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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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Millennials

Visualizing the Wealth of Americans Under 40 (1989-2023)

The wealth of American Millennials hit historic highs after the COVID-19 pandemic.

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This line chart shows the growth of wealth for Americans under 40 over the last 40 decades.

Visualizing the Wealth of Americans Under 40 (1989-2023)

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.

Millennials have been often referred to as a “broke generation.” Whether in conversations or on the news, it is common to hear how those born in the 1980s or 1990s are struggling in today’s economy, particularly when it comes to entering the housing market or saving for retirement.

However, data shows that the wealth of Americans under 40 years old has hit historic highs after the COVID-19 pandemic, suggesting that millennials have accumulated more wealth by their 40s than previous generations.

To illustrate this, the graphic above shows the average wealth per household, adjusted for inflation, for Americans under 40 years old from Q4 1989 to Q4 2023 (in December 2023 dollars). The data is sourced from the Federal Reserve and accessed via the Center for American Progress.

Post-Pandemic Recovery

Data indicates that younger Americans have reaped the most benefits from the strong economic recovery after the pandemic, enjoying low unemployment rates and rapid wage growth.

The average wealth of U.S. households under 40 was $259,000 in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2023, compared to $164,000 in Q4 1989 and $182,000 in Q4 2000.

QuarterAverage Wealth for Those Under 40 (USD)
Q4 1990152K
Q4 1995146K
Q4 2000182K
Q4 2005184K
Q4 2010100K
Q4 2015148K
Q4 2020231K
Q4 2023259K

Looking specifically at millennial households, inflation-adjusted wealth has more than doubled during the same period.

The increase in younger Americans’ wealth is not concentrated in a single area. Average housing wealth—house values minus mortgage debt—rose by $22,000 from 2019 to 2023. Younger Americans also saw gains in liquid assets, such as bank deposits and money market mutual funds, business ownership, and financial assets, mainly stocks and mutual funds.

Additionally, non-housing debt, such as credit card and student loan debt, fell for this age group after the pandemic.

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