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List of ethnic groups in Myanmar

Note: This map is based on 1972 Burmese census. Other ethnic groups like Rakhine, Kayah, Pa’O and Shanni might not appear on this map because government merge sub ethnic groups into a large single ethnic group. (i.e. Kayah and Pa’O are Karen sub groups so government merge them into a one single ethnic identity.)

Myanmar (Burma) is an ethnically diverse nation with 135 distinct ethnic groups officially recognised by the Burmese government. These are grouped into eight "major national ethnic races":

  1. Bamar
  2. Kayin
  3. Rakhine
  4. Shan
  5. Mon
  6. Chin
  7. Kachin
  8. Karenni

The "major national ethnic races" are grouped primarily according to region rather than linguistic or ethnic affiliation, as for example the Shan Major National Ethnic Race includes 33 ethnic groups speaking languages in at least four widely differing language families.[1]

The list has faced criticism for overcounting the number of ethnic groups. Specifically, it represents clans and dialectical differences as distinct ethnic groups, sometimes even repeating the same group under a different name.[2] According to Gamanii, a researcher who scrutinized the claim, only 59 out of the 135 ethnic groups mentioned can be verified as existing entities.[3]

Many unrecognised ethnic groups exist, the largest being the Burmese Chinese and Panthay (who together form 3% of the population), Burmese Indians (who form 2% of the population), Rohingya, Anglo-Burmese and Gurkha. There are no official statistics regarding the population of the latter two groups, although unofficial estimates place around 52,000 Anglo-Burmese in Burma with around 1.6 million outside the country.

Ethnic composition of Myanmar
Bamar
68.78%
Kayin
6.69%
Rakhine
4.61%
Shan
4.51%
Mon
2.19%
Chin
2.09%
Kachin
1.50%
Karenni
0.39%
Other minorities
9.24%

[4][5][6]

Officially recognized ethnic groups

Note: The list is very controversial. Many of the names and spelling variants are known only from this list.[3][7]

Kachin comprises 12 different ethnic groups
1. Kachin see: Jingpo people
2. Tarone see: Taron people
3. Dalaung, unknown[8]
4. Jinghpaw see: Singpho people
5. Guari, unknown[8]
6. Hkahku see: Jingpo people
7. Duleng, unknown[8]
8. Maru (Lawgore)
9. Rawang see Nung Rawang
10. Lashi (La Chit)
11. Atsi see Zaiwa language
12. Lisu
Kayah comprises 9 different ethnic groups

Note, a known questionable source.[9]

13. Kayah (Karenni)
14. Zayein (Lahta; Gaungto; Loilong Karens)
15. Ka-Yun (Kayan; Padaung)
16. Gheko (Karen, Geko)
17. Kebar, maybe translation error for Geba Karen language
18. Bre (Ka-Yaw; Kayaw)
19. Manu Manaw (Manumanaw)
20. Yin Talai, maybe Yintale
21. Yin Baw (Yinbaw)
Kayin comprises 11 different ethnic groups
22. Karen (Kayin)
23. Kayinpyu (Geba Karen)
24. Pa-Le-Chi, maybe Mobwa
25. Mon Kayin (Sarpyu), unknown[8]
26. Sgaw (Karen, S’gaw)
27. Ta-Lay-Pwa, maybe Thalebwa[8]
28. Paku (Karen, Paku)
29. Bwe (Bwe Karen)
30. Monnepwa (Karen, Paku)
31. Monpwa, unknown[8]
32. Shu (Pwo Kayin)
Chin comprises 53 different ethnic groups

Possibly originally a list of tax rate districts. With the highest tax first.

33. Chin
34. Meithei (Meitei; Kathe)
35. Saline (ethnic group)
36. Ka-Lin-Kaw people (Lushay)
37. Khumi (Khami)
38. Mro-Khimi people
39. Khawno
40. Kaungso
41. Kaung Saing Chin
42. Kwelshin (Khualsim)
43. Kwangli (Sim)
44. Gunte people (Lyente; Falam)
45. Gwete (Guite)
46. Ngorn (Chin, Ngawn)
47. Siyin (Sizaang), (Sizang)[8]
48. Sentang
49. Saing Zan
50. Za-How (Zahau)
51. Zotung
52. Zo-Pe
53. Zo
54. Zanniat (Zanniet)
55. Tapong
56. Tiddim (Hai-Dim)
57. Tay-Zan
58. Taishon (Tashon)
59. Thado
60. Torr people (Tawr)
61. Dim
62. Dai (Yindu)
63. Naga
64. Tangkhul
65. Malin
66. Panun
67. Magun
68. Matu
69. Miram (Mara, Shendu, Lakher, etc.)
70. Mi-er
71. Mgan
72. Lushei (Lushay)
73. Laymyo
74. Lyente
75. Lautu
76. Lai (Haka Chin)
77. Laizao
78. Mro (Wakim)
79. Hualngo
80. Anu
81. Anun
82. Oo-Pu
83. Lhinbu
84. Asho (Plain)
85. Rongtu
Burman comprises 9 ethnic groups
86. Burman (Bamar)
87. Dawei of Dawei city
88. Beik
89. Yaw
90. Yabein
91. Kadu (Kado)
92. Ganan
93. Salone (Salon; Moken)
94. Hpon
Mon comprises 1 ethnic group
95. Mon
Rakhine comprises 7 ethnic groups
96. Rakhine (Arakanese)
97. Kamein
98. Khami
99. Daingnet
100. Maramagyi
101. Mro people (Awa Khami)
102. Thet
Shan comprises 33 ethnic groups
103. Shan (Tai)
104. Yun (Lao)
105. Kwi
106. Pyin
107. Yao (Hmong; Mien)
108. Danaw (Danau)
109. Pale
110. Eng (En)
111. Son
112. Khamu (Khmu)
113. Kaw (Akha-E-Kaw)
114. Kokant (Kokang)
115. Khamti Shan
116. Hkun (Khün)
117. Taungyo
118. Danu
119. Palaung
120. Man Zi
121. Yin Kya
122. Yin Net
123. Shan Gale
124. Shan Gyi
125. Lahu
126. Intha
127. Eik-swair
128. Pa-O (Taungthu; Black Karen)
129. Tai-Loi
130. Tai-Leng (Red Shan)
131. Tai-Lon
132. Tai-Lay
133. Maingtha (Achang)
134. Maw Shan
135. Wa (Va)

List grouped by language family

Sino-Tibetan[edit]

  • Chinese
    • Kokang (Mandarin Chinese dialect; sometimes spelled Kokant)
  • Tibeto-Burman
    • Burman (Bamar)
    • Anu
    • Asho (Plain)
    • Atsi
    • Beik
    • Bwe
    • Chin
    • Ngawn
    • Dalaung
    • Danu
    • Dawei
    • Dim
    • Duleng
    • Ganan
    • Gheko
    • Gunte (Lyente)
    • Haulngo
    • Hpon
    • Intha
    • Kachin (Jingpo)
    • Kadu (Kado)
    • Karen (Kayin)
    • Kaw (Akha-E-Kaw, Akha)
    • Kayinpyu (Geba Karen)
    • Khams Tibetan
    • Kwelshin
    • Lahu

Tai–Kadai[edit]

  • Tai
    • Shan
    • Hkun (also spelled Khün)
    • Khamti Shan
    • Thai

Indo-European[edit]

  • Indo-Aryan
    • Daignet people
    • Kamein
    • Maramagyi
  • Lai (Haka Chin)
  • Laizo
  • Lashi (La Chit)
  • Lisu
  • Lyente
  • Maingtha
  • Marma
  • Maru (Lawgore)
  • Meitei/Pangal (also spelled Meithei or Kathe)
  • Miram (Mara)
  • Monnepwa
  • Mro (Wakim)
  • Naga
  • Pa-O
  • Pyin
  • Rakhine (Arakanese)
  • Rawang
  • Sgaw
  • Shu (Pwo)
  • Taron
  • Taungyo
  • Thet
  • Tiddim (Hai-Dim)
  • Torr (also spelled Tawr)
  • Yaw
  • Zo
  • Zophei
  • Zotung

Hmong–Mien[edit]

  • Yao

Austroasiatic[edit]

  • Mon–Khmer
    • Mon
    • Danaw (also spelled Danau)
    • Khmu (Khamu)
    • Tai-Loi
    • Wa (Va)
    • Palaung
    • Pale

Austronesian[edit]

  • Malayo-Polynesian
    • Malay
    • Moken (also spelled Salon or Salone)

Unrecognised ethnic groups

The government of Myanmar does not recognise several ethnic groups as being among the list of 135 officially recognised ethnic groups:

Language ISO 639-3 codes

Note: This is a list of is languages, and the name of a language are not always the same as the name of an ethnic group.

  1. Achang [acn]
  2. Akeu [aeu]
  3. Akha [ahk]
  4. Anal [anm]
  5. Anong [nun]
  6. Blang [blr]
  7. Burmese [mya]
  8. Chak [ckh]
  9. Chakma [ccp]
  10. Chin:
  11. Chinese:
  12. Danau [dnu]
  13. Danu [dnv]
  14. Drung [duu]
  15. Hmong Njua [hnj]
  16. Hpon [hpo]
  17. Intha [int]
  18. Jingpho [kac]
  19. Kadu [zkd]
  20. Kanan [zkn]
  21. Karen:
  22. Kayah:
  23. Kedah Malay [meo]
  24. Kayan [pdu]
  25. Kayaw [kvl]
  26. Khamti [kht]
  27. Khün [kkh]
  28. Lahta [kvt]
  29. Lahu [lhu]
  30. Lahu Shi [lhi]
  31. Lashi [lsi]
  32. Lhao Vo [mhx]
  33. Lisu [lis]
  34. [khb]
  35. Manumanaw [kxf]
  36. Moken [mwt]
  37. Mon [mnw]
  38. Mru [mro]
  39. Naga:
  40. Nusu [nuf]
  41. Palaung:
  42. Pali [pli]
  43. Pa’o [blk]
  44. Pyen [pyy]
  45. Rakhine [rki]
  46. Rawang [raw]
  47. Riang [ril]
  48. Samtao [stu]
  49. Shan [shn]
  50. Tai Laing [tjl]
  51. Tai Loi [tlq]
  52. Tai Nüa [tdd]
  53. Taman [tcl]
  54. Taungyo [tobacco]
  55. Tavoyan [tvn]
  56. Tibetan:
  57. Wa:
  58. Wewaw [wea]
  59. Yinbaw [kvu]
  60. Yinchia [yin]
  61. Yintale [yin]
  62. Zaiwa [atb]
  63. Zayein [kxk]
  64. Zo [zom]

Thaungtha is similar with rabain

See also

References

  1. ^ "Myanmar People & Races". Archived from the original on 9 June 2010. Retrieved 14 December 2007. For example, the Shan speak a Tai–Kadai language, the Lahu speak a Tibeto-Burman language, the Khamu speak a Mon–Khmer language, and the Yao speak a Hmong–Mien language.
  2. ^ "2014 Population Census: The problematic of 135 ethnic groups categorization". Shan Herald. 5 December 2017. Archived from the original on 29 January 2022. Retrieved 8 March 2023.
  3. ^ a b Gamanii (25 September 2012). "135: Counting Races in Burma". Shan Herald. Archived from the original on 5 January 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
  4. ^ "PoneYate ethnic population dashboard".
  5. ^ "ISP Myanmar talk shows".
  6. ^ "Overview of Myanmar's diversity" (PDF).
  7. ^ "Composition of the Different Ethnic Groups". Archived from the original on 10 April 2020. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g "Ethnologue". Archived from the original on 13 October 2011. Retrieved 1 May 2006.
  9. ^ The source of this list is the 9 captions from an unscientific Italian book, therefore Italian spelling. I Ghekhù : tribu criana della Birmania orientale. Paolo Manna. 1902. Milano.
  10. ^ Mullins, Jeremy; Aye, Mon Mon (30 March 2014). "Panthay Muslims protect their name". Myanmar Times. Archived from the original on 23 May 2017. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  11. ^ Tracing an Indian Diaspora: Contexts, Memories, Representations – Google Books
  12. ^ http://www.ethnologue.com/country/MM/languages Archived 5 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine Ethnologue: Myanmar

Books

  • U Min Naing, National Ethnic Groups of Myanmar (Trans. by Hpone Thant).

Yangon: Thein Myint Win Press, 2000.

  • "National Races of Myanmar" (1960) by the Ministry of Culture
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List of ethnic groups in Myanmar
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