What is the difference between 人民 and 民族, for example in 中华人民 vs. 中华民族?

  • 1
    I think there is no word of "中华人民", you may want to say "中国人民" (the Chinese People). The formal official name of China is "the People's Republic of China", in Chinese "中华人民共和国", but that's another story, because here 中华 and 人民 are two words.
    – Huang
    Feb 10, 2012 at 8:35

3 Answers 3


人民 is translated as "(the) people". You can find it in popular expressions like:

  • 人民共和国 = People's Republic; as Huang said in the comments, if we include China it becomes "中华人民共和国"
  • 人民币 = Renminbi (the Chinese currency. 币 means "money, coins, currency".)
  • 人民日报 = "People's Daily" (a newspaper)

民族 means "ethnic group, nationality", for example:

中央民族大学 Central University for Nationalities

All of the examples have been taken from the CEDICT dictionary.

  • I think the word "people" can mean "race" and in this case, it's countable noun and means "民族".
    – Huang
    Feb 11, 2012 at 3:49
  • More than that. 人民 is in fact a political term. It's a subset of citizen, excludes the ones who's political right has been deprived, and the so called 敌对分子(hostile).
    – Fivesheep
    Mar 14, 2012 at 10:05

The first means "people" as in citizens or nationals and the second means "ethnic group".

  • 1
    Would you mind on expanding your answer?
    – Alenanno
    Feb 10, 2012 at 9:40
  • Welcome to the site. Good answer, and an upvote to get you going.
    – Tom Au
    Feb 10, 2012 at 14:04

人民:People refer to a collection of people.

民族:With a common language, regional, economic life and its performance in the common cultural common psychological quality and the stability of the community

so,民族 The category of people with common characteristics (national) collection

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