Ethnicity, Language, & Religion of China
China is an incredibly diverse country from an ethnic perspective.
The largest group of people, making up over 90% of the population, is Han Chinese.
The Han make up the largest part of the Sino-Tibetan ethnic group and, as the name
would suggest, their closest relatives are smaller Chinese and Tibetan groups. These
relatives in the Sino-Tibetan family are also the bulk of the remaining people in
the country. However, there are numerous other ethnic minorities in the country,
particularly closer to borders, such as ethnic Koreans near Korea, Russians near
Tajiks, Indians, etc.
China is home to hundreds of languages, however the most common
dialects spoken are Mandarin (or standard Chinese), Cantonese (Yue), and Shanghinese
(Wu), all of which are Chinese languages in the Sino-Tibetan language family. In
addition to these Chinese languages, there are dozens more which belong to both
the Sino-Tibetan language family as well as others. Towards many of China's
borders more unique languages are spoken as Turkic and Iranian languages are spoken
in the northwest, Indian, Nepalese, and Tibetan languages in the southwest, and
the numerous languages of Southeast Asia in the south. Three of these minority languages,
Mongolian, Uighur, and Tibetan are official regional languages.