Number of Ethnicities in the World

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How many ethnicities are there in the world?

More than 5,000.

There are more than 5,000 ethnic groups in the world. This is according to a 1998 report entitled ‘ËœBy the Numbers: Ethnic Groups in the World’â„¢ published in the Scientific American in September 1998. Estimates vary, and the classification of ethnic groups remains vague and debatable. Since there are 6,909 living languages worldwide according to the 2009 Ethnologue, it can be safe to assume that each language is spoken by at least one ethnic group; therefore there would be at least 6,909 ethnic groups throughout the world.

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One Response

  1. Luis

    October 27, 2013 12:47 pm

    It’s NOT safe to assume that each language is spoken by ONLY one ethnic group, because many groups would be double counted.

    Some different ethnic communities share the same language, while many groups practice more than one language. Some groups use a separate language for business trades. And some ethnic groups have separate language variations, although they share the same ethnicity.
    Ethnologue also includes many sign languages (+25), but deaf and mute people are not separate ethnic groups. So the conclusion is wrong.


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