How Many Races Are There in the World?

Helge V. Keitel/ flickr

Human race and a person’s ethnicity are often confused with one another. However, there is a big difference between these two. Race deals with the physical characteristics of a person or group of people. These include their bone structure, skin, eye color, and hair. Ethnicity is used in reference to cultural factors. These factors include nationality, regional culture, ancestry, and language. It is by all standards a subcategory of a specific race.

The Meyers Konversations-Lexikon was a German encyclopedia that was used from 1839 until 1984. According to its contents, three major human races around the world were recognized. These included Caucasian, Mongolian, and Negroid. Today, four major divisions of the human race are acknowledged. These include Caucasian/White, Mongoloid/Asian, Negroid/Black and Australoid. The United States Census Bureau goes as far as to include six races that it recognizes as living within the U.S. and its territories. These being White, Black/African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander. Let’s explore the four major races recognized worldwide.

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