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Mapped: The World’s Indigenous Peoples

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Map of the world's Indigenous peoples

Mapped: The World’s Indigenous Peoples

Humanity has spread to almost every corner of Earth, and while some peoples have continued to move, others have grown roots in one region.

Generally the term indigenous peoples refers to social or cultural groups with strong ancestral ties to their land of origin. Many times these are tied to ethnicity and still live in their land of origin, but some have been displaced, diluted, or become minorities in their lands.

This map by Bhabna Banerjee uses data from the Indigenous World 2022 report to show the population distribution of the roughly 476 million Indigenous peoples around the world. When 2022 data was unavailable, the latest available data was used.

What Are “Indigenous” Peoples?

Before diving in, it’s important to note that this map and report are based on the United Nations’ approach to indigenous peoples.

Due to the diversity and difficult history experienced by these groups, including countries that don’t recognize indigenous peoples in their lands, there is purposefully no official definition of “indigenous.”

Instead, the UN and other organizations working with indigenous peoples utilize an understanding based on self-determination that includes:

  • Self-identification as indigenous peoples at the individual level and accepted by the community.
  • Historical continuity with pre-colonial and/or pre-settler societies
  • Strong link to territories and surrounding resources
  • Distinct social, economic, or political systems
  • Distinct language, culture, and beliefs
  • Forms non-dominant groups of society
  • Resolve to maintain and reproduce their ancestral environments and systems

Because of this, ethnic groups that are indigenous (as a dictionary term) to their lands like the Han people in China, the Turks in Turkey, or the Scots in Scotland were not included in this report.

On the flip side, groups like Greenland’s Inuit were included, because of their long history of colonial control as well as Danish influence.

Indigenous Populations Worldwide

Of all the countries included in the report, China has the highest number of Indigenous, with an estimated population of 125.3 million.

It’s worth noting that the Chinese government does not officially acknowledge the existence of Indigenous peoples. However, they do recognize 55 different ethnic nationalities across the nation, including the Zhuang, Mongolians, and the Hui.

CountryIndigenous PopulationYear of Data
China125,332,3352022
India104,000,0002022
Indonesia60,000,0002022
Pakistan35,000,0002010
Mexico16,933,2832022
Ethiopia16,500,0002022
Myanmmar14,400,0002010
Vietnam14,100,0002022
Algeria12,000,0002022
Nepal10,872,0002022
Morocoo10,000,0002022
Phillippines10,000,0002022
Kenya9,650,0002021
Bolivia7,000,0002013
United States6,600,0002022
Guatemala6,500,0002022
Thailand6,100,0002022
Malaysia4,683,0002022
Peru4,000,0002022
Laos3,500,0002022
Niger2,690,0002022
Namibia2,678,1912022
Chile2,185,7922022
Colombia1,905,6172022
Canada1,673,7852022
Iran1,617,0002021
Bangladesh1,586,1412022
Japan1,400,0002021
Mali1,200,0002016
Uganda1,138,2392022
Ecuador1,100,0002022
Cameroon1,044,3002022
Libya1,000,0002022
Tunisia1,000,0002022
Argentina955,0322022
Brazil896,9002022
Venzuela896,0002022
Australia881,6002022
New Zealand775,5002022
DRC700,0002022
Nicaragua612,0002022
SouthAfrica590,0002022
Taiwan580,7582022
Tanzania524,2462022
Panama417,5592022
Israel300,0002022
Russia260,0002022
Cambodia250,0002022
French Polynesia222,4002022
Paraguay122,4612022
Costa Rica104,1432022
Guyana78,5002022
Burundi78,0712022
Iraq78,0002007
Botswana73,1002022
Greenland56,5232022
Norway50,0002021
Rep. of Congo43,3782022
CAR39,2992022
Jordan27,0002021
Rwanda25,0002022
Angola24,3002022
Suriname20,3442022
Sweden20,0002021
Gabon16,1622020
French Guiana10,0002022
Finland80002021
Zimbabwe45332022
Sri Lanka12292012

After China, India has the second largest Indigenous populations, with over 700 officially recognized ethnic groups. Many of these are concentrated in the north-eastern region of India, from Rajasthan to West Bengal.

While different countries and territories have varying numbers of Indigenous peoples, one thing remains consistent across the board—on average, the world’s Indigenous populations typically face greater economic and social challenges than their non-Indigenous counterparts.

Disadvantages Faced by Indigenous Peoples

Research by the UN’s International Labour Organization (ILO) found that, while Indigenous peoples make up only 6% of the world’s total population, they account for nearly 20% of the world’s extreme poor.

In addition, Indigenous peoples also have much lower average life expectancies than non-Indigenous people, according to a report by the United Nations.

Some countries and governments around the world are starting to implement laws and policies to support and recognize Indigenous communities, but there’s still work to be done.

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This article was published as a part of Visual Capitalist's Creator Program, which features data-driven visuals from some of our favorite Creators around the world.

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Demographics

Visualizing Racial Diversity in America’s 10 Largest States

Here’s how racial diversity breaks down across the 10 largest U.S. states by population—from California to Michigan.

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Visualizing Racial Diversity in America’s 10 Largest States

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Over the last decade, America has become increasingly more diverse as demographic patterns shift across the population.

With over 39 million people, California is not only the most populous state, but one of the most diverse in the country.

This graphic shows the racial diversity of the 10 biggest states by population, based on data from the U.S. Census.

How Diverse Are America’s Most Populous States?

Here is the racial breakdown of the 10 largest U.S. states:

StateWhite (%)Black (%)Asian (%)Other (%)
California5661523
Texas6912514
Florida7216310
New York6215914
Pennsylvania791146
Illinois7014611
Ohio801225
Georgia573247
North Carolina682138
Michigan781436

As the table above shows, California has the highest proportion of Asian Americans across the top 10 states, comprising 15% of the population.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s ethnic makeup includes 32% of Black Americans, the highest across the most populous states. As diversity has risen over the last decade, it has significantly influenced politics at both the state and national level. The state voted Republican for every presidential election from 1996-2016, but flipped blue in 2020.

With 80% of the population being White Americans, Ohio has the highest share across the biggest states. While diversity has increased since 2010, it has been seen mostly in urban and suburban districts while diversity has stagnated in rural areas.

Overall, 24% of rural areas in the U.S. are made up of non-White Americans, rising by a median rate of 3.5% across counties since 2010. While this debunks the myth that “rural” is synonymous with “white”, racial diversity across rural areas falls below the national average of 42% of the population being people of color.

Beyond the top 10 states, ethnic diversity is the highest in Hawaii, Nevada, and Maryland.

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