Ethnicity – What does it mean? – Ethnic Groups in India


An ethnic group or ethnicity is a population of human beings whose members identify themselves as a distinct group by common cultural, linguistic, religious, or physical traits.


Race is a  group of population classified distinct by heritable external characteristics, geographic ancestry, physical appearance, and ethnicity.

Difference between Ethnicity and Race:

The parameters used for classifying ethnicity and race are not universally recognized and hence there is no globally recognized classification of human population. How ever the main difference between ethnicity and race is that the genetic parameter is not taken into consideration while creating an ethnic group, but in the classification of race it is considered.

Genetics and Human Population:

There are phenotypical similarities and differences among people living in different continents, but 99.9% of all human DNA are the same. There are difference in DNA among people who are  consider themselves as a same ethnic group too.

Ethnic Groups in India – As per US Department of States Website:

“Ethnic groups: Indo-Aryan 72%, Dravidian 25%, others 3%. While the national census does not recognize racial or ethnic groups, it is estimated that there are more than 2,000 ethnic groups in India.”

Ethnic Groups in UK- As per US Department of States Website:

Major ethnic groups (2001 census): White 92.1% (of which English 83.6%, Scottish 8.6%, Welsh 4.9%, Northern Irish 2.9%), black 2%, Indian 1.8%, Pakistani 1.3%, mixed 1.2%, other 1.6%.

Ethnic Groups in China- As per US Department of States Website:

Ethnic groups (2000 census): Han Chinese 91.5%; Zhuang, Manchu, Hui, Miao, Uighur, Tujia, Yi, Mongol, Tibetan, Buyi, Dong, Yao, Korean, and other nationalities 8.5%.