 55 Minority Groups
Even though the 55 minority groups make up a small proportion of the overall Chinese population, they can also be found in almost every part of China. The regions that they are mostly concentrated in are northwest, north, northeast, south, and southwest.
The Major Minority Groups
The major minority groups are Zhang, Uyghur, Hui, Manchu, Miao, Yi, Tujia, Tibetan, Mongol, Dong, Buyei, Yao, Bai, Korean, Hani, Li, Kazakh, and Dai.
Guarantee of Rights for All
The Chinese government makes laws and policies to ensure that all the 56 Chinese ethnic groups live in harmony and that they have rights and opportunities. Some laws also give ethnic minority groups regional autonomy and help promote ethnic minority groups’ economic and cultural development. In China, some ethnic groups live in areas called “ethnic autonomous”. People in these areas have the autonomy to use and develop their ethnic languages and to maintain their own cultural and social customs. Also, the government has provided them preferential economy and aid. Together with the Han people, the Chinese minority groups are making great efforts to build a prosperous China.