The Ossetians or Ossetes (/ɒˈsʃənz/, /ˈɒsts/;[25] Ossetian: ир, ирæттæ, ir, irættæ, дигорӕ, дигорӕнттӕ, digoræ, digorænttæ), are an Iranian[26][27][28][29] ethnic group of the Caucasus Mountains, indigenous to the ethnolinguistic region known as Ossetia.[30][31][32] They speak Ossetic, an Eastern Iranian (Alanic) language of the Indo-European language family, with most also fluent in Russian as a second language. Ossetic, a remnant of the Scytho-Sarmatian dialect group which was once spoken across the Pontic–Caspian Steppe, is one of the few Iranian languages inside Europe.

Total population
Regions with significant populations
(in North Ossetia–Alania)480,310[3]
 South Ossetia51,000[4][5]
(excluding South Ossetia)
 Turkey20.000 - 50,000[7][8][9][10]
Ossetian, Russian
Predominantly Eastern Orthodox Christianity
with a sizeable minority professing Uatsdin and Islam
Related ethnic groups
The Jassic people of Hungary and other Iranian peoples

a. ^ The total figure is merely an estimation; sum of all the referenced populations.

The Ossetians mostly populate Ossetia, which is politically divided between North Ossetia–Alania in Russia and South Ossetia, a de facto independent state with partial recognition, closely integrated in Russia and claimed by Georgia. Their closest relatives, the Jász, live in the Jászság region within the north-western part of the Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok County in Hungary.

Ossetians are mostly Eastern Orthodox Christian, with sizable minorities professing Uatsdin or Islam.