August 17, 2020

Russia's Smallest Ethnic Group


Russia's Smallest Ethnic Group
Gotta love a nice, colorful demographic map. Olegzima, Wikimedia Commons

One of Russia's claims to fame is its ethnic diversity, including some 185 ethnic groups, from Slavs to far-eastern indigenous peoples, to steppe nomads. On August 9, an international holiday celebrating indigenous peoples, Russia's Census Ministry revealed the smallest ethnic group in Russia.

The Chamalal people of the Caucasus hold that less-than-desirable title, according to 2010 census data. Per the latest information, their numbers total just 24, down from over 4,000 in 1967. In 1926, the first year available for such data, there were about 3,400 Chamalals.

The Russian Federation defines an indigenous people as groups of less than 50,000 living in their ancestral lands and maintaining a traditional way of life. The Chamalals are among 46 indigenous peoples in Russia.

The next census is set for April of next year, postponed due to coronavirus.

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