Ethnic groups in Europe explained

The European peoples are the various nations and ethnic groups of Europe. European ethnology is the field of anthropology focusing on Europe. 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. The total number of national minority populations in Europe is estimated at 105 million people, or 14% of 770 million Europeans.[1]

There is no precise or universally accepted definition of the terms "ethnic group" or "nationality". In the context of European ethnography in particular, the terms ethnic group, people (without nation state), nationality, national minority, ethnic minority, linguistic community, linguistic group and linguistic minority are used as mostly synonymous, although preference may vary in usage with respect to the situation specific to the individual countries of Europe.[2]


See also: Demographics of Europe.

There are eight peoples of Europe with more than 30 million members residing in Europe:

  1. the Russians (ca. 90 million settling in the European parts of Russia),[3]
  2. the Germans (ca. 82 million),[4]
  3. the French (ca. 65 million[5])
  4. the British[6] 60 million
  5. the Italians (ca. 59 million)[7]
  6. the Spanish (ca. 46 million),[8]
  7. the Ukrainians (ca. 46 million),
  8. the Poles (ca. 38 million).

These eight groups between themselves account for some 460 million or about 63% of European population.

About 20-25 million residents (3%) 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.

Both Spain and the UK are special cases, in that the designation of nationality, Spanish and British, may controversially take ethnic aspects, subsuming various regional ethnic groups, see nationalisms and regionalisms of Spain and native populations of the United Kingdom. Switzerland is a similar case, but the linguistic subgroups of the Swiss are not usually discussed in terms of ethnicity, and Switzerland is considered a "multi-national state" rather than a "multi-ethnic state".

Ethno-linguistic classifications

See also: Languages of Europe. Of the total population of Europe of some 730 million (as of 2005), over 80% or some 600 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 and the Hungarians (about 12 million each) and the Albanians (about 6 million).

phylumsuper-groupethno-linguistic groupsubgroupsapprox. number (millions)[9] notes
Indo-EuropeansSlavic Europe226
Indo-EuropeansSlavic, EastRussiansPomors, presently Cossacks90[10]
Indo-EuropeansSlavic, EastUkrainiansRusyns, Boykos, Hutsuls, Lemkos, Poleszuks43
Indo-EuropeansSlavic, WestPoles38
Indo-EuropeansSlavic, WestCzechs10
Indo-EuropeansSlavic, SouthSerbs011
Indo-EuropeansSlavic, EastBelarusians10
Indo-EuropeansSlavic, SouthBulgariansPomaks08
Indo-EuropeansSlavic, SouthCroats05
Indo-EuropeansSlavic, WestSlovaks05
Indo-EuropeansSlavic, SouthMacedonians01.6
Indo-EuropeansSlavic, SouthBosniaks01.6
Indo-EuropeansSlavic, SouthSlovenes02
Indo-EuropeansSlavic, WestSilesians01.9
Indo-EuropeansSlavic, SouthMontenegrins0.6
Indo-EuropeansSlavic, WestKashubs0.5
Indo-EuropeansSlavic, WestSorbs0.06
Indo-EuropeansLatin Europe190
Indo-EuropeansLatin, WesternFrancophonieFrench, Walloons, Romands, Provencals, Occitans, Aranese61
Indo-EuropeansLatin, Italo-WesternItaliansSardinians, Furlans, Lombards, Venetians, Sicilians, Neapolitans, Corsicans53
Indo-EuropeansLatin, WesternSpaniardsCastilians
non-Castilian ethno-linguistic groups: Andalusians, Asturians, Aragonese, Catalans
Indo-EuropeansLatin, EasternEastern Romance (Vlachs)Romanians, Moldovans, Megleno-Romanians, Istro-Romanians, Aromanians23
Indo-EuropeansLatin, WesternPortugueseGalicians12
Indo-EuropeansLatin, WesternRhaeto-RomanicsRomansh, Friulians, Ladins0.6
Indo-EuropeansLatin, WesternGibraltarians0.03
Indo-EuropeansGermanic Europe180
Indo-EuropeansGermanic, West, ContinentalGerman-speaking EuropeGermans, Austrians, Alemannic Swiss, Luxembourgers, Alsatians, Lorrainers, South Tyroleans, German-speaking Belgians, North Schleswigers89
Indo-EuropeansGermanic, West, North SeaEnglish45[11] also subsumed under British or White British.
Indo-EuropeansGermanic, NorthScandinaviansNorwegians, Swedes, Finland Swedes, Danes, Faroese, Icelanders22
Indo-EuropeansGermanic, West, ContinentalNetherlandishDutch people, Flemish people17
Indo-EuropeansGermanic, West, North SeaFrisians0.5
Indo-EuropeansCeltic Europe
  • 00
approx. 2 million speakers of Celtic languages, but depending on the definition, some 20 million may be considered "Celtic"
Indo-EuropeansAnglo-Celtic, GoidelicIrishGaeltacht06Some living in Northern Ireland can also subsumed under British or White British.
Indo-EuropeansAnglo-Celtic, GoidelicScotsGàidhealtachd06also subsumed under British or White British.
Indo-EuropeansAnglo-Celtic, BrythonicWelsh05also subsumed under British or White British.
Indo-EuropeansFranco-Celtic, BrythonicBretons05also subsumed under French.
Indo-EuropeansAnglo-Celtic, BrythonicCornish0.2also subsumed under English, British or White British.
Indo-EuropeansAnglo-Celtic, GoidelicManx0.04also subsumed under British or White British.
Indo-EuropeansAnglo-Celtic, Brythonic and GoidelicBritish60Also summed under White British. (Includes English, Welsh, Cornish, Scotish, the Irish in Northern Ireland and and Gibraltese)
Indo-EuropeansIndo-AryanRomani people04[12]
Indo-EuropeansIranianOssetians0.4depends on what part of the Caucasus is considered European, see below.
  • 0
Turkic peoplesTurkic, OghuzTurks16approx. 10 million in Eastern Thrace[13], 1 million in the rest of the Balkans, 5 million in diaspora[14] .
Turkic peoplesTurkic, KypchakVolga Tatars6
Turkic peoplesTurkic, OghurChuvash02
Turkic peoplesTurkic, KypchakBashkirs01.4
Turkic peoplesTurkic, KypchakKumyks00.3
Turkic peoplesTurkic, KypchakKarachays01.5
Turkic peoplesTurkic, Kypchak / OghuzCrimeansTat Tatars, Yaliboyu Tatars, Noğay Tatars2
Turkic peoplesTurkic, OghuzGagauz0.2
Turkic peoplesTurkic, KypchakBalkars0.08
Turkic peoplesTurkic, KypchakNogais0.07
  • 0
Finno-Ugric peoplesUgricHungarians12
Finno-Ugric peoplesFinnic, Finno-LappicFinnsKarelians, Sweden Finns, Ingrian Finns, Kven people06
Finno-Ugric peoplesFinnic, Finno-LappicEstoniansSetos, Võros01
Finno-Ugric peoplesFinnic, VolgaicMordvinsErzya/Shoksha, Moksha, Teryukhan, Qaratay1.1
Finno-Ugric peoplesFinnic, PermicUdmurts0.7
Finno-Ugric peoplesFinnic, VolgaicMari0.6
Finno-Ugric peoplesFinnic, PermicKomiKomi-Izhemtsy, Komi-Permyaks0.5
Finno-Ugric peoplesFinnic, Finno-LappicSami0.1
Finno-Ugric peoplesFinnic, Finno-LappicVeps0.008
Finno-Ugric peoplesFinnic, Finno-LappicIzhorians0.001
Finno-Ugric peoplesFinnic, Finno-LappicLivonians0.0001
  • 0
depends on what part of the Caucasus is considered European, see below.
CaucasianNortheast CaucasianChechens1
CaucasianNortheast CaucasianAvars0.5
CaucasianNortheast CaucasianDargin0.4
CaucasianNorthwest CaucasianKabards0.4
CaucasianNorthwest CaucasianAdygeans0.5
CaucasianNortheast CaucasianLezgins0.3
CaucasianNortheast CaucasianIngushetians0.2
CaucasianNorthwest CaucasianCherkes0.2
CaucasianNorthwest CaucasianLak0.1
CaucasianNorthwest CaucasianTabasarans0.1
CaucasianNortheast CaucasianRutuls0.02
CaucasianNortheast CaucasianTsakhur people0.007
CaucasianSouth CaucasianGeorgians5depends on what part of the Caucasus is considered European, see below.
SemiticSemitic, HebrewJews1.3also subsumed under various other, see below.
SemiticSemitic, MalteseMaltese0.4ethno-linguistic classification is difficult, since there is significant historical admixture of Italian, Sicilian, Siculo-Arabic, English and French influence.

Europe has a population of about 2 million ethnic Jews (mostly also counted as part of the ethnic group of their respective home countries):

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

approx. 7 million

approx. 4 million[15]

over 2 million

est. 1 million

approx. 600,000.

By country

Pan and Pfeil (2002) distinguish 33 peoples which form the majority population in at least one[16] sovereign state geographically situated in Europe.[17] These majorities range from nearly homogenous populations as in Poland or Albania to comparatively slight majorities as in Latvia or Belgium. Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro are multiethnic states in which no group forms a majority.

countrymajority%regional majoritiesother minorities[18]
AlbaniaAlbanians95%Greeks 3%, other 2% (Vlach, Romani, Serbs, Macedonians, Bulgarians)
ArmeniaArmenians97.9%Yazidis 1.3%, Russians 0.5%
AustriaAustrians91.1%South Slavs 4% (includes Burgenland Croats, Carinthian Slovenes, Croats, Slovenes, Serbs, Bosniaks), Turks 1.6%, Germans 0.9%, other or unspecified 2.4% (2001 census)
AzerbaijanAzeris90.6%Lezgins 2.2%, Russians 1.8%, Armenians 1.5%, Talysh 1.0%, Turks 0.6%, other 2.5% (1999 census)
BelarusBelarusians81.2%Russians 11.4%, Poles 3.9%, Ukrainians 2.4%, other 1.1% (1999 census)
BelgiumFlemings58%Walloons 31%, Germans 1%mixed or other 10%
Bosnia and Herzegovina - Bosniak 48%, Serbs 37.1% Croats 14.3%other 0.6% (2000)
BulgariaBulgarians83.9%Turks 9.4%Romani 4.7%, other 2% (including Macedonian, Armenian, Tatar, Circassian) (2001 census)
CroatiaCroats89.6%Serbs 4.5%, other 5.9% (including Bosniak, Hungarian, Slovenes, Czech, and Romani) (2001 census)
Czech RepublicCzechs90.4%Moravians 3.7%Slovaks 1.9%, other 4% (2001 census)
DenmarkDanesFaroeseother Scandinavian, Germans, Frisians, other European
EstoniaEstonians67.9%Estonian SwedesBaltic Russians 25.6%, Ukrainians 2.1%, Belarusians 1.3%, Finns 0.9%, other (Baltic Germans) 2.2% (2000 census)
FinlandFinns93.4%Swedes 5.6%Russians 0.5%, Estonians 0.3%, Romani 0.1%, Sami 0.1% (2006)
FranceFrench84%(includes Bretons, Corsicans, Occitans, Alsatians, Basques)other European 7%, North African 7%, Indochinese
GermanyGermans91.5%includes Bavarians, Swabians, Saxons, Frisians, Sorbs, SilesiansTurks 2.4%, other 6.1% (mostly Greek, Italian, Polish, Russian, Serbo-Croatian and Spanish)
GeorgiaGeorgians83.8%Azeris 6.5%, Armenians 5.7%, Russians 1.5%
GreeceGreeks93%includes linguistic minorities 3%Albanians 4%, other 3% (2001 census)[19]
HungaryHungarians92.3%Romani 1.9%, Germans 1.2% other or unknown 4.6% (2001 census)
IcelandIcelanders94%other (non-native) 6%
IrelandIrish87.4%other white 7.5%, Asian 1.3%, black 1.1%, mixed 1.1%, unspecified 1.6% (2006 census)
ItalyItalians95%includes Sicilians, Sardinians, Lombards and other subgroupsother European (mostly Albanian, Romanian, Ukrainian) 2.5%, African (mostly North African Arab) 1.5%, others 1%
KosovoAlbanians88%Serbs 7%other 5% (Bosniak, Gorani, Romani, Turk, Ashkali, Egyptian)
LatviaLatvians57.7%Baltic Russians 29.6%, Belarusian 4.1%, Ukrainian 2.7%, Polish 2.5%, Lithuanian 1.4%, other 2% (2002)
LithuaniaLithuanians83.5%Poles 6.74%, Russians 6.31%, Belarusians 1.23%, other (Lipka Tatars) 2.27% (2001 census)
MacedoniaMacedonians64.2%Albanians 25.2%, Turks 3.9%Romani 2.7%, Serbs 1.8%, other 2.2% (2002 census)
MoldovaMoldovan/Romanian78.2%Ukrainians 8.4%Russians 5.8%, Gagauz 4.4%, Bulgarians 1.9%, other 1.3% (2004 census)
Montenegro - Montenegrins 43%, Serbs 32%Bosniaks 8%, Albanians 5%, other (Croats, Romani) 12% (2003 census)
NetherlandsDutch80.7%other EU 5%, Indonesians 2.4%, Turks 2.2%, Surinamese 2%, Moroccans 2%, Netherlands Antilles & Aruba 0.8%, other 4.8% (2008 est.)
NorwayNorwegians93.1%Sami 1.3%other European 3.6%, other 2% (2007 estimate)
PolandPoles96.7%Germans 0.4%, Belarusians 0.1%, Ukrainians 0.1%, other and unspecified (Silesians) 2.7% (2002 census)
RomaniaRomanians89.5%Hungarians 6.6%, Romani 2.5%, Germans 0.3%Ukrainians 0.3%, Russians 0.2%, Turks 0.2%, other 0.4% (2002 census)
RussiaRussians79.8%Tatars 3.8%, Kalmyks, Chechens, OssetiansUkrainians 2%, Bashkir 1.2%, Chuvash 1.1% other or unspecified (Nogais, Mordvins, Komi) 12.1% (2002 census, includes Asian Russia)
Serbia[21] Serbs82.9%Hungarians 3.9%, Romani 1.4%, Yugoslavs 1.1%, Bosniaks 1.8%, Montenegrin 0.9%, other 8% (2002 census, includes Kosovo)
SlovakiaSlovaks85.8%Hungarians 9.7%Romani 1.7%, Ruthenian/Ukrainian 1%, other and unspecified 1.8% (2001 census)
SloveniaSlovenians83.1%Serbs 2%, Croats 1.8%, Bosniaks 1.1%, other or unspecified 12% (2002 census)
SpainCastilians89%Various nationalities or sub-ethnicities of the Spanish people, including Basques, Catalans and GaliciansSpanish Gypsies, Spanish Jews, immigrant peoples (South Americans, Romanians, North Africans, sub-Saharan Africans, other)
SwedenSwedes88%Sweden-Finns, Sami peopleforeign-born or first-generation immigrants: Finns, Yugoslavs, Danes, Norwegians, Greeks, Turks
SwitzerlandSwiss79%regional linguistic subgroups, including the Alamannic German-speakers, the Romand French-speakers, the Italian-speakers and Romansh peopleBalkans (Serbs, Croats, Albanians) 6%, Italians 4%, Portuguese 2%, Germans 1.5%, Turks 1%, Spanish 1%.
TurkeyTurks82%Kurds 15%
UkraineUkrainians77.8%Russians 17.3%, Belarusians 0.6%, Moldovans 0.5%, Crimean Tatars 0.5%, Bulgarians 0.4%, Hungarians 0.3%, Romanians 0.3%, Poles 0.3%, Jews 0.2%, other 1.8% (2001 census)
United KingdomEnglish77%Scots 8%, Welsh 4.5%, Northern Irish 2.8% (White British 92.1%[22])black (Nigerian) 2%, Indian 1.8%, Pakistani 1.3%, mixed 1.2%, other (Iraqi, east Asian) 1.6% (2001 census)


Prehistoric populations

See also: Genetic history of Europe, Prehistoric Europe, Eurasian nomads and Indo-European expansion. 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

See also: History of Europe. Iron Age (pre-Great Migrations) populations of Europe known from Greco-Roman historiography, notably Herodotus, Pliny, Ptolemy and Tacitus:

Greek tribes, Pelasgians/Tyrrhenians and Anatolians.

Illyrians (list of Illyrian tribes), Dacians and Thracians.

Italic peoples, Etruscans, Adriatic Veneti, Ligurians and Phoenician colonies.

Pre-Roman peoples of the Iberian Peninsula (Iberians, Lusitani, Aquitani, Celtiberians) and Basques.

Celtic tribes in Britain and Ireland and Picts/Priteni.

Germanic peoples (list of Germanic peoples).


Scythians, Sarmatians, Vistula Veneti, Lugii and Balts.

Historical immigration

See also: Scythians, Huns, Turkic expansion and Islamic conquests. Ethno-linguistic groups that arrived from outside Europe during historical times are:

History of European ethnography

The earliest accounts of European ethnography date to Classical Antiquity. Herodotus described the Scythians and Thraco-Illyrians. Dicaearchus gave a description of Greece itself besides accounts of western and northern Europe. His work survives only fragmentarily, but was received by Polybius and others.Roman Empire period authors include Diodorus Siculus, Strabo and Tacitus. Julius Caesar gives an account of the Celtic tribes of Gaul, while Tacitus describes the Germanic tribes of Magna Germania. The 4th century Tabula Peutingeriana records the names of numerous peoples and tribes. Ethnographers of Late Antiquity such as Agathias of Myrina Ammianus Marcellinus, Jordanes or Theophylact Simocatta give early accounts of the Slavs, the Franks, the Alamanni and the Goths.

Book IX of Isidore's Etymologiae (7th century) treats de linguis, gentibus, regnis, militia, civibus (of languages, peoples, realms, armies and cities).Ahmad ibn Fadlan in the 10th century gives an account of the peoples of Eastern Europe, in particular the Bolghar and the Rus'.William Rubruck, while most notable for his account of the Mongols, in his account of his journey to Asia also gives accounts of the Tatars and the Alans.Saxo Grammaticus and Adam of Bremen give an account of pre-Christian Scandinavia. The Chronicon Slavorum (12th century) gives an account of the northwestern Slavic tribes.

Gottfried Hensel in his 1741 Synopsis universae philologiae published what is probably the earliest ethno-linguistic map of Europe, showing the beginning of the pater noster in the various European languages and scripts.[27] [28] In the 19th century, ethnicity was discussed in terms of scientific racism, and the ethnic groups of Europe were grouped into a number of "races", Mediterranean, Alpine and Nordic, all part of a larger "Caucasian" group.The beginnings of ethnic geography as an academic subdiscipline lie in the period following World War I, in the context of nationalism, and in the 1930s exploitation for the purposes of fascist and Nazi propaganda so that it was only in the 1960s that ethnic geography began to thrive as a bona fide academic subdiscipline.[29] The origins of modern ethnography are often traced to the work of Bronisław Malinowski who emphasized the importance of fieldwork.[30] The emergence of population genetics further undermined the categorisation of Europeans into clearly defined racial groups. A 2007 study on the genetic history of Europe found that the most important genetic differentiation in Europe occurs on a line from the north to the south-east (northern Europe to the Balkans), with another east-west axis of differentiation across Europe, separating the "indigenous" Basques and Sami from other European populations. Despite these stratifications it noted the unusually high degree of European homogeneity: "there is low apparent diversity in Europe with the entire continent-wide samples only marginally more dispersed than single population samples elsewhere in the world."[31] [32] [33]

National minorities

See also: Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.

The total number of national minority populations in Europe is estimated at 105 million people, or 14% of Europeans.[34]

The member states of the Council of Europe in 1995 signed the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. The broad aims of the Convention are to ensure that the signatory states respect the rights of national minorities, undertaking to combat discrimination, promote equality, preserve and develop the culture and identity of national minorities, guarantee certain freedoms in relation to access to the media, minority languages and education and encourage the participation of national minorities in public life. The Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities defines a national minority implicitly to include minorities possessing a territorial identity and a distinct cultural heritage. By 2008, 39 member states have signed and ratified the Convention, with the notable exception of France.

Indigenous minorities

See also: Definitions and identity of indigenous peoples. 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:[35]

European identity and culture

See main article: European culture, Western world, Western culture, Christendom and Pan-European identity. 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 widespread 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.

The term "Western culture" is used very broadly to refer to a heritage of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, religious beliefs, political systems, and specific artifacts and technologies. Specifically, Western culture may imply:

The concept of Western culture is generally linked to the classical definition of the Western world. In this definition, Western culture is the set of literary, scientific, political, artistic and philosophical principles which set it apart from other civilizations. Much of this set of traditions and knowledge is collected in the Western canon. [36] The term has come to apply to countries whose history is strongly marked by Western European immigration or settlement, such as the Americas, and Australasia, and is not restricted to Western Europe. Some tendencies that define modern Western societies are the existence of political pluralism, prominent subcultures or countercultures (such as New Age movements), increasing cultural syncretism resulting from globalization and human migration.

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.


See main article: Religion 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, Romania, 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[37] found that 52% of EU citizens believe in God.

Ethnic minorities of non-European origin

See main article: Immigration to Europe.

See also: Islam in Europe, Muslims in Western Europe and Buddhism in Europe.

See also: Asian Europeans and Afro-Europeans. Populations of non-European origin in Europe (approx. 22 - 29+ million, or approx. 3% to 4%+ [depending on definition of non-European origin], out of a total population of approx. 728 million):

approx. 1.5 million. The largest communities are found in France, Russia, Ukraine and the UK.

approx. 1.5 million, mostly in Germany and Sweden.

approx. 130,000, mostly in Sweden.

especially in France, Netherlands, Germany, Cyprus and the UK.

approx. 200,000 Somalis,[38] mostly in the UK, Netherlands and Scandinavia.

approx. 2.2 million, with the largest groups in Spain and Italy.[40]

200,000 - 300,000 in the UK, around 70,000 in Portugal and Italy each

approx. 2 million, mostly in the UK

approx. 1,000,000, mostly in the UK.

approx. 250,000, predominantly in the UK.

approx. 1 million, mostly in France, the UK and the Netherlands.

approx. 500,000, mostly in the UK, France, Germany and Italy.

ca. 100,000, mostly in the UK and a sizable community in Dusseldorf, Germany.

European diasporas

See also: History of colonialism. Nations and regions outside of Europe with significant populations of European ancestry[42] :



See also: History of colonialism and Greater Europe. Nations and regions outside of Europe with significant populations of European ancestry [42] :

National diasporas:

See also: List of diasporas.


See also

External links

Notes and References

  1. Christoph Pan, Beate Sibylle Pfeil,Minderheitenrechte in Europa. Handbuch der europäischen Volksgruppen (2002)., English translation 2004.
  2. Pan and Pfeil (2004), "Problems with Terminology", pp. xvii-xx.
  3. Pan and Pfeil (2004) give 122 million for Europe and Asia taken together.
  4. Germans in Germany; Pan and Pfeil (2004) give 89 million for all German-speaking groups.
  5. Recensement officiel de l'Insee; Pan and Pfeil (2004) give 55 million for the French-speaking groups, excluding the Occitans.
  6. or Britons, includes English, Scottish, Welsh
  7. including Corsicans
  8. Pan and Pfeil give 31 million, excluding Catalans, Valencians, Basques and Galicians
  9. unless otherwise indicated, population figures are those of Pan and Pfeil (2004)
  10. European Russia only; 122 million in all of Russia.
  11. [CIA Factbook]
  12. Pan and Pfeil (2004) give 3.8 million. High estimates range up to 10 million.
  13. Web site: Turkish Statistical Institute. Turkish Statistical Institute. Turkish Statistical Institute. 2007 Census, population by provinces and districts. 2007-12-26. 2007.
  14. CIA factbook
  15. 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 [], National Geographic, 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
  16. Ethnic groups which form the majority in two states are the Vlachs (in Romania and Moldova), and the Albanians (in Albania and the partly-recognized Republic of Kosovo).Closely related groups holding majorities in separate states are German speakers (Germans, Austrians, Luxembourgers, Swiss German speakers), the Serbo-Croats in the states of Former Yugoslavia, the Dutch/Flemish, the Russians/Belarusians and the Bulgarians/Macedonians.
  17. including the European portions of Russia, not including Turkey, Georgia and Kazakhstan, excluding microstates with fewer than 100,000 inhabitants: Andorra, Holy See, Liechtenstein, Monaco and San Marino.
  18. percentages from the CIA Factbook unless indicated otherwise.
  19. note: percents represent citizenship, since Greece does not collect data on ethnicity
  21. excluding Kosovo and Metohija
  22. Starting in the 2001 census, White Irish and White British were recognised as distinct ethnic groups in Great Britain. This distinction is avoided in the census of Northern Ireland, where White Irish and White British are combined into a single "White" ethnic group on the census forms.
  23. My Jewish Learning - European Origins
  24. Almoravides - LoveToKnow 1911
  25. Spain - AL ANDALUS
  26. The Last Christians Of North-West Africa
  27. Synopsis universae philologiae
  28. Karl Friedrich Vollgraff, Erster Versuch einer Begründung sowohl der allgemeinen Ethnologie durch die Anthropologie, wis auch der Staats und rechts-philosophie durch die Ethnologie oder Nationalität der Völker (1851), p. 257.
  29. A. Kumar, Encyclopaedia of Teaching of Geography (2002), p. 74 ff.; the tripartite subdivision of "Caucasians" into Nordic, Alpine and Mediterranean groups persisted among some scientists into the 1960s, notably in Carleton Coon's book The Origin of Races (1962).
  30. Andrew Barry, Political Machines (2001), p. 56
  31. Measuring European Population Stratification using Microarray Genotype Data
  32. Web site: DNA heritage]]. 2007-07-20.
  33. Web site: Dupanloup. Isabelle., Giorgio Bertorelle, Lounès Chikhi and Guido Barbujani. Estimating the Impact of Prehistoric Admixture on the Genome of Europeans. 2007-07-20.
  34. Christoph Pan, Beate Sibylle Pfeil,Minderheitenrechte in Europa. Handbuch der europäischen Volksgruppen (2002).
  35. see also Definitions and identity of indigenous peoples.
  36. Duran 1995, p.81
  37. ReportDGResearchSocialValuesEN2.PDF
  38. Youths bring violence from a war-torn land
  39. France's blacks stand up to be counted
  40. Latin American Immigration to Southern Europe
  41. Born Abroad - Countries of birth
  42. Ethnic groups by country.
  43. Western North Africa, 1–500 A.D.
  44. Archaeologists Find Celts In Unlikely Spot: Turkey
  45. The Mummies of Xinjiang
  46. A meeting of civilisations: The mystery of China's celtic mummies
  47. Diversity in the Desert: Daily Life in Greek and Roman Egypt, 332 B.C.E. - 641 C.E.
  48. Alexander the Great and precious stones in Afghanistan
  49. Cyril and Methodius of Thessalonica: The Acculturation of the Slavs
  50. The Fate of Greenland's Vikings
  51. 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.
  52. Crusaders 'left genetic legacy'
  53. South Africa: People: Ethnic Groups.
  54. Namibia: People: Ethnic Groups.
  55. Réunion Island
  56. Botswana: People: Ethnic Groups.
  57. Senegal
  58. Swaziland: People: Ethnic Groups.
  59. Morocco: People: Ethnic Groups.
  60. Tunisia: People: Ethnic Groups.
  61. Fiona Hill, Russia — Coming In From the Cold?, The Globalist, 23 February 2004
  62. Robert Greenall, Russians left behind in Central Asia, BBC News, 23 November 2005.
  63. Kyrgyzstan: People: Ethnic Groups.
  64. Turkmenistan: People: Ethnic Groups.
  65. Southern Caucasus: Facing Integration Problems, Ethnic Russians Long For Better Life
  66. Georgia: Ethnic Russians Feel Insulated From Tensions
  67. HK Census. "HK Census." Statistical Table. Retrieved on 2007-03-08.
  68. Greenland
  69. Canadian Census 2006
  70. North America - Britannica Concise Encyclopedia - The online encyclopedia you can trust!
  71. Mexico :: Ethnic groups - Britannica Online Encyclopedia
  72. Mexico: People: Ethnic Groups.
  73. Argentina: People: Ethnic Groups.
  74. Bahamas: People: Ethnic Groups.
  75. Barbados: People: Ethnic Groups.
  76. Bermuda: People: Ethnic Groups.
  77. Bolivia: People: Ethnic Groups.
  78. Brazil: People: Ethnic Groups.
  79. Web site: 5.2.6. Estructura racial. La Universidad de Chile. 2007-08-26.
  80. Colombia: People: Ethnic Groups.
  81. Web site: [ Costa Rica; People; Ethnic groups]. CIA World Factbook. 2007-11-21. white (including mestizo) 94%. = 3.9 million whites and mestizos
  82. Web site: Tabla II.3 Población por color de la piel y grupos de edades, según zona de residencia y sexo. 2008-10-13. 2002. Censo de Población y Viviendas. Oficina Nacional de Estadísticas. Spanish.
  83. Dominican Republic: People: Ethnic groups.
  84. News: [ Ecuador: People; Ethnic groups]. CIA World Factbook. 2007-11-26.
  85. El Salvador: People: Ethnic Groups.
  86. French Guiana: People: Ethnic Groups.
  87. Martinique: People: Ethnic Groups.
  88. News: [ Nicaragua: People; Ethnic groups]. CIA World Factbook. 2007-11-15.
  89. News: [ Panama; People; Ethnic groups]. CIA World Factbook. 2007-11-21.
  90. Puerto Rico: People: Ethnic Groups
  91. Peru: People: Ethnic Groups.
  92. Trinidad French Creole
  93. Uruguay: People: Ethnic Groups.
  94. Fact Sheet on St. Barthélemy
  95. French Polynesia: People: Ethnic Groups.
  96. Brazil: People: Ethnic Groups.