What Is a Multi-Ethnic Society?

A multi-ethnic society is a society that has many different ethnic groups within their common social identity or "nation," including differences in race, history and culture. The majority of cities and towns in most countries are multi-ethnic societies.

A mono-ethnic society would be a society that consists of one culture, race and history without various ethnic groups present. The success of a multi-ethnic society often depends on the sharing of a single language. This can be seen in the European Union (EU) with the English language. While English may not be the primary language of all the people living in the EU, it is the primary language used for business and scientific purposes. Therefore, all EU residents can be brought together using this common language.

Another important component of a successful multi-ethnic society is an understanding and tolerance towards all kinds of people. Without the acceptance of the differences between cultures and ethnic groups, a multi-ethnic society will be divided and prone to unrest. This acceptance is often seen in bigger cities and cosmopolitan areas due to the early introduction of more diverse people at a young age. In more remote towns where the population is often entirely of one ethnic group, there can be judgment and animosity towards other ethnic groups. Multi-ethnic societies can often have disagreements about values rather than race.