13 Most Ethnically Diverse Countries in the World in 2018

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They say if you want a multicultural experience, you should go to one of these 13 most ethnically diverse countries in the world in 2018.

Before we introduce our list of most ethnically diverse countries in the world, let us define what ethnicity is and how does it differ from the race. According to Live Science, the race is associated with biology while ethnicity is associated with culture. While races are genetically distinct populations within the same species, ethnicity is a term which applies to the culture of people in the certain geographic region. It includes language, heritage as well as religion. While these two can overlap, race and ethnicity are very different.

Ethnicity is usually an inherited status based on the society you are born and live in. People who share the same ethnicity share the same cultural heritage, ancestry, language or dialect, religion, etc. Earlier, we wrote about most multicultural countries in the world, where Belgium, Sweden, and Slovenia were just a few of the most culturally diverse countries in the world we included in the list. So, if you want to find out what is the most multicultural country in the world, read ’till the end. On the other hand, when it comes to least racially diverse states in America, WalletHub lists Vermont, Maine, and West Virginia as least diverse of all.

Most Ethnically Diverse Countries in the World in 2018


According to WorldAtlas, island nations are the most culturally homogenous due to their inherent isolation. American Samoa, Aruba, Bermuda, and Comoros are among the top countries included in the list of least diverse countries. When it comes to cities, Washington DC, Houston, and London are among the top most diverse cities in the world. To find out what other cities are on that list, check out The 10 Most Ethnically Diverse Countries in the World. As for the United States, Wallet Hub lists New York at the very top of the most diverse cities in the U.S.

Diversity is beautiful, despite what some may think. We all live on the same planet and there is no reason why we shouldn’t feel welcome in any part of this large world. Some countries are more tolerant than others, (like these 10 most tolerant countries in the world),  but some are extremely cosmopolitan and open to everyone. If you believe in cosmopolitanism, you would definitely enjoy visiting one of the countries mentioned in 16 Cosmopolitan Most Culturally and Ethnically Diverse Countries in the World in 2017. The most diverse country in the world 2016 ranking isn’t that much different.

Defining most ethnically diverse countries is not a simple task. While most reports and sources we relied on agree on the fact that African countries are most diverse, ranking the countries requires a lot of hard work. There is a methodology for this kind of research called ethnic fractionalization which is based on the probability that two random individuals in a country or neighborhood belong to the same ethnic group. That is exactly what the authors of a paper for the Harvard Institute of Economic Research did – they measured ethnic diversity or ethnic fractionalization. This report has been a reliable source for researchers. However, some of the data is very old and information from some countries was scarce. This should be emphasized because ethnicity can change and so precise data cannot be obtained at all times. Due to lack of any newer reports on the issue, The Washington Post relied on this report from the Harvard Institute, and so did we.

These are the 13 most ethnically diverse countries in the world in 2018.

13. Cote d’Ivoire

Cote d’Ivoire or Ivory Coast, a republic found in the western parts of Africa, has a complex ethnic composition. It is estimated that there are about 60 ethnic groups in this country. The two largest ethnic groups in Ivory Coast are the Akan and Voltaique. The Akan community has an estimated population of twenty million members, according to WorldAtlas.

Most Ethnically Diverse Countries in the World in 2018

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