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Ethnic group facts for kids

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An ethnic group is a group of people who are considered to be the same in some or multiple ways. They may all have the same ancestors, speak the same language, or have the same religion. They often live in the same or surrounding area.

Sometimes almost all of the people in one country are of the same ethnic group, but not always. Often one country may have several different ethnic groups, or the people of one ethnic group may live in several different countries.

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ensures the rights of ethnic groups in Article 27 and also gives them the right to use their own language.

Some ethnic groups by continent

Africa

Ethnic groups in Africa number in the hundreds, each generally having its own language (or dialect of a language) and culture.

Many ethnic groups and nations of Africa qualify, although some groups are of a size larger than a tribal society. These mostly originate with the Sahelian kingdoms of the medieval period, such as that of the Akan, deriving from Bonoman (11th century) then the Hobyo Sultanate (17th century). Template:Irrelevant

Asia

Assyriankhigga
Assyrians are the indigenous peoples of Northern Iraq.

Ethnic groups are abundant throughout Asia, with adaptations to the climate zones of Asia, which can be the Arctic, subarctic, temperate, subtropical or tropical. The ethnic groups have adapted to mountains, deserts, grasslands, and forests.

On the coasts of Asia, the ethnic groups have adopted various methods of harvest and transport. Some groups are primarily hunter-gatherers, some practice transhumance (nomadic lifestyle), others have been agrarian/rural for millennia and others becoming industrial/urban. Some groups/countries of Asia are completely urban, such as those in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Singapore. The colonization of Asia was largely ended in the 20th century, with national drives for independence and self-determination across the continent.

Russia has more than 185 recognized ethnic groups besides the eighty percent ethnic Russian majority. The largest group is the Tatars, 3.8 percent. Many of the smaller groups are found in the Asian part of Russia (see Indigenous peoples of Siberia).

Europe

Olentzero, Beasain
The Basque people constitute an indigenous ethnic minority in both France and Spain.
Sami family Finland 1936
Sámi family in Lapland of Finland, 1936
President Kennedy greets spectators during trip to Ireland
The Irish are an ethnic group indigenous to Ireland of which 70–80 million people worldwide claim ancestry.

Europe has a large number of ethnic groups; Pan and Pfeil (2004) count 87 distinct "peoples of Europe", of which 33 form the majority population in at least one sovereign state, while the remaining 54 constitute ethnic minorities within every state they inhabit (although they may form local regional majorities within a sub-national entity). The total number of national minority populations in Europe is estimated at 105 million people or 14% of 770 million Europeans.

A number of European countries, including France and Switzerland, do not collect information on the ethnicity of their resident population.

An example of a largely nomadic ethnic group in Europe is the Roma, pejoratively known as Gypsies. They originated from India and speak the Romani language.

The Serbian province of Vojvodina is recognizable for its multi-ethnic and multi-cultural identity. There are some 26 ethnic groups in the province, and six languages are in official use by the provincial administration.

North America

The indigenous people in North America are Native Americans. During European colonization, Europeans arrived in North America. Native Americans died due to Spanish diseases and other European diseases such as smallpox during the European colonization of the Americas. The largest ethnic group in the United States is White Americans. Hispanic and Latino Americans (Mexican Americans in particular) and Asian Americans have immigrated to the United States recently. In Mexico, most Mexicans are mestizo, a mixture of Spanish and Native American ancestry.

African slaves were brought to North America from the 16th to 19th centuries. In the United States, their descendants are called African Americans.

South America

In South America, most people are mixed-race (mostly mulatto and mestizo), indigenous and European (especially of Spanish or Portuguese ancestry).

Oceania

Australia

The first evident ethnic group to live in Australia were the Australian Aboriginals, a group considered related to the Torres Strait Islander people. Europeans, primarily from England arrived first in 1770.

The 2016 Census shows England and New Zealand are the next most common countries of birth after Australia, the proportion of people born in China and India has increased since 2011 (from 6.0 per cent to 8.3 per cent, and 5.6 per cent to 7.4 per cent, respectively).

The proportion of people identifying as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin increased from 2.5 per cent of the Australian population in 2011 to 2.8 per cent in 2016.

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