Miao people

The Miao are a group of linguistically-related peoples living in Southern China and Southeast Asia, which are recognized by the government of China as one of the 56 official ethnic groups. The Miao live primarily in southern China's mountains, in the provinces of Guizhou, Yunnan, Sichuan, Hubei, Hunan, Guangxi, Guangdong and Hainan. Some sub-groups of the Miao, most notably the Hmong people, have migrated out of China into Southeast Asia (Myanmar, Northern Vietnam, Laos and Thailand). Following the communist takeover of Laos in 1975, a large group of Hmong refugees resettled in several Western nations, mainly in the United States, France and Australia.

Hmongb / Hmub / Xongb / ab Hmaob
m̥oŋ˦˧ / m̥ʰu˧ / ɕoŋ˧˥ / a˥˧m̥ao˥˧
Headdress of the Long-horn Miao—one of the small branches of Miao living in the 12 villages near Zhijin County, Guizhou
Total population
11–12 million
Regions with significant populations
 China9,426,007 (2010)
 Vietnam1,393,547 (2019)
 Laos595,028 (2015)
 United States299,000 (2015)[1][2]
 Thailand250,070 (2015)
Hmongic languages, Kim Mun language, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Tai–Kadai languages (Lao and Thai), French
Miao folk religion. Minorities: Taoism, Atheism, Irreligion, Christianity, Buddhism
Miao people

Miao is a Chinese term, while the component groups of people have their own autonyms, such as (with some variant spellings) Hmong, Hmu, Xong (Qo-Xiong) and A-Hmao. These people (except those in Hainan) speak Hmongic languages, a subfamily of the Hmong–Mien languages including many mutually unintelligible languages such as the Hmong, Hmub, Xong and A-Hmao.[4]

Not all speakers of the Hmongic languages belong to the Miao. For example, the speakers of the Bunu and Bahengic languages are designated as the Yao, and the speakers of the Sheic languages are designated as the She and the Yao.

The Kem Di Mun people in Hainan, despite being officially designated as Miao people, are linguistically and culturally identical to the Kim Mun people in continental China who are classified as a subgroup of the Yao.[5]