The Tatars (//; Tatar: татарлар, tatarlar, تاتارلر, Crimean Tatar: tatarlar; Old Turkic: 𐱃𐱃𐰺, romanized: Tatar) is an umbrella term for different Turkic ethnic groups bearing the name "Tatar". Initially, the ethnonym Tatar possibly referred to the Tatar confederation. That confederation was eventually incorporated into the Mongol Empire when Genghis Khan unified the various steppe tribes. Historically, the term Tatars (or Tartars) was applied to anyone originating from the vast Northern and Central Asian landmass then known as Tartary. More recently, however, the term has come to refer more narrowly to highly or lowly related ethnic groups who refer to themselves as Tatars or who speak languages that are commonly referred to as Tatar, namely Tatar by Volga Tatars (Tatars proper), Crimean Tatar by Crimean Tatars and Siberian Tatar by Siberian Tatars.
|Regions with significant populations|
|Russia||5,319,877 (excl. Crimea)|
|Ukraine (mostly includes Crimean Tatars)||319,377 (incl. Crimea)|
|Uzbekistan||Crimean Tatars: ~239,965|
|Romania (only includes Crimean Tatars)||~20,000|
|Lithuania (mostly includes Lipka Tatars of both, Crimean and Idel-Ural, origin)||2,800-3,200|
(Includes those of mixed ancestry)
|Bulgaria (mostly includes Crimean Tatars)||5,003|
|Predominantly Sunni Islam|
with Eastern Orthodox minority
|Related ethnic groups|
|Other Turkic peoples|
The largest group amongst the Tatars by far are the Volga Tatars, native to the Volga-Ural region (Tatarstan and Bashkortostan), who for this reason are often also known as "Tatars" in Russian. They compose 53% of the population in Tatarstan. Their language is known as the Tatar language. As of 2002[update], there were an estimated 5 million ethnic Tatars in Russia.