Stateless nation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The term stateless nation is used of ethnic groups which are not the majority population in any nation state and for whom it is implied that they "should have" such a state. As such, the term expresses irredentism. This is orthogonal to statelessness in the sense of an individual's complete lack of a legal nationality: members of stateless ethnic groups may be citizens/nationals of the country in which they live, or they may be denied citizenship by that country.

Stateless nations are either dispersed across a number of states (for example, the Kurdish people are found in Iraq, Turkey, Iran, Armenia and Syria), or they form the native population of a province within a larger state (such as the Uyghur people in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region within the People's Republic of China). The Romani people may be a special case, being distributed among numerous countries with no clear homeland; as a traditionally "nomadic" people, the Romani/Roma are a classical "stateless nation" without aspiration to sovereign territory.

As not all states are nation states, there are a number of ethnic groups who live in a multinational state without necessarily being considered as "stateless nations". As there are several thousand individual languages and fewer than 200 independent states, it follows that the vast majority of ethnic groups is "stateless" in the sense that they do not have their own nation state.

List of the larger (> 1 million) ethnic groups without nation states for which an irredentist movement is known to exist:1

People Flag Language Population (ca.) States Homeland Irredentist movement Notes
Rohingya people
Rohingya nationality flag.png
Rohingya language 3,600,000 Burma, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Thailand, Malaysia Burma, Rakhine state Rohingya conflict in Western Burma
Flag of Tamil Eelam.svg
Tamil language 77,000,000 Republic of India, Sri Lanka Tamilakam, Tamil Eelam Tamil nationalism, Sri Lankan Civil War regional autonomy in Tamil Nadu
Punjabi language 27,000,000 Republic of India, Pakistan Khalistan Khalistan movement
Yoruba people
Flag of the Yoruba people.svg
Yoruba language 35,000,000 Nigeria, Benin, Togo Yorubaland Oodua Peoples Congress
Flag of Kurdistan.svg
Kurdish language 35,000,000 Iraq, Turkey, Iran, Armenia, Syria Kurdistan Kurdish–Turkish conflict and Kurdish-Iranian_conflict regional autonomy in Iraqi Kurdistan
Igbo people
Flag of Biafra.svg
Igbo language 20,000,000 Nigeria Biafra Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra
Flag of Cabinda.svg
Kikongo 10,000,000 Angola Cabinda Province Cabinda Conflict
Uyghur people
Kokbayraq flag.svg
Uyghur language 9,000,000 People's Republic of China Chinese Turkestan irredentism is politically fragmented (East Turkestan Liberation Organization, East Turkestan independence movement) limited autonomy in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
Catalan people
Flag of Catalonia.svg
Catalan language 8,000,000 Spain, France, Italy Catalonia Catalan separatism See also Nationalisms and regionalisms of Spain
Galician people
Bandeira galega civil.svg
Galician language 2,800,000 Spain Galiza Galician nationalism See also Nationalisms and regionalisms of Spain
Flag of Tatarstan.svg
Tatar language 7,000,000 Russian Federation Tatarstan All-Tatar Public Center regional autonomy in Tatarstan
Scottish people
Flag of Scotland.svg
English, Scots, Scottish Gaelic 5,200,000 United Kingdom Scotland Scottish independence regional autonomy in Scotland
Sami people
Sami flag.svg
Sami languages, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, Russian 163,400 Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia Sapmi Has their own Parliaments in Norway, Sweden & Finland
Shan people
Flag of the Shan State.svg
Shan language 6,000,000 Burma Shan State Declaration of independence in 2005; see also Hso Khan Pha
Flag of Buganda.svg
Luganda 6,000,000 Uganda Buganda
Tibetan people
Flag of Tibet.svg
Tibetan language 5,500,000 People's Republic of China Tibet Tibetan independence movement limited autonomy in the Tibet Autonomous Region
Kabyle people
Berber flag.svg
Kabyle language, Algerian Arabic 5,000,000 Kabylie
Acehnese people
Flag of Aceh.svg
Acehnese language 4,000,000 Indonesia Aceh Insurgency in Aceh regional autonomy in Aceh
Hmong people
Hmong Flag.png
Hmong language 4,000,000 Laos, People's Republic of China, Vietnam, Thailand Hmong ChaoFa Federated State Insurgency in Laos
Assyrian people (aka Syriac/Aramaean people)
Flag of Assyria.svg
Neo-Aramaic language 3,500,000 Syria, Iraq. Iran, Turkey Assyrian homeland Assyrian nationalism, Assyrian independence
Welsh people
Flag of Wales 2.svg
English, Welsh language 3,000,000 United Kingdom Wales Welsh independence regional autonomy in Wales
Basque people
Flag of the Basque Country.svg
Basque language 2,600,000 France, Spain Basque Country Basque nationalism
Palestinian people
Flag of Palestine.svg
Arabic language 11,000,000 West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel Palestine Arab–Israeli conflict autonomy in the Palestinian territories
Naga people
Unofficial flag of Nagaland.svg
Tibeto-Burman dialects / Nagamese creole 2,000,000 Republic of India Nagaland Naga National Council, Insurgency in Northeast India regional autonomy in Nagaland
Canarian people
Flag of the Canary Islands (simple).svg
Spanish, Guanche language (extinct) 1,600,000 Spain, Venezuela, Cuba Canary Islands Canarian nationalism National devolution, further autonomy or total secession from Mainland Spain.
Flag of Chechen Republic of Ichkeria.svg
Chechen language 1,300,000 Russian Federation Chechnya and Dagestan Chechen insurgency, Chechen Republic of Ichkeria regional autonomy in Chechnya
C'ekakawwon people Algonquian language <1 M United States of America Virginia
Bodo people
Bandera Bodoland.svg
Bodo language 1,300,000 Republic of India Bodoland National Democratic Front of Bodoland
Tuareg people
MNLA flag.svg
Tuareg language 1,200,000 Mali, Niger Azawad Tuareg rebellion (2012)
Flag of Sindhudesh.svg
Sindhi 60,000,000 Pakistan, India Sindhudesh JSQM, JSMM, Sindhudesh Liberation Army
Flag of the Balochistan Liberation Army.svg
Balochi 10,000,000 Pakistan, Iran Balochistan Balochistan conflict
Flag of the Mapuches.svg
Mapudungun 1,000,000 Argentina, Chile Araucanía Mapuche conflict
Flag of Greenland.svg
Inuit languages 1,000,000 Canada, United States, Denmark Siberia, Alaska, Northern Canada, Greenland Greenland Referendum, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami Semi-autonomous rule in Greenland, Autonomy in Canada
Kingdom of Hawaii
Kanaka Maoli flag.svg
Hawaiian language 1,000,000 United States Hawaii Hawaiian sovereignty movement
Ryukyuan people
Ryukyu independence flag.svg
Ryukyuan language 1,000,000 Japan Ryukyu Kingdom Ryukyu independence movement
Occitan people
Flag of Occitania (with star).svg
Occitan language 100,000 to 800,000 France, Italy, Spain Occitania Occitan Party

See also


  1. ^ not listed are independence movement of groups which already are the ethnic majority in an independent state (English independence, Flemish independence).

External links

Creative Commons License