European ethnic groups

European ethnic groups

The European peoples are the various nations and ethnic groups of Europe. European ethnology is the field of anthropology focusing on Europe.

Ethno-Linguistic classifications

Of the total population of Europe of some 730 million (as of 2005), some 85% or 630 million fall within three large ethno-linguistic super-groups, viz., Slavic, Latin (Romance) and Germanic. The largest groups that do not fall within either of these are the Greeks (though as Indo-European speakers, are still related to the other three) and the Hungarians (about thirteen million each). About 20-25 million residents are members of diasporas of non-European origin. The population of the European Union, with some five hundred million residents, accounts for two thirds of the European population.

The largest ethnic groups of Europe are the Russians (with some 90 million settling in the European parts of Russia), followed by the Germans (76 million), French (63 million [Recensement officiel de l'Insee [] ] ), Italians (58 million), English (45 million), Spanish (42 million), Poles (42 million) and the Ukrainians (41 million). Amongst the smallest are the people of Malta with a population of 400,200, 95.3% of which is ethnic Maltese [] .Europe has a population of about 2 million ethnic Jews (mostly also counted as part of the ethnic group of their respective home countries):
*Ashkenazi Jews (about 1.4 million, mostly German and Polish)
*Sephardi Jews (about 0.3 million, mostly French)
*Mizrahi Jews (about 0.3 million, mostly French)
*Italian Jews (some 50,000, mostly Italian)
*Romaniotes (some 6,000, mostly Greek)

Depending on what parts of the Caucasus are considered part of Europe, various peoples of the Caucasus may also be considered "European peoples":

*Armenians: approx. 4.5 million
*Georgians: approx. 4 million [As a transcontinental country, Georgia may be considered to be in Asia and/or Europe. The UN [ classification of world regions] places Georgia in Western Asia; the CIA World Factbook [] , [
] , and " [ Encyclopædia Britannica] " also place Georgia in Asia. Conversely, numerous sources place Georgia in Europe such as the BBC [] , "Oxford Reference Online" [] , " [ Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary] ", and [] .
*Chechens: approx. 2 million
*Ossetians: approx. 600,000


Prehistoric populations

The Basques are assumed to descend from the populations of the Atlantic Bronze Age directly. The Indo-European groups of Europe (the Centum groups plus Balto-Slavic and Albanian) are assumed to have developed "in situ" by admixture of early Indo-European groups arriving in Europe by the Bronze Age (Corded ware, Beaker people). The Finnic peoples are indigenous to northeastern Europe.

Reconstructed languages of Iron Age Europe include Proto-Celtic, Proto-Italic and Proto-Germanic, all of these Indo-European languages of the centum group, and Proto-Slavic and Proto-Baltic, of the satem group. A group of Tyrrhenian languages appears to have included Etruscan, Rhaetian and perhaps also Eteocretan and Eteocypriot. A pre-Roman stage of Proto-Basque can only be reconstructed with great uncertainty.

Regarding the European Bronze Age, the only secure reconstruction is that of Proto-Greek (ca. 2000 BC). A Proto-Italo-Celtic ancestor of both Italic and Celtic (assumed for the Bell beaker period), and a Proto-Balto-Slavic language (assumed for roughly the Corded Ware horizon) has been postulated with less confidence. Old European hydronymy has been taken as indicating an early (Bronze Age) Indo-European predecessor of the later centum languages.

Historical populations

Iron Age (pre-Great Migrations) populations of Europe known from Greco-Roman historiography, notably Herodotus, Pliny, Ptolemy and Tacitus:
*Aegean: Greek tribes, Pelasgians/Tyrrhenians.
*Balkans: Illyrians (list of Illyrian tribes), Dacians, Thracians.
*Italian peninsula: Italic peoples, Etruscans, Adriatic Veneti, Ligurians.
*Western/Central Europe: Celts (list of peoples of Gaul), Rhaetians.
*Iberian peninsula: Pre-Roman peoples of the Iberian Peninsula (Iberians, Lusitani, Aquitani, Celtiberians).
*British Isles: Celtic tribes in Britain and Ireland, Picts/Priteni.
*Northern Europe: Germanic peoples (list of Germanic peoples).
*Southern Europe: Sicani
*Eastern Europe: Scythians, Sarmatians, Vistula Veneti, Lugii.

Historical immigration

Carolingian Empire (purple), the Byzantine Empire (orange) and the Caliphate of Córdoba (light green). (Borders are approximate.)]

Ethno-linguistic groups that arrived from outside Europe during historical times are:
*Phoenician colonies in the Mediterranean, from about 1200 BC to the fall of Carthage after the Third Punic War in 146 BC.
*Iranian influence: Achaemenid control of Thrace (512-343 BC) and the Bosporan Kingdom, Cimmerians, Scythians, Sarmatians, Alans, Ossetes.
*the Jewish diaspora reached Europe in the Roman Empire period, the Jewish community in Italy dating to before AD 70 and records of Jews settling Central Europe (Gaul) from the 5th century (see History of the Jews in Europe). [ [ My Jewish Learning - European Origins] ]
*The Hunnic Empire (5th century), converged with the Slavic migrations, contributing to the formation of the First Bulgarian Empire
* Avar Khaganate (c.560s-800), fused into the South Slavic states from the 9th century.
* the Magyars (Hungarians), an Ugric people, and the Turkic Pechenegs and Khazars, arrived in Europe in about the 8th century.
* the Arabs conquered Cyprus, Crete, Sicily, Malta, Sardinia, and Hispania.
* exodus of Maghreb Christians [ [ The Last Christians Of North-West Africa] ]
* the western Kipchaks known as Cumans entered the lands of present-day Ukraine in the 11th century.
* the Mongol/Tatar invasions (1223-1480), and Ottoman control of the Balkans (1389-1878). These medieval incursions account for the presence of European Turks and Tatars.
*the Romani people arrived during the Late Middle Ages
* the Kalmyks arrived in Kalmykia in the 17th century.

Indigenous minorities

In a more narrow sense of "indigenous peoples", ethnic minorities marginalized by historical expansion of their neighbour populations, Europe's present-day indigenous populations are relatively few, mainly confined to northern and far-eastern reaches of this Eurasian peninsula. Whilst there are numerous ethnic minorities distributed within European countries, few of these still maintain traditional subsistence cultures and are recognized as indigenous peoples, "per se".The following groups can be considered "indigenous peoples" of Europe in this narrow sense: [see also Definitions and identity of indigenous peoples.]

*the northern indigenous peoples of Russia, marginalized by Russian expansion, mostly Finno-Ugric peoples such as the Komi and Mordvins of the western Urals, and Samoyedic peoples of the northern Russian Federation such as the Nenets.
*the Sami and the Kvens of northern Scandinavia (marginalized by Finnish and North Germanic expansion)
*the Basque people of France and Spain (marginalized by Latin/Western Romance expansion)

European identity and culture

The culture of Europe might better be described as a series of overlapping cultures. Whether it is a question of West as opposed to East; Christianity as opposed to Islam; many have claimed to identify cultural fault lines across the continent.

European culture has had a very broad influence on the rest of the world, basically due to the wide-spread practice and legacy of colonialism. The exchange has not all been one way, some European features have been drastically changed by imports from elsewhere. Popular European foods such as chips (frites or French fries) and rice are derived from products that are not European, but indigenous to South America and Southern Asia respectively. Nearly all of the Americas and all of Africa were European colonies at one time or another - though in earlier times, European nations often colonized each other. Or were even colonized by Non-Europeans - Arabs and North African Moors colonized the Iberian peninsula leaving, for example, a significant Arabic influence on the Spanish language.

Various parts of the Americas are also considered overseas territories of France which are considered integral parts of the French Republic. A large proportion of the population of the Americas are descended from European emigrants (in some cases fleeing harsh economic times or religious intolerance). As a consequence most people in the Americas speak languages that are to varying degrees, derived from European languages. These include Latin American Spanish, American English, Caribbean English, Brazilian Portuguese, Haitian Kreyol and Papiamento. There are still significant cultural, economic and political ties between the former European colonial nations (Spain, Britain, the Netherlands, Portugal, Belgium and France) and the former colonies around the world.

Pan-European identity refers to both the sense of personal identification with Europe, and to the identity possessed by 'Europe' as a whole. 'Europe' is widely used as a synonym for the European Union even though there are millions of people living on the European continent in non-EU states. The prefix "pan" implies that the identity applies throughout Europe, and especially in an EU context, 'pan-European' is often contrasted with national.


thumb|250px|Predominant religions in Europe

Since the High Middle Ages, most of Europe has been dominated by Christianity. There are three major denominations, Roman Catholic, Protestant and Eastern Orthodox, with Protestantism restricted mostly to Germanic regions, and Orthodoxy to Slavic regions, Greece and Georgia. Catholicism, while centered in the Latin parts, has a significant following also in Germanic, Slavic and Celtic regions.

Islam has some tradition in the Balkans (the European dominions of the Ottoman Empire in the 16th to 19th centuries), in Albania, Former Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Turkish East Thrace. European Russia has the largest Muslim community, including the Tatars of the Middle Volga and multiple groups in the Caucasus, including Chechens, Avars, Ingush and others. With 20th century migrations, Muslims in Western Europe have become a noticeable minority.

Judaism has a long history in Europe, but is a small minority religion, with France (1%) the only European country with a Jewish population in excess of 0.5%. The Jewish population of Europe is comprised primarily of two groups, the Ashkenazi and the Sephardi. Ashkenazi Jews migrated to Europe as early as the 8th century, while Sephardi Jews established themselves in Spain and Portugal at least one thousand years before that. Jewish European history was notably affected by the Holocaust and resulting emigration in the 20th century.

In modern times, significant secularization has taken place, notably in laicist France in the 19th century and in Communist Eastern Europe in the 20th century. Currently, distribution of theism in Europe is very heterogeneous, with more than 95% in Poland, and less than 20% in the Czech Republic. The 2005 Eurobarometer poll [ [ ReportDGResearchSocialValuesEN2.PDF ] ] found that 52% of EU citizens believe in God.


Populations of non-European origin in Europe (approx. 25 - 30+ million, or approx. 3% to 4% [depending on definition of non-European origin] , out of a total population of approx. 730 million):
*Middle East
**Armenians (sometimes considered European, see above): approx. 1.5 million
**Kurds: approx. 1.5 million, mostly in Germany and Sweden
**Aramean-Syriac people: approx. 130,000, mostly in Sweden
**Lebanese diaspora: especially in France, Netherlands, Germany, Cyprus and the UK.
**North Africans (Arabs and Berbers): approx. 5 million, mostly in France, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden
**Horn Africans: approx. 200,000 Somalis, [ [ Youths bring violence from a war-torn land] ] mostly in the UK, Netherlands and Scandinavia
** Sub-Saharan Africans (many ethnicities including Afro-Caribbeans and others by descent): approx. 5 million, mostly in the UK, France, the Netherlands and Germany [ [ France's blacks stand up to be counted] ]
*Latin Americans (mainly Mestizos): approx. 2.2 million, with the largest groups in Spain and Italy [ [ Latin American Immigration to Southern Europe] ]
**Plus Latin American Britons number around 1 million and are of European, African, Native South American and many other races
*South Asians (many ethnicities): approx. 3 million, mostly in the UK
**Pakistanis: approx. 1,000,000, mostly in the UK
**Tamils: approx. 250,000
*East Asia
**Chinese: approx. 1 million, mostly in France, the UK and the Netherlands
**Filipinos: approx. 500,000, mostly in the UK, France, Germany and Italy
**Japanese: ca. 100,000, mostly in the UK

European diasporas

Nations and regions outside of Europe with significant populations of European ancestry [ [ Ethnic groups by country.] Statistics (where available) from CIA Factbook.] :


** North Africa (Vandals) [ [ Western North Africa, 1–500 A.D.] , The Metropolitan Museum of Art]
** Asia Minor (Galatians) [ [ Archaeologists Find Celts In Unlikely Spot: Turkey] , New York Times]
** Tarim Basin (possibly Tocharians) [ [ The Mummies of Xinjiang] , DISCOVER Magazine] [ [ A meeting of civilisations: The mystery of China's celtic mummies] , The Independent]
** Egypt (Greeks in Egypt) [ [ Diversity in the Desert: Daily Life in Greek and Roman Egypt, 332 B.C.E. - 641 C.E.] ]
** India (Indo-Greeks) [ [ Alexander the Great and precious stones in Afghanistan] , The Toronto Times]

*Middle Ages
** Asia Minor (Slavs) [ [ Cyril and Methodius of Thessalonica: The Acculturation of the Slavs] ]
** Greenland (Greenland Vikings) [ [ The Fate of Greenland's Vikings] ]
** Kingdom of Jerusalem (Franks) - 25-35% of the population [Benjamin Z. Kedar, "The Subjected Muslims of the Frankish Levant", in "The Crusades: The Essential Readings", ed. Thomas F. Madden, Blackwell, 2002, pg. 244. Originally published in "Muslims Under Latin Rule, 1100-1300", ed. James M. Powell, Princeton University Press, 1990. Kedar quotes his numbers from Joshua Prawer, "Histoire du royaume latin de Jérusalem", tr. G. Nahon, Paris, 1969, vol. 1, pp. 498, 568-72.] [ [ Crusaders 'left genetic legacy'] , BBC News]


Nations and regions outside of Europe with significant populations of European ancestry [ [ Ethnic groups by country.] Statistics (where available) from CIA Factbook.] :

*Africa (see Whites in Africa)
**flagicon|RSA South Africa (Whites in South Africa) - 9.6% of the population [ [ South Africa: People: Ethnic Groups.] World Factbook of CIA]
**flagicon|NAM Namibia - 6% of the population [ [ Namibia: People: Ethnic Groups.] World Factbook of CIA]
**flagicon|FRA Réunion (Franco-Réunionnaise) approx. 25% of the population [ [ Réunion Island] ]
**flagicon|ZIM Zimbabwe (Whites in Zimbabwe)
**flagicon|Botswana Botswana [ [ Botswana: People: Ethnic Groups.] World Factbook of CIA]
**flagicon|KEN Kenya (Whites in Kenya)
**flagicon|ALG Algeria (Pied-noir)
**flagicon|MUS Mauritius (Franco-Mauritian)
**flagicon|SWZ Swaziland - 3% of the population [ [ Swaziland: People: Ethnic Groups.] World Factbook of CIA]
**flagicon|Morocco Morocco [ [ Morocco: People: Ethnic Groups.] World Factbook of CIA]
**flagicon|TUN Tunisia [ [ Tunisia: People: Ethnic Groups.] World Factbook of CIA]

**flagicon|IND India (Anglo-Indian)
**flagicon|LKA Sri Lanka (Burghers)
**flagicon|RUS Siberia (Russians) [Fiona Hill, [ Russia — Coming In From the Cold?] , The Globalist, 23 February 2004]
**flagicon|KAZ Kazakhstan (Russians in Kazakhstan, Germans of Kazakhstan) - 30% of the population
**flagicon|UZB Uzbekistan [Robert Greenall, [ Russians left behind in Central Asia] , BBC News, 23 November 2005.]
**flagicon|KGZ Kyrgyzstan [ [ Kyrgyzstan: People: Ethnic Groups.] World Factbook of CIA]
**flagicon|TKM Turkmenistan [ [ Turkmenistan: People: Ethnic Groups.] World Factbook of CIA]
**flagicon|TJK Tajikistan
**flagicon|HKG Hong Kong [HK Census. " [ HK Census] ." "Statistical Table." Retrieved on 2007-03-08.]
**flagicon|SGP Singapore (Eurasians in Singapore)

*The Middle East
**flagicon|ISR Israel

*North America
**flagicon|GRL Greenland - 12% of the population [ [ Greenland] ]
**flagicon|CAN Canada - 83% of the population
**flagicon|USA United States of America (European American) - 75.1% of the population, including Hispanic/Non-Hispanic Whites
**flagicon|MEX Mexico [ [ North America - Britannica Concise Encyclopedia - The online encyclopedia you can trust! ] ] (White Mexican) - 9-15% of the population [ [ Mexico :: Ethnic groups - Britannica Online Encyclopedia ] ] and 60% as Mestizos. [ [ Mexico: People: Ethnic Groups.] World Factbook of CIA]

*Central America, the Caribbean and South America (see White Latin American)
**flagicon|ARG Argentina (White Argentine) - 97% of the population [ [ Argentina: People: Ethnic Groups.] World Factbook of CIA]
**flagicon|BHS Bahamas - 12% of the population [ [ Bahamas: People: Ethnic Groups.] World Factbook of CIA]
**flagicon|BRB Barbados (White Barbadian) - 4% of the population [ [ Barbados: People: Ethnic Groups.] World Factbook of CIA]
**flagicon|BMU Bermuda - 34.1% of the population [ [ Bermuda: People: Ethnic Groups.] World Factbook of CIA]
**flagicon|BOL Bolivia - 15% of the population [ [ Bolivia: People: Ethnic Groups.] World Factbook of CIA]
**flagicon|BRA Brazil (White Brazilian) - 53.7% of the population [ [ Brazil: People: Ethnic Groups.] World Factbook of CIA]
**flagicon|CHI Chile
**flagicon|COL Colombia - 20% of the population [ [ Colombia: People: Ethnic Groups.] World Factbook of CIA]
**flagicon|CRC Costa Rica
**flagicon|CUB Cuba - (White Cuban) 37%,cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= | title=Cuba; People; Ethnic groups | date= | publisher= | url = | work =CIA World Factbook | pages = | accessdate = 2007-11-21] or 65.5% of the population [ [https: Cuba: People: Ethnic Groups.] World Factbook of CIA]
**flagicon|DOM Dominican Republic - 16% of the population [ [ Dominican Republic: People: Ethnic groups.] World Factbook of CIA]
**flagicon|ECU Ecuador - 7% of the populationcite news | title=Ecuador: People; Ethnic groups| url = | work =CIA World Factbook | accessdate = 2007-11-26]
**flagicon|SLV El Salvador - 9% of the population [ [ El Salvador: People: Ethnic Groups.] World Factbook of CIA]
**flagicon|FRA French Guiana - 12% of the population [ [ French Guiana: People: Ethnic Groups.] World Factbook of CIA]
**flagicon|JAM Jamaica approx. 0.2% of the population
**flagicon|FRA Martinique - 5% of the population [ [ Martinique: People: Ethnic Groups.] World Factbook of CIA]
**flagicon|NIC Nicaragua - 17% of the population [cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= | title=Nicaragua: People; Ethnic groups | date= | publisher= | url = | work =CIA World Factbook | pages = | accessdate = 2007-11-15 | language = ]
**flagicon|PAN Panama 10% of the populationcite news | first= | last= | coauthors= | title=Panama; People; Ethnic groups | date= | publisher= | url = | work =CIA World Factbook | pages = | accessdate = 2007-11-21]
**flagicon|PRI Puerto Rico approx. 80% of the population [ [ Puerto Rico: People: Ethnic Groups] World Factbook of CIA]
**flagicon|PER Peru - 15 % of the population [ [ Peru: People: Ethnic Groups.] World Factbook of CIA]
**flagicon|TRI Trinidad and Tobago approx. 0.6% of the population
**flagicon|VEN Venezuela - 20 % of the population
**flagicon|URU Uruguay - 88% of the population [ [ Uruguay: People: Ethnic Groups.] World Factbook of CIA]

*Oceania (see Europeans in Oceania)
**flagicon|AUS Australia - 89.3% of the population
**flagicon|NZL New Zealand (New Zealand European) - 78% of the population
**flagicon|NCL New Caledonia (Caldoche) - 34.5% of the population
**flagicon|PYF French Polynesia - 10% of the population [ [ French Polynesia: People: Ethnic Groups.] World Factbook of CIA]
**flagicon|USA Hawaii - 41.26% of the population
**flagicon|GUM Guam - 6.9% of the population [ [ Brazil: People: Ethnic Groups.] World Factbook of CIA]

National diasporas:columns
col1 =
*Armenian diaspora
*Basque diaspora
*Bosnian diaspora
*Croatian diaspora
*Dutch diaspora
*German diaspora
*Greek diaspora
*Hungarian diaspora
*Irish diaspora
col2 =
*Italian diaspora
*Maltese diaspora
*Polish diaspora
*Romanian diaspora
*Russian diaspora
*Scottish diaspora
*Serbian diaspora
*Swiss diaspora
*Turkish diaspora
*Ukrainian diaspora



*citation|first=Peter A.|last=Andrews|first2=Rüdiger|last2= Benninghaus|title=Ethnic Groups in the Republic of Turkey|year=2002|publisher=Reichert|id=ISBN 3895003255
*Marcus Banks, "Ethnicity: Anthropological Constructions", Routledge (1996).
*Cole, J. W., Wolf, E. R., "The Hidden Frontier: Ecology and Ethnicity in an Alpine Valley", University of California Press; (1999), ISBN 978-0520216815.
*Dow, R. R., Bockhorn, O., "The Study of European Ethnology in Austria", Progress in European Ethnology, Ashgate Publishing (2004), ISBN 978-0754617471.
*citation|title=Ethnic Groups and Population Changes in Twentieth-century Central Eastern Europe|first=Piotr|last=Eberhardt
first2= Jan|last2=Owsinski|year=2003|publisher=M.E. Sharpe|id=ISBN 0765606658

* citation|last=Gresham|first=D. et al|year=2001|title=Origins and divergence of the Roma (Gypsies)|journal=American Journal of Human Genetics
volume=69 (6)|pages=1314-1331
[ Online article]
*citation|title=European Identity: Theoretical Perspectives and Empirical Insights|first=Ireneusz Pawel|last=Karolewski|first2=Viktoria|last2= Kaina
year=2006|publisher=LIT Verlag|id=ISBN 3825892883

*Jordan, T. G., "The European culture area: A systematic geography" (2nd ed.). New York: Harper and Row (1988).
*citation|last=Latham|first=Robert Gordon|title=The Native Races of the Russian Empire|year=1854|publisher=Hippolyte Baillière (London) [ Full text on google books]
*citation|title=Culture and National Identity: "the East" and European Integration|first=David D.|last=Laitin|publisher=Robert Schuman Centre

*citation|title=Romansh: Facts & Figures|first=Manfred|last=Gross|year=2004|publisher=Lia Rumantscha|id=ISBN 3039000373 [ Online version]
*citation|title=Ethnic groups worldwide: a ready reference handbook|first=David |last=Levinson|year=1998|publisher=Greenwood Publishing Group|id=ISBN 1573560197
* E. J. Hobsbawm and David J. Kertzer, "Ethnicity and Nationalism in Europe Today", "Anthropology Today", Vol. 8, No. 1 (Feb., 1992), pp. 3-8.
*citation|title=An Ethnohistorical Dictionary of the Russian and Soviet Empire|first=James Stuart|last=Olson|first2=Lee Brigance |last2=Pappas
first3=Nicholas Charles|last3=Pappas|publisher=Greenwood|year=1994|id=ISBN 0313274975

*citation|title=An Ethnic History of Europe Since 1945: Nations, States and Minorities|first=Panikos|last=Panayi
year=1999|publisher=Longman|id=ISBN 0582381355

*Parman, S. (ed.), "Europe in the Anthropological Imagination", Prentice Hall (1998).
*citation|fist=Meic|last=Stephens|year=1976|title=Linguistic Minorities in Western Europe|publisher=Gomer Press|id=ISBN 0608187593
*citation|title=On European Identity: Nationalism, Culture & History|year=1998|first=Csaba |last=Szaló|year=1998|publsiher=Masaryk University
id =ISBN 8021018399

*citation|title=The Smallest Slavonic Nation: The Sorbs of Lusatia|first=Gerald|last=Stone|year=1972|publisher=Athlene Press
id=ISBN 0485111292

*citation|title=Understanding European Integration: History, Culture, and Politics of Identity|first=R. Pavananthi|last=Vembulu|year=2003
publisher=Aakar Books|id=ISBN 8187879106

External links

*Ron Balsdon, " [ The Cultural Mosaic of the European Union: Why National Boundaries and the Cultures Inside Still Matter] "
* [ Migration Policy Institute - Country and Comparative Data]

ee also

*Demography of Europe
*Languages of Europe
*Pan-European identity
*Genetic history of Europe
*White people
*White African
*White American
*White British
*White Latin American
*Peoples of the Caucasus
*List of ethnic groups
*Y-DNA haplogroups by ethnic groups

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list =

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