Ethnic Minorities in China

China is a country of immense diversity in terrain, climate, and especially people, which has become a nation of 56 official multi-ethnic groups. The largest is the Han Chinese, accounting for 91.59 percent of the total population, who reside in every region of the country. The other 55 ethnic groups are called ethnic minorities, including the Zhuang, Tibet, Uyghur, Hui, etc. The smallest group is the Hezhen, living in the far northeast, with fewer than 2,000 people. Each ethnic group has its own exquisite features, fully displayed by its housing styles, cuisines, customs and traditional holidays.

Chinese Han People

Han Chinese is an ethnic group indigenous to China and the largest single ethnic group in the world, about 19 percent of the entire global human population. They are the “Descendants of the Dragon”, traditionally symbolized by the color red. The Han people have long prospered in China, and increasingly many have ventured abroad and settled worldwide. Internationally, Han people can be found in Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, the United States, Canada, etc. 

Hanyu was the original language of the Han, and a tongue which later developed into an early version of Mandarin Chinese. China’s minority ethnicities mainly live in border regions and mountainous areas of the north, south, and west. 

55 Ethnic Groups in China

China’s minority ethnicities mainly live in border regions and mountainous areas of the north, south, and west. Costumes are the most representative feature of an ethnic group, with designs and colours closely linked with geographical environment and customs. According to the population, the major ethnic groups are Zhuang, Uyghur, Hui, Manchu, Miao, Yi, Tujia, Tibetan, Mongol, Dong, Buyei, Yao, Bai, Korean, Hani, Li, Kazakh and Dai.

List of the 55 Ethnic Groups in China

 Achang  Bai  Blang  Bonan  Bouyei  Chaoxian  Dai
 Daur  Deang  Dong  Dongxiang  Dulong  Ewenki  Gaoshan
 Gelao  Gin  Hani  Hezhen  Hui  Jingpo  Jino
 Kazak  Kirgiz  Lahu  Li  Lisu  Luoba  Man
 Maonan  Miao  Monba  Mongol  Mulam  Naxi   Nu
 Oroqen  Primi  Qiang  Russ   Salar  She  Shui
 Tagik  Tatar  Tibetan  Tu  Tujia  Uygur  Uzbek
 Wa  Xibe  Yao  Yi  Yugur  Zhuang  

Ethnic Minorities Distribution by Location

Distribution Location Ethnic Minorities
Southwest China BaiBlangBouyeiDaiDongDeangDulongGelaoHaniJinoJingpoLuobaLahuLisuMiao, MonbaNuNaxiPrimiQiangShuiWa, YiTibetanAchang
Northwest China BonanDongxiang, RussHuiKazakSalarTuYugurTagikTatarUygur, XibeKirgizUzbek
Southeast China GaoshanGinLiMulamMaonanShe,  Tujia, YaoZhuang
Northeast China ChaoxianDaurOroqenEwenkiHezhen, ManMongol

Ethnic Minorities Distribution by Provinces and Cities

Ethnic Minorities Distribution(Provinces/Cities/Counties)
Achang Yunnan
Bai Yunnan, Hunan, Guizhou, Sichuan
Bulang Yunnan
Bonan Ningxia, Lazhou, Qinghai, Xinjiang
Bouyei Guizhou, Yunnan, Sichuan
Kazak Ili Kazak Autonomous Prefecture, Mori and Barkol Autonomous Counties in Xinjiang, Qinghai and Gansu
Kirgiz Kirgiz Autonomous Prefecture, Ili, Dacheng, Aksu, Kashgar, the southwest of Xinjiang, Heilongjiang
Lahu 31 provinces, mainly in Yunnan
Li Hainan, Guizhou
Lisu Yunnan, Sichuan
Luoba Tibet
Man mainly in Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning
Maonan Guangxi, Guizhou
Miao Guizhou, Yunnan, Hunan, Hubei, Hainan, Guangxi
Monba Tsona, Medog, and Nyingchi counties in Tibet
Mongol Inner Mongolia, Qinghai, Gansu, Liaoning, Jilin, and Heilongjiang
Mulam Guangxi, Guizhou
Naxi Yunnan
Nu Yunnan, Tibet
Chaoxian Jilin, Heilongjiang, Liaoning
Gelao Guizhou, Yunnan, Guangxi
Gin Guangxi
Hani Yunnan
Hezhen Heilongjiang
Hui All the provinces and cities of China, mainly in Ningxia
Jingpo Yunnan
Jino Yunnan
Dai Yunnan
Daur Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Heilongjiang
Deang Yunnan
Dong Guizhou, Hunan and Guangxi
Dongxiang Gansu
Dulong Yunnan
Ewenki Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang
Gaoshan Taiwan, Fujian
Oroqen Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang
Primi Yunnan, Sichuan
Qiang Sichuan
Russ Yili(Xinjiang), Heilongjiang, Inner Mongolia
Salar Xunhua County, Hualong County and Jishishan County of Qinghai
She Fujian, Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Guizhou, Guangdong
Shui Guizhou, Guangxi
Tagik Xinjiang
Tatar Yining, Tacheng and Urumqi in the Xinjiang
Tibetan Tibet, Qinghai, Gansu, Sichuan and Yunnan
Tu Qinghai, Gansu
Tujia Hunan, Hubei, Chongqing, Guizhou
Uygur Xinjiang, Hunan
Uzbek Xinjiang
Wa Yunnan
Xibe Liaoning, Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang
Yao Guangxi, Hunan, Guangdong, Yunnan, Guizhou, Jiangxi
Yi Yunnan, Sichuan, Guizhou, Guangxi
Yugur Sunan Yugur Autonomous County of Gansu
Zhuang Guangxi, Guangdong, Yunnan, Guizhou, Hunan

Autonomous Regions in China

There are five regions designated minority areas, including Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous RegionTibet Autonomous RegionInner Mongolia Autonomous RegionGuangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region

Ethnic Culture Tour with Us

The most popular destinations for minority discovery are YunnanGuizhouGuangxi, Xinjiang and Tibet, which also boasts amazing natural scenery at the same time. Yunnan province has the largest number of ethnic population in China with 25 ethnic minorities. Join our minority discovery tours, and you definitely will have great fun by discovering the ethnic villages, enjoying the local performance and taking parting in the local big event.

Recommended Tour Packages:
5 Days Guizhou Miao Sisters’ Meal Festival Tour
9 Days Best Yunnan Minorities Discovery
13 Days Yunnan and Guizhou Minorities Discovery Tour by Speed Train
17 Days Yunnan-Tibet Overland Tour from Kunming to Lhasa
19 Days Yunnan-Guizhou-Guangxi Ethnic Minorities Discovery
25 Days South China Minorities Discovery by Speed Train