Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963879 | Print ISBN: 9781412926942 | Online ISBN: 9781412963879| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Although most people believe that China's estimated population of 1.3 billion people (as of 2007) is relatively homogeneous population, it is, in fact, quite ethnically, linguistically, and religiously diverse. For an outsider looking in, sometimes Chinese citizens who are identified by a minority status seem less ethnically or linguistically diverse than others who are identified as the dominant majority. Yet the means by which the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has codified and organized minority nationalities is based on historical, political, and social ramifications and continues to impact opportunities and disadvantages faced by Chinese citizens identified as members of ethnic minorities. This entry looks at majority and minorities groups and how they are related within China. Officially, China recognizes fifty-six different minority groups, but the Han, or the dominant group, makes up about 91% of the population. The remaining fifty-five groups, representing about 106 million people, are sprinkled across the marginal ...