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World Population Race Distribution

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23 replies to this topic

#1
Eternal

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Maybe someone can help me with this. I've spent a lot of time trying to find out what percentage of total world population does each race constitue. So far I haven't found anything conclusive - I've heard 8% for Caucasians, and something like 57% for Asians, but couldn't verify. Anyone?

"My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan


#2
softwareNerd

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There's about 6.5 billion people in the world.
  • Asia (3970)
  • Africa (925 million)
  • Europe (730)
  • Latin/South America/Carribean (560)
  • North America (330)
  • Oceania (35)
World's 10 largest countries, by population:
  • China (1300 million)
  • India (1120)
  • USA (300)
  • Indonesia (225)
  • Brazil (190)
  • Pakistan (165)
  • Bangladesh (150)
  • Russia (140)
  • Nigeria (135)
  • Japan (130)

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#3
LaszloWalrus

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Asians are not a race.

Middle Easterners and Indians, for example, usually get classified as white.

#4
softwareNerd

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Asians are not a race. Middle Easterners and Indians, for example, usually get classified as white.

Being from India, I grew up thinking of "Asian" as "people like me": Indian-subcontinent, and middle-East. To the young me, everyone else: from Philippines all the way up to Korea, was "Chinese" :(

On coming to the U.S., I realized that the word "Asian" is most commonly used to mean "of Mongoloid ethnicity". I've filled countless forms that ask for Ethnicity and, while I mark "Asian", I still hesitate when doing so.

Actually, within India itself, there are two main ethnic branches: historically, people in the north were mostly Aryan (from the tribes that migrated out of Europe and populated Afghanistan and the middle-east) and the south mostly "Dravidian".

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"... the intention of the Holy Ghost is to teach us how we shall go to Heaven, and not how the heavens go" - Galileo, quoting a priest


#5
DavidOdden

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The problem is that there's no agreement on how many races there are and how to determine what group a person is in, nor any objective criteria that could be used to decide the question. If you lump all American Indians into the Mongoloid group (as is usually done), then what are most Latin Americans, Caucasian or Mongoloid?

Dave Odden


#6
Lathanar

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Caucasian does not actually mean white as it does in America. Caucasian actually means someone descended from the Caucasus region of central Europe/Asia like Georgia and Armenia and covers a wide range of people.

#7
DavidOdden

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Caucasian does not actually mean white as it does in America. Caucasian actually means someone descended from the Caucasus region of central Europe/Asia like Georgia and Armenia and covers a wide range of people.

Right, but they are all caucasian (white). There was a theory that that was where (white) caucasians originated from.

Dave Odden


#8
The Wrath

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To the young me, everyone else: from Philippines all the way up to Korea, was "Chinese" :lol:


This reminds me of a King of the Hill episode, when Kahn is explaining his heritage to the 4 beer-alley guys.

Hank: So, are ya Chinese or Japanese?
Kahn: I'm Laotian.
Hank: You're what?
Kahn: From Loas. It's a small country in southeast Asia.
::blank stares from Hank, Dale, Bill, and Boomhauer::
Hank: ...so, are ya Chinese or Japanese?
Above the planet on a wing and a prayer,
My grubby halo, a vapour trail in the empty air.
Across the clouds I see my shadow fly,
Out of the corner of my watering eye.
A dream unthreatened by the morning light,
Could blow this soul right through the roof of the night.
There's no sensation to compare with this,
Suspended animation, a state of bliss.
Can't keep my eyes from the circling skies,
Tongue-tied and twisted, just an earthbound misfit, I.

#9
lombas

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There is only one race: homo sapiens. All other races have disappeared (homo neanderthaliensis, homo florensis, &c).

Yeah. Race = subspecies.

Edited by lombas, 27 September 2006 - 11:53 PM.


#10
softwareNerd

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There is only one race: homo sapiens. All other races have disappeared (homo neanderthaliensis, homo florensis, &c).

Yeah. Race = subspecies.

If one steps back (say) 300 years and considers people from India, Africa, North America, China and Europe, would one not find that they have some distinct physical characteristics? So, even if one does not use the word "race", there is a real fact in the real world that one might want to identify. The way people use the word "race", is the human equivalent of "breed". There are breeds of animals, even though one can have mixed-breeds of animals.

With animals, each breed is known for some strengths and weaknesses. However, given the importance of the mind in human affairs, and given the extreme flexibility of the human species (in the sense of havign a relatively non-programmed mind compared to other animals), man is not "bound" to the philosophical and cultural ideas of his race. So, Mao in China may agree with Marx in Europe. Or, a guy in India and one in Africa and another in Holland may find they have more in common with each other than they have with most of their neighbours.

So, I'd say race (or breed) exists, but it is not fundamentally important.

A doctor might still use race to determine susceptibility to certain diseases, or as a meausre of whether a child's physical growth-rate is "normal".

The use of race to which most people object is when race is used to determine (to whatever extent), the ideas, philosophy, and abilities or a person. Such use is often irrational.

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#11
lombas

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So, I'd say race (or breed) exists, but it is not fundamentally important.

A doctor might still use race to determine susceptibility to certain diseases, or as a meausre of whether a child's physical growth-rate is "normal".

The use of race to which most people object is when race is used to determine (to whatever extent), the ideas, philosophy, and abilities or a person. Such use is often irrational.


I didn't mean to intend that someone who believes that black and white are of a different race, eg, is a racist in the pejorative sense of the word.

I was just mentioning the fact race is a synonym of subspecies, and that the homo sapiens is the only subspecies that still exists (of the genus homo).

http://en.wikipedia....ki/Homo_sapiens
http://en.wikipedia....ki/Homo_(genus)

:lol:

#12
softwareNerd

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I was just mentioning the fact race is a synonym of subspecies, and that the homo sapiens is the only subspecies that still exists (of the genus homo).

Yes, I realize you were simply talking of it in the scientific sense.
The point is, how do you conclude that the concept of "race" is synonymous with "species", rather than being closer to what one might term "breed" in an animal?

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#13
bobsponge

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It's kinda tough for some people to classify themselves-- one half of my line comes from Ireland and one from Spain, both immigrating to the USA around WWI. History before that has roots in Andalucia: old roman empire leftovers, moors and jews who had to convert to catholicism during the inquisition. So am I caucasian, latin, middle eastern, mediterranean, what?
Impossible to say.

#14
Eternal

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So it looks like based on the continent population given by softwarenerd, the (very approximate and extremely rough) percentages would be the following. I assumed Europe + North America = White, Africa = Black, South America = Hispanic, and Asia = Asian.


44% Asian
17% Indian (sorry guys, I have no idea how to classify you)
16% White
14% Black
8% Hispanic


I understand I'm using the term race, in a non-scientific way. I just mean the common-day usage.


softwarenerd - so which is the proper check in the racial forms you fill out? I'm guessing Caucasian?

Edited by Eternal, 28 September 2006 - 11:16 PM.

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#15
DavidOdden

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There is only one race: homo sapiens. All other races have disappeared (homo neanderthaliensis, homo florensis, &c).

Yeah. Race = subspecies.

That isn't actually the definition (such as one exists) of "race" -- it's comparable to "breed", which are identifiable genetic variants within the species. You'll notice that those Wiki articles don't say that "race" means "species". The term "race" is discussed here. Since there's no valid scientific concept "race" (it is undefined), it's not possible to use the term in a "scientific" vs. "unscientific" way. It is only when you massively drop context (for example, ignore the existence of Pacific Islanders, Indians of Latin Americans" than you have much of a chance of creating a valid concept that refers e.g. to Europeans, East Asians and Africans. This is fine for many ordinary uses, but it's not acceptable for scientific purposes where deliberately dropping context on such a massive scale is a complete repudiation of the concept "science" itself. Race also does not satisfy the two essential criteria for subspecies (distinct groups rather than continuously varying; low interbreeding).

Dave Odden


#16
softwareNerd

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softwarenerd - so which is the proper check in the racial forms you fill out? I'm guessing Caucasian?

I've always check "Asian" on the assumption that that is what the questioner wanted (i.e. "are you from Asia?"). Sometimes I end up checking a combined category that says "Asian or Pacific Islander" :thumbsup:

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#17
riffmage

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I t would be useful to have a program so people could type in what they considered themselves to be with an alternate for write ins
and the second question could be human race or other. I've been told that I was of the caucasion breed. But I'm probably just a mutt like everyone else
Maybe we'll get it right in the near future.

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#18
JJJJ

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The race classification is really different in America than it is here in Europe. I often hear americans talk about "middle-easterners" or "hispanics" as racial groups. Aren't "hispanics", if you mean people from latin America just a mixture of native americans, white people and black people? Thats what i've always thought. Also, it seems like many americans dont really have a good grasp of when and where the different racial groups in America and around the world originate from. A good example was when then-Indians pitcher, now with the Yankees CC Sabathia said in some interview complaining about the lack of black(US-americans) players in the majors:

"I don't think people understand that there is a problem. They see players like Jose Reyes and Carlos Delgado and just assume that they're black."


Well, to the non-baseball fans, this is what Jose Reyes looks like:

Posted Image

The reason i mention this is not because most forums where this was discussed, people were not saying "what does he mean that Reyes isnt black", and instead "who on earth would assume that Reyes is black, he's hispanic" or something along those lines.

Seriously. If the modern media had been around in 1945, D-Day would have been portrayed as an Allied agression against a bunch of Germans who were just trying to enjoy a day at the beach.

-The Wrath

#19
K-Mac

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I thought the politically correct term was Latino, unless you're of Spanish descent (then Hispanic)?? But wouldn't a Spaniard be both Latino and Hispanic?? I'm just an English, French, Czech, Irish-mix, Caucasian person, though, what do I know? :P

I suppose he'd be a African-Central American? :wub:

What Sabathia says is dumb, racist crap anyway. The best players should be playing baseball, regardless of ethnicity. In addition, how interesting is it that someone of African descent discredits another person of African descent because he was raised in North America while the other was raised in Central America? It's as dumb as a white Texan woman saying that she don't think some white girl in New York is white because she's a Yankee. :)

#20
JJJJ

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What Sabathia says is dumb, racist crap anyway. The best players should be playing baseball, regardless of ethnicity. In addition, how interesting is it that someone of African descent discredits another person of African descent because he was raised in North America while the other was raised in Central America? It's as dumb as a white Texan woman saying that she don't think some white girl in New York is white because she's a Yankee. :P


Also, what is funny is that there are fewer white americans than before playing in the majors also. When the obvious observation a rational person would have made is "there are fewer americans in the majors than before, due to the fact that talented central-american and asian players have entered the league in greater numbers than before", Sabathia only notices that there are fewer black americans, and calls this a "problem".

Seriously. If the modern media had been around in 1945, D-Day would have been portrayed as an Allied agression against a bunch of Germans who were just trying to enjoy a day at the beach.

-The Wrath

#21
Richard

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I'm always very interested in where people are from, or where their ancestors were from. In the U.S., however, (where I live) I'm always very hesitant to ask, because of the sensitivity there seems to be about "race." (I've read the posts about "race," "species," "breed," etc. I've always been uncomfortable with the term "race." And while "breed" might be closer, I'm sure there are people who wouldn't like that term either, with its association with animals.) So, while I'm curious about "racial" distribution around the world (the search that led me to this site), I'm even more fascinated by the mixtures in (probably) all of us. I've also read the posts about what should we call Indians (and Pakistanis), and I've wondered about Hispanics--being a mixture of white and Native American, where do they fall in our list of "races"? And what about "black Hispanics" (like Jose Reyes). And why, in America, do we always call someone who is half white and half black "black"? (I know the historical roots of this, but why do we still talk this way?) As far as I've been able to determine, going back several hundred years along more than a dozen branches of my family tree, I'm purely white European American, primarily English/Irish. But, who knows what I may find someday. I would love to find out that I'm something a little more "interesting". :)

#22
Charles Lester

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The way people use the word "race", is the human equivalent of "breed". There are breeds of animals, even though one can have mixed-breeds of animals.

With animals, each breed is known for some strengths and weaknesses. A doctor might still use race to determine susceptibility to certain diseases, or as a meausre of whether a child's physical growth-rate is "normal".

The use of race to which most people object is when race is used to determine (to whatever extent), the ideas, philosophy, and abilities or a person. Such use is often irrational.


Interesting. Is such a thing always irrational? And if so, why?

And, if:

Breed=man-made.
Race=Breed

Then,
Race=man-made.

Who was the person/people responsible for breeding human beings into the races?
Intelligence is the ability to grasp the facts of reality and to deal with them long-range (i.e., conceptually). On the axiom of the primacy of existence, intelligence is man’s most precious attribute. But it has no place in a society ruled by the primacy of consciousness: it is such a society’s deadliest enemy.

Today, intelligence is neither recognized nor rewarded, but is being systematically extinguished in a growing flood of brazenly flaunted irrationality.

#23
softwareNerd

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The word "of" was typed incorrectly as "or". My comment should have read as follows: The use of race to which most people object is when race is used to determine (to whatever extent), the ideas, philosophy, and abilities of a person. Such use is often irrational.

I figure your question still stands:

Interesting. Is such a thing always irrational? And if so, why?

It is irrational if one is trying to identify these things about an individual, because even in cases where a group has a higher incidence of some characteristic, it does not follow that an individual shares that characteristic. There are situations where it is appropriate to use probability of occurrence based on group characteristics, when making a decision, but not if you're actually trying to figure out something about the individual person.

Race=man-made.

Who was the person/people responsible for breeding human beings into the races?

Not sure what point you're making. One's breed is not of one's making, even though it is man-made. Either way, in what way is it relevant?

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#24
DavidOdden

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And, if:

Breed=man-made.
Race=Breed

The term "breed", as far as I can tell, refers to the product of selective breeding of domesticated animals (which is necessarily done by man) in order to enhance certain characteristics. Breeds are breeds of some species, and the analogy between race (in man) and breed is at the level of referring to characteristic morphological differences within a species. The differences associated with race in humans doesn't need to be attributed to any kind of planning, although self-selection might explain certain traits (e.g. the fact that blondes have more fun or at least are kind of exotic makes that mutation reproductively robust). It's sufficient that certain mutations are deadly in the tropics and advantageous in the northern latitudes.

Dave Odden



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