Stateless nation

A stateless nation is an ethnic group or nation that does not possess its own state[1] and is not the majority population in any nation state.[2] The term "stateless" implies that the group "should have" such a state (country).[3][4] Members of stateless nations may be citizens of the country in which they live, or they may be denied citizenship by that country. Stateless nations are usually not represented in international sports or in international organisations such as the United Nations. Nations without state are classified as fourth-world nations.[5][6][7] Some of the stateless nations have a history of statehood, some were always a stateless nation, dominated by another nation.

The term was coined in 1983 by political scientist Jacques Leruez in his book L'Écosse, une nation sans État about the peculiar position of Scotland within the British state. It was later adopted and popularized by Scottish scholars such as David McCrone, Michael Keating and T. M. Devine.[8]

Stateless nations either are dispersed across a number of states (for example, the Yakthung Limbu People residing in east of Nepal, includes (Sikkim and Darjeeling) India and north-western part of Bangladesh as the Yakthung Limbuwan nation[9] and Yoruba people are found in the African states of Nigeria, Benin and Togo) or 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). Some stateless nations historically had a state, which was absorbed by another; for example, Tibet's declaration of independence in 1913 was not recognized, and it was reunited in 1951 by the People's Republic of China which claims that Tibet is an integral part of China, while the Tibetan government-in-exile maintains that Tibet is an independent state under an unlawful occupation.[10][11] Some ethnic groups were once a stateless nation that later became a nation state (for example, the nations of the Balkans such as the Croats, Serbs, Bosniaks, Slovenes, Montenegrins and Macedonians were once part of a multinational state of Yugoslavia; since the breakup of Yugoslavia many nation states were formed).

Stateless nations can have large populations; for example the Kurds have an estimated population of over 30 million people, which make them one of the largest stateless nations.[12] Multiple stateless nations can reside in the same geographical region or country; for example, Cantabrians, Bercians, Catalans, Canarians, Castilians, Basques, Aragonese, Galicians, Asturians, Valencians and Andalusians within Spain, or the Brahui, Santhals, Assamese, Maithils and Balochs in South Asia, or Rohingya, Kachin, Karen, kayah mon, Rahkine, shan and chin in Myanmar, and Kabyle people within Algeria in North Africa.[13] However, not all peoples within multi-cultural states have the same awareness of being a stateless nation. In Spain, only Basques and Catalans have claimed their right of self-determination, which in the Basque country gave rise to the militant movement ETA, and in the case of Catalonia, has led to multiple attempts to secede from Spain during the past four centuries, as an independent Catalan Republic.

As not all states are nation states, there are ethnic groups who live in multinational states without being considered "stateless nations".

Nation-states and nations without states

The symbiotic relationship between nations and states arose in early modern Western Europe (18th century) and it was exported to the rest of the world through colonial rule. Whereas the Western European nation-states are at present relinquishing some of their powers to the European Union, many of the former colonies are now the zealous defenders of the concept of national-statehood.[4]

Only a small fraction of the world's national groups have associated nation-states. The proportion was estimated to be 3 percent by Minahan. The rest are distributed in one or more states. Of the 192 member states of the United Nations in 2006, fewer than 20 are nation-states. Thus nation-states are not as common as often assumed, and stateless nations are the overwhelming majority of nations in the world.[4]

Consequences of colonialism and imperialism

During the imperial and colonial era, powerful nations extended their influence outside their homeland and this resulted in many colonized nations ceasing to be self-governing and have since been described as stateless nations.[14] Some nations have been victims of "carve out" and their homeland was divided among several countries. Even today the colonial boundaries form modern national boundaries. These often differ from cultural boundaries. This results in situations where people of the same language or culture are divided by national borders, for example New Guinea splits as West Papua (former Dutch colony) and Papua New Guinea (former British colony).[15] During decolonization, the colonial powers imposed a unified state structure irrespective of the ethnic differences and granted independence to their colonies as a multinational state. This led to successor states with many minority ethnic groups in them, which increased the potential for ethnic conflicts.[16][17][18][19] Some of these minority groups campaigned for self-determination. Stateless nations were not protected in all countries and become victims of atrocities such as discrimination, ethnic cleansing, genocide, forced assimilation, Exploitation of labour and natural resources.[20][21]

Nationalism and stateless nations

People with a common origin, history, language, culture, customs or religion can turn into a nation by awakening of national consciousness.[22] A nation can exist without a state, as is exemplified by the stateless nations. Citizenship is not always the nationality of a person.[23] In a multinational state different national identities can coexist or compete: for example, in Britain English nationalism, Scottish nationalism and Welsh nationalism exist and are held together by British nationalism.[24] Nationalism is often connected to separatism, because a nation achieves completeness through its independence.[25]

Throughout history, numerous nations declared their independence, but not all succeeded in establishing a state. Even today, there are active autonomy and independence movements around the world. The claim of the stateless nations to self-determination is often denied due to geopolitical interests and increasing globalization of the world.[26][27][28][29] Stateless nations sometimes show solidarity with other stateless nations and maintain diplomatic relations.[30][31]

Not all peoples claim that they are nations or aspire to be states. Some see themselves as part of the multinational state and they believe that their interests are well represented in it. This is also associated with Pan-nationalism (Indian nationalism or Chinese nationalism).[32]

Claims of stateless nations and ethnic groups with autonomous status

The following is a list of ethnic and national groups that has been described as stateless nations in reliable sources [which?]. States made bold under the "homeland" column are countries of the respective ethnic groups which are native to them and still host the majority (more than half) of their population.

People Flag Languages Language family[lower-alpha 1] Predominant religion Population Continent States Homeland[lower-alpha 2] Irredentist movement Notes
Yoruba people
Yoruba language Volta-Congo languagesChristianity, Islam, Yoruba religion35,000,000[33][34]AfricaNigeria, Benin and Togo, GhanaYorubalandOodua Peoples Congress
Igbo people
Igbo, English Volta-Congo languagesChristianity (primarily Roman Catholicism with significant Protestant minorities), Indigenous beliefs30,000,000[35]AfricaNigeria (almost exclusively)IgbolandMovement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, Indigenous People of BiafraAttempted secession from Nigeria in 1967 sparked the Nigerian Civil war
Kurdish people
Kurdish languages, (originally) Arabic, Turkish, Persian (assimilation) Iranian languagesIslam (Sunni, Shia, Alevi), Zoroastrianism, Yarsanism, Yazdânism25,000,000–30,000,000[36]AsiaTurkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria (homeland), Germany (largest diaspora)KurdistanKurdish nationalism, Kurdish–Turkish conflict, Kurdish-Iranian conflict, Iraqi–Kurdish conflict, and Kurdish–Syrian conflictRegional autonomy achieved in Iraqi Kurdistan and Rojava.[37] Data rough due to censuses not taking ethnicity in homeland countries.
Occitan people [citation needed]
Occitan, French, Italian, Spanish Romance languagesRoman Catholicism16,000,000EuropeFrance, Monaco, Italy and Spain (Val d'Aran)OccitaniaOccitan nationalism (Occitan Party, Partit de la Nacion Occitana, Libertat)Seek self-determination, greater autonomy or total secession from France.
Uyghur people [citation needed]
Uyghur language Turkic languagesSunni Islam15,000,000[38]AsiaChina, Kazakhstan, UzbekistanEast Turkestan (Uyghuristan)Irredentism is politically fragmented (East Turkestan Liberation Organization, East Turkestan independence movement)Limited autonomy in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
Palestinian people
Arabic, Hebrew Semitic languagesSunni Islam (majority), Christianity13,000,000AsiaState of Palestine, Jordan, Israel, Syria, LebanonPalestinePalestinian nationalism (PLO)Seek self-determination from occupying powers.[lower-alpha 3]
Zulu people [citation needed]
Zulu language Volta-Congo languagesChristianity, Zulu religion12,159,000AfricaSouth Africa, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, EswatiniKwaZulu-NatalInkatha Freedom PartyLimited autonomy in the KwaZulu-Natal region, which maintains a traditional Zulu king.
Kongo people [citation needed]
Kongo language, Lingala, Portuguese, French Volta-Congo languages Christianity (Catholicism and Protestantism), African Traditional Religion10,000,000AfricaDemocratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Angola KongoKongo nationalism, Bundu dia KongoHistorically occupied the independent Kingdom of Kongo.
Baloch people [citation needed]
Balochi Iranian languagesSunni Islam10,000,000[40]AsiaPakistan, Iran and AfghanistanBalochistanBalochistan conflict, Baloch nationalismSeeks total independence from Pakistan.
Kabyle people [citation needed]
Kabyle language, Algerian Arabic Berber languagesIslam4,000,000[41]AfricaAlgeriaKabylieMovement for the Autonomy of Kabylie, Provisional Government of Kabylia
Romani people
Romani language Indo-Aryan languagesChristianity Islam2,000,000-5,000,000[42]Worldwide
Ahwazi Arabs [citation needed]
Arabic, Persian (assimilation) Semitic languagesShia Islam1,320,000[43]AsiaIranAl AhwazArab separatism in Khuzestan Democratic Solidarity Party of AhwazAhwazi includes 30 tribes which see themselves as a distinct Arab nation.[44] Seek self-determination, greater autonomy or total secession from Iran.
Andalusians [citation needed]
Andalusian Spanish, English (in Gibraltar) Christianity (Roman Catholicism)9,500,000EuropeSpain, GibraltarAndalusiaAndalusian nationalismSee also Nationalisms and regionalisms of Spain.
Puerto Rico[45]
Spanish, English Romance languagesChristianity (primarily Roman Catholicism)9,000,000AmericaUnited StatesPuerto RicoPuerto Rican Nationalist Party, Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional Puertorriqueña, Boricua Popular Army, Puerto Rican Independence PartyUnincorporated territory of the United States.
Catalan, Spanish, Occitan, French, Italian Romance languagesRoman Catholicism, Agnosticism8,500,000[48]EuropeSpain, Italy, Andorra and FranceCatalan CountriesCatalan independence movement, Catalan nationalismSee also Nationalisms and regionalisms of Spain.
French Romance languagesChristianity (Roman Catholicism)8,215,000AmericaCanadaQuebecQuebec sovereignty movementThe total population of the Province of Quebec is 8.2 million, of which over 80% are French speakers.
Mon people [citation needed]
Mon language Monic languagesBuddhism8,145,500AsiaMyanmar, ThailandMon StateMon Nationalism, Mon National Party, All Mon Region Democracy PartyHistorically occupied the Mon kingdoms
Circassians [citation needed]
Circassian language, Russian Circassian languagesIslam8,000,000EuropeRussiaCircassiaRusso-Circassian War, Circassian nationalismRegional autonomy in Circassia.
Karen people [citation needed]
S'gaw Karen language Karenic languagesChristianity, Theravada Buddhism7,000,000AsiaMyanmar, ThailandKawthooleiKaren nationalism, Karen National Union, Karen National Liberation Army
Maya peoples [citation needed]
Mayan languages Mayan languagesChristianity (Catholicism), Maya religion7,000,000AmericaGuatemala, Mexico, Belize, Honduras, El SalvadorMesoamericaPan-Maya movement, Rigoberta Menchú, Zapatista Army of National LiberationHistorically occupied the Maya civilization
Volga Tatars [citation needed]
Tatar language, Russian Turkic languagesIslam7,000,000EuropeRussiaTatarstanAll-Tatar Public CenterRegional autonomy in Tatarstan.
Venetian language Catholicism5,000,000 (est.)EuropeItalyVenetoVenetian nationalismMany groups seek for total independence from Italy, while some just want more autonomy and recognition of Venetian language and people.
Tibetan people [citation needed]
Tibetan language Buddhism7,000,000[50]AsiaChina, India, NepalTibetTibetan independence movementLimited autonomy in the Tibet Autonomous Region.
Indian Gorkhas [citation needed]
Nepali language Hinduism6,360,000[51]AsiaIndiaGorkhastanGorkha National Liberation Front, Gorkha Janmukti MorchaGorkhaland is a proposed state in India demanded by the people of the Darjeeling Hills and the people of Gorkha ethnic origin on the Northern part of West Bengal.
Riffian people [citation needed]
Riffian language Islam6,000,000[52]AfricaMorocco and SpainRifRif War, Rif Republic95% of the land is controlled by Morocco with the rest being controlled by the Spanish territories of Ceuta and Melilla as autonomous cities.
Shan people [citation needed]
Shan language Buddhism6,000,000AsiaMyanmarShan StateShan State Army, Declaration of independence in 2005; see also Hso Khan Pha
Kashmiri people [citation needed]
Kashmiri language Islam5,600,000AsiaIndia, Pakistan and ChinaKashmirInsurgency in Jammu and KashmirAdministered by India (Kashmir Valley, Jammu, Ladakh), Pakistan (Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan) and China (Aksai Chin).
Lozi people [citation needed]
Lozi Christianity5,153,000AfricaZambiaBarotselandBarotse Patriotic Front[53]
Valencians [citation needed]
Catalan, Spanish Roman Catholicism[54]5,111,706EuropeSpainValencian CommunityValencian nationalismSee also Nationalisms and regionalisms of Spain.
Moro people [citation needed]
Filipino language, other Philippine languages Islam5,100,000AsiaPhilippinesMuslim MindanaoMoro autonomyThe Moro people of Muslim Mindanao has since been granted autonomy as the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region with the adoption of the Bangsamoro Organic Law.
Kuki-Mizo-Zo-Chin people [citation needed]
Kuki-Chin languages Christianity5,000,000AsiaMyanmar, Bangladesh, IndiaMizoram, Zogam and Chin StateMizo National Front, Chin National Front, Kuki National Army, Zomi Revolutionary Army, Zomi nationalismKuki-Mizo-Zo-Chin are an ethnic group known by different names and speak different dialects.
Scottish people[49][47]
Scottish Gaelic, Scots, English Christianity (Protestantism, Catholic minority)5,000,000 (only Scotland)[55]EuropeUnited KingdomScotlandScottish independenceFormerly a Sovereign state, Regional autonomy in Scotland.
Sicilian, Italian, Gallo-Italic of Sicily, Arbëresh Christianity (Roman Catholicism)5,000,000 (only Sicily)EuropeItalySicilySicilian nationalismRegional autonomy in Sicily.
Mthwakazi people [citation needed]IsiNdebele, Venda, Khalanga, Shona, Tonga, Xhosa, Sotho, Nambya, Tswana (a total of over 13 tribes and languages in addition to the ones listed here Christianity with native5,000,000AfricaZimbabweSouthern party of Zimbabwe, today described as Matabeleland and the Midlands ProvinceVarious political and revolutionary restoration movementsMthwakazi was a Kingdom whose last King was King Lobhengula. Mthwakazi was colonised by the British independently as a State in 1893 after a war between the British and the natives of Mthwakazi. Mashonaland which neighbours Mthwakazi, had been colonized without resistance in 1890. Britain later amalgamated these two states.
Acehnese people [citation needed]
Acehnese language Islam4,200,000[57]AsiaIndonesiaAcehInsurgency in AcehRegional autonomy in Aceh.
Hmong people [citation needed]
Hmong language Buddhism with native4,000,000AsiaLaos, China, Vietnam and ThailandHmong ChaoFa Federated StateInsurgency in Laos
Rohingya people [citation needed]
Rohingya language Islam3,600,000AsiaMyanmarRohang StateRohingya conflictThe Rohingyas are not recognized as a native ethnic group by Burmese government.[58]
Afrikaners [citation needed]
Afrikaans Christianity (mainly Protestantism)3,500,000AfricaSouth Africa and NamibiaVolkstaatAfrikaner Nationalism, Freedom FrontAfrikaners are an Ethno-racial group. Demand autonomy or total secession from South Africa.
Assyrian people [citation needed]
Assyrian Neo-Aramaic, Turoyo, Chaldean Neo-Aramaic Semitic languagesChristianity (Chaldean Catholicism Syriac Christianity)3,300,000[59]AsiaSyria, Iraq, Iran and TurkeyAssyriaAssyrian nationalism, Assyrian independence movementHistorically occupied the Assyrian empire.
Basque people[47]
Basque, French, Spanish Language isolateChristianity (Roman Catholicism)3,000,000[60]EuropeFrance and SpainBasque CountryBasque nationalismSee also Nationalisms and regionalisms of Spain.
Iraqi Turkmen people [citation needed]
Turkish language, Azerbaijani language Islam3,000,000AsiaIraqTurkmeneliIraqi Turkmen FrontNot to be confused with Syrian Turkmen of Latakia or Central Asian Turkmens of Turkmenistan who share only their ethnonym.[61]
Welsh people[47]
Welsh, English Christianity (Protestantism, Catholic minority)3,000,000EuropeUnited KingdomWalesWelsh independence, Welsh nationalism, Meibion Glyndŵr, Plaid CymruRegional autonomy in Wales.
Galician people[47]
Galician language, Spanish, Portuguese Christianity (Roman Catholicism)2,800,000EuropeSpainGaliciaGalician nationalismSee also Nationalisms and regionalisms of Spain. Historically occupied the Kingdom of Galicia.
Kachin people [citation needed]
Jingpo, Zaiwa, Maru, Lashi, Azi Buddhism, Christianity, Animism2,750,000 (2002)[62]AsiaMyanmarKachin StateKachin Independence Army, Kachin Independence Organisation, Kachin conflictThe tribes of Kachin Hills form the Kachin Nation.
Aragonese people [citation needed]
Aragonese language, Spanish Christianity (Roman Catholicism)2,278,000 (Spain only)[63]EuropeSpainAragonAragonese nationalismSee also Nationalisms and regionalisms of Spain. Historically occupied the Kingdom of Aragon.
Meitei people [citation needed]
Meitei language Hinduism2,500,000AsiaIndiaImphal Valley, ManipurUNLF, PLA, Insurgency in Manipur, Anglo-Manipur WarHistorically occupied the Kingdom of Manipur.
Chechen people [citation needed]
Chechen language, Russian Islam2,000,000EuropeRussiaChechnyaChechen insurgency, Chechen Republic of IchkeriaRegional autonomy in Chechnya.
Naga people [citation needed]
Tibeto-Burman dialects / Nagamese creole Christianity2,000,000AsiaIndiaNagalandNaga National Council, Insurgency in Northeast IndiaRegional autonomy in Nagaland.
Sardinian people[64][65][66][67]
Sardinian, Corso-Sardinian, Italian, Catalan, Ligurian Christianity (Roman Catholicism)1,661,521EuropeItalySardiniaSardinian nationalismNational devolution, further autonomy or total secession from Italy.
Ryukyuan people [citation needed]Ryukyuan, Japanese Buddhism1,600,000[68]AsiaJapanRyukyu IslandsRyukyu independence movementHistorically occupied the Ryukyu Kingdom.
Frisians [citation needed]
Frisian, Dutch, German, Danish Christianity (Protestantism and Roman Catholicism)1,500,000EuropeNetherlands, Denmark, and GermanyFrisiaFrisian National Party, Groep fan AuwerkThe creation of a new Frisian state.
Tripuri people [citation needed]
Kokborok Hinduism1,520,000 (2002)[69]AsiaIndiaTripuraTripuri nationalism, All Tripura Tiger Force, National Liberation Front of TripuraHistorically occupied the Twipra Kingdom. 1949, Tripuris had a population of 85% in Tripura, 2002 they make up 29% and became a minority in their own homeland.[69]
Bodo people [citation needed]
Bodo language Bathouism1,300,000AsiaIndiaBodolandBodo nationalism, National Democratic Front of BodolandNational devolution or further autonomy from the India.
Tuareg people [citation needed]
Tuareg language Islam1,200,000AfricaMali and NigerAzawadNational Movement for the Liberation of Azawad, Tuareg rebellion (2012), Northern Mali conflictNational devolution, further autonomy or total secession from Mali.
Mapuche [citation needed]
Mapudungun Christianity (Roman Catholicism)1,000,000[70]AmericaArgentina and ChileWallmapuMapuche conflict
Asturian people [citation needed]
Asturian language, Spanish Christianity (Roman Catholicism)1,925,000 (2020)EuropeSpain and PortugalAsturiasAsturian nationalismSee also Nationalisms and regionalisms of Spain.
Lezgins [citation needed]
Lezgian Islam800,000+EuropeRussia, AzerbaijanLezgistanLezgin NationalismUnification of the Lezgin people in Azerbaijan and Dagestan (Russia).
Fur people [citation needed]
Fur, Arabic Islam800,000[71]AfricaSudanDafurWar in Darfur, SLM/AHistorically occupied the Sultanate of Darfur.
Māori people [citation needed]
Māori, English Christianity with native750,000OceaniaNew ZealandNew ZealandMāori protest movement
Aboriginal Australians [citation needed]
Aboriginal languages Christianity (principally Anglicanism and Roman Catholicism) with native680,000OceaniaAustraliaAustraliaMovement is fragmented or focused on specific aboriginal groups
Karakalpaks [citation needed]
Karakalpak language Islam620,000AsiaUzbekistanKarakalpakstanKarakalpak NationalismRegional autonomy in Karakalpakstan
Hawaiian people [citation needed]
Hawaiian language Christianity (Catholicism and Protestantism) with native527,000OceaniaUnited StatesHawaiiHawaiian sovereignty movementHistorically occupied the Kingdom of Hawaii.
Moravians [citation needed]
Czech (Moravian), Slovak Traditionally Roman Catholicism presently Irreligion525,000[72][73]EuropeCzech Republic and SlovakiaMoraviaMoraviansHistorically occupied the Moravian Empire
Kashubians [citation needed]
Kashubian Christianity (Roman Catholicism)~0.5 million (2002–07)[74][75] of which 233,000 as ethnic-national identity (2011)EuropePolandPomeraniaKaszëbskô JednotaKashubians with Slovincians (extinct) formed the West Slavic tribes of Pomeranians.
Ogoni people [citation needed]
Ogoni language Christianity with native500,000AfricaNigeriaOgonilandMovement for the Survival of the Ogoni People
Crimean Tatars [citation needed]
Crimean Tatar, Russian, Ukrainian Islam500,000EuropeUkraineCrimeaMejlis of the Crimean Tatar People
Tatars in Republic of Crimea
Deportation of the Crimean Tatars
Previously an autonomous republic within Ukraine, after being invaded and annexed by Russia in 2014 the Crimean Tatars are currently seeking autonomy[76]
Sahrawi people[77]
Hassaniya Arabic (native), Berber languages (native), Modern Standard Arabic (written only), and Spanish (lingua franca) Islam (Sunni Islam (Maliki), Sufism)500,000[78]AfricaMorocco, Algeria, MauretaniaWestern SaharaWestern Sahara conflict, Polisario Front, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republicpartially controlled by the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and partially Moroccan-occupied
Yakuts [citation needed]
Yakut language, Russian language Christianity, Shamanism, Tengrism480,000–510,000AsiaRussiaYakutiaYakut revolt (1918)Regional autonomy in Sakha Republic, Yakut leaders declared Yakutia's sovereignty in 1991 in an attempt to take advantage of the fall of the Soviet Union, though this was unsuccessful[79]
Chams [citation needed]
Cham language Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism400,000AsiaVietnamSouth Central CoastUnited Front for the Liberation of Oppressed Races, Cham rights movement[80] Historically occupied the Champa state. The Cham in Vietnam are only recognized as a minority, and not as an indigenous people by the Vietnamese government despite being indigenous to the region.
Corsican people [citation needed]
Corsican, French, Ligurian, Italian Christianity (Roman Catholicism322,120EuropeFranceCorsicaCorsica LiberaTerritorial collectivity in France.
Navajo [citation needed]
Navajo language, Navajo language, Navajo Sign Language Navajo Traditional, Christianity (principally Roman Catholicism)300,460AmericaUnited StatesNavajo NationNavajo WarsRegional autonomy in the Navajo Nation.
Tuvans [citation needed]
Tuvan language, Russian language, Mongolian language, Chinese language Tibetan Buddhism, Tengrism300,000AsiaRussia, Mongolia, ChinaTuvaPeople's Front "Free Tuva", People's Party of Sovereign Tuva[81]Regional autonomy in Tuva.
Sikkimese people [citation needed]
Sikkimese language Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity290,000AsiaIndiaSikkimSikkim Bhutia Lepcha Apex Committee[82]Formerly the Kingdom of Sikkim. The Sikkimese people are split among the Lepcha, Limbu and Bhutias In 1990 Sikkimese Nationalist leaders declared the annexation of Sikkim by India to be illegal[83]
Lakota people [citation needed]
Lakota, English Christianity with native170,000[84]AmericaUnited StatesLakotahSioux Wars, Lakota Freedom MovementNative American reservation politics.
Sami people [citation needed]
Sami languages, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, Russian Christianity (principally Lutheran), Animism163,400EuropeNorway, Sweden, Finland and RussiaSapmiSámi politicsHave their own Parliaments in Norway, Sweden & Finland but Sami groups seek more territorial autonomy.
Inuit [citation needed]Inuit languages, Danish, English, Russian Christianity with native135,991AmericaCanada, United States and DenmarkAlaska, Northern Canada and GreenlandGreenland Referendum, Inuit Tapiriit KanatamiSemi-autonomous rule in Greenland with autonomy within the Kingdom of Denmark.
Yupik peoples [citation needed]Yupik languages, English, Russian Christianity with native35,567 (est.)Asia and AmericaRussia and the United StatesSiberia and AlaskaCalista Corporation, Bristol Bay Native Corporation
Pamiris [citation needed]
Pamir languages Islam135,000[85]AsiaTajikistanBadakhshanPamiri nationalism, Lali Badakhshan party, Tajikistani Civil WarRegional autonomy in Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region
Faroese people [citation needed]
Faroese language, Danish Christianity (principally Lutheran)66,000EuropeDenmarkFaroe IslandsFaroese independence movementRegional autonomy in Faroe Islands.
Sorbs [citation needed]
Sorbian language, Czech, German Christianity (Roman Catholicism)60,000–70,000 (est.)EuropeGermany and Czech RepublicLusatiaDomowinaDivided into Upper Sorbs and Lower Sorbs.
Ainu people [citation needed]
Ainu languages, Japanese people, Russian language Animism, Shintoism, Buddhism, Christianity25,000 – 200,000 (est.)AsiaJapan, RussiaHokkaidoAinu MovementSeek greater independence in Japan[86][87][88]
Rapa Nui people [citation needed]
Rapa Nui language, Spanish language Christianity (Catholicism)5,682OceaniaChileEaster IslandRapa Nui independence movement[89][90] The Rapa Nui Parliament is a pro-independence organisation[91]
Pastusos [citation needed]
Spanish language (Pastuso dialect) Christianity (Roman Catholicism)1,800,000 (est., 2015)[92]South AmericaColombia and EcuadorNudo de los PastosAgustín Agualongo, José Rafael SañudoPasto was annexed by Colombia after the Pasto Campaign and Black Christmas. During 2021 protests many Colombian symbols in the region were destroyed.[93]

Formerly stateless nations

Some stateless nations have achieved their own independent state. Examples include Greeks before the Greek War of Independence[94] and Irish people before the Irish War of Independence.[95] Some would include the Jews until the 1948 Israeli declaration of independence,[96] however others would point out that different groups of Jews had very different characteristics such as languages, cultures, and territories, rendering the idea that all Jews constitute a single nation questionable at best. During the breakup of the USSR and the breakup of Yugoslavia, several ethnic groups gained their own sovereign state.[97]

See also


  1. Can also help with understanding the cultural/ethnic proximity with other people of that paternal language group, but not necessarily. The largest language family is not recommended, as a large number of cells would contain similar content.
  2. Proposed or historical homeland desired.
  3. Although the Palestinians are the majority in Jordan, the country was not created as a nation state for the Palestinians.[39]


  1. Dictionary Of Public Administration, U.C. Mandal, Sarup & Sons 2007, 505 p.
  2. Frank L. Kidner; Maria Bucur; Ralph Mathisen; Sally McKee; Theodore R. Weeks (2013), Making Europe: The Story of the West, Volume II: Since 1550, Cengage Learning, p. 668, ISBN 978-1-285-50027-0
  3. Osborne, Louise; Russell, Ruby (27 December 2015). "Stateless in Europe: 'We are no people with no nation'". Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  4. Chouinard, Stéphanie (2016), "Stateless nations", in Karl Cordell; Stefan Wolff (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Ethnic Conflict, Routledge, pp. 54–66, ISBN 9781317518921
  5. David Newman, Boundaries, Territory and Postmodernity
  6. Ethnic Minority Media: An International Perspective, Stephen Harold Riggins, 217p.
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  8. Verdugo, Richard R.; Milne, Andrew (1 June 2016). National Identity: Theory and Research. IAP. p. 85. ISBN 9781681235257 via Google Books.
  9. The letters dispatched by the (Hangtumyahang) presidend Nir Kumar Sambahangphe Limbu of Yakthung Limbuwan National Council (YLNC) to the president of Nepal, Hon'ble Bidya Devi Bhandari, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and the President of India, Hon'ble Ram Nath Kovind as a LETTER OF GRIEVANCES to release Yakthung Limbuwan as an Independent nation from Stateless nation in 19th June 2020.
  10. Clark, Gregory, In fear of China, 1969, saying: "Tibet, although enjoying independence at certain periods of its history, had never been recognised by any single foreign power as an independent state. The closest it has ever come to such recognition was the British formula of 1943: suzerainty, combined with autonomy and the right to enter into diplomatic relations."
  11. "The Legal Status of Tibet". Cultural Survival.
  12. "Who are the Kurds?". TRT World.
  13. Encyclopedia of Stateless Nations: Ethnic and National Groups around the World, 2nd Edition: Ethnic and National Groups around the World, pp. 59–60, 79–80, 366–367
  14. Redie Bereketeab, Self-Determination and Secession in Africa: The Post-Colonial State
  15. Richard Devetak, Christopher W. Hughes, Routledge, 2007-12-18, The Globalization of Political Violence: Globalization's Shadow
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