Ethnicity is the identity of similar groups of people connected to their ancestral, social, national, cultural, and common language. Important factors form the basis of a person’s ethnicity such as joint ancestry, origin myth, homeland, history, cultural heritage, and language. Cultural heterogeneity is about the existence of diverse cultures in a certain population living in a territory or country.
The demographics and socioeconomic distribution of distinct cultural groups in a country or territory is called ethnic fractionalization. The data below is based on a study conducted by Fearon, where 1 is the most culturally diverse and 0 is the least. This measure of cultural diversity is heavily based on languages spoken, as language can be a convenient indicator of ethnicity and diversity. Papua New Guinea is the most diverse country in the world, followed by Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Uganda.
The 5 Most Diverse Countries in the World
1. Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea is the world's most linguistically diverse country, a fact that contributes to its status as the most ethnically diverse country in the world. There are thousands of ethnic groups in the country, each with their own languages and customs. Incredibly, there are languages in Papua New Guinea that have no relation to one another despite their geographic proximity.
More than one hundred ethnic groups live in Tanzania. Many of these groups speak their own languages. In addition to this, there are also a number of foreign residents who live in Tanzania, many of whom are from Asia and Europe. The population of Tanzania is 55,572,201.
3. Democratic Republic of the Congo
DR Congo has a population of 81,680,000 of which there are over 200 ethnic groups who speak about 242 languages with French as the official language. Christianity has about 80% adherents while 10% are Muslims, and the other 10% follow native faiths.
Liberia is the world's fifth most diverse country. The population is 4,503,000 people strong of which 95% are Liberians, and the rest are of 16 ethnic groups who speak 31 dialects in addition to English as the official language.
Other Ethnically Diverse Countries
The rest of the world's most diverse countries are all in Africa, and include Togo, South Africa, Republic of the Congo, and Madagascar.
Most Ethnically Diverse Countries In The World
|Rank||Country||Ethnic Diversity Score|
|1||Papua New Guinea||1.0000|
|3||Democratic Republic of Congo||0.9330|
|20||Central African Republic||0.7910|
|33||United Arab Emirates||0.7370|
|37||Soviet Union (1922–1991)||0.7110|
|41||Bosnia and Herzegovina||0.6810|
|50||Trinidad and Tobago||0.6470|