Slavs are the largest European ethnolinguistic group.[1] They speak the various Slavic languages, belonging to the larger Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European languages. Slavs are geographically distributed throughout northern Eurasia, mainly inhabiting Central and Eastern Europe, and the Balkans to the west; and Siberia to the east. A large Slavic minority is also scattered across the Baltic states and Central Asia,[2][3] while a substantial Slavic diaspora is found throughout the Americas, as a result of immigration.[4]

World map of countries with:
  Majority Slavic ethnicities (More than 50%)
  Large Minority Slavic populations (10–50%)
Total population
see Population
Slavic languages
Eastern Orthodoxy
Catholicism (Greek Catholicism or Latin Catholicism)

Slavic Neopaganism
Spiritual Christianity
Related ethnic groups

Present-day Slavs are classified into East Slavs (chiefly Belarusians, Russians, Rusyns, and Ukrainians), West Slavs (chiefly Czechs, Kashubians, Poles, Slovaks and Sorbs) and South Slavs (chiefly Bosniaks, Bulgarians, Croats, Macedonians, Montenegrins, Serbs and Slovenes).[5][6][7][8][9][10]

The vast majority of Slavs are traditionally Christians. However, modern Slavic nations and ethnic groups are considerably diverse both genetically and culturally, and relations between them – even within the individual groups – range from "ethnic solidarity to mutual feelings of hostility".[11]


The oldest mention of the Slavic ethnonym is from the 6th century AD, when Procopius, writing in Byzantine Greek, used various forms such as Sklaboi (Σκλάβοι), Sklabēnoi (Σκλαβηνοί), Sklauenoi (Σκλαυηνοί), Sthlabenoi (Σθλαβηνοί), or Sklabinoi (Σκλαβῖνοι),[12] and his contemporary Jordanes refers to the Sclaveni in Latin.[13] The oldest documents written in Old Church Slavonic, dating from the 9th century, attest the autonym as Slověne (Словѣне). Those forms point back to a Slavic autonym, which can be reconstructed in Proto-Slavic as *Slověninъ, plural Slověne.

The reconstructed autonym *Slověninъ is usually considered a derivation from slovo ("word"), originally denoting "people who speak (the same language)", meaning "people who understand one another", in contrast to the Slavic word denoting "German people", namely *němьcь, meaning "silent, mute people" (from Slavic *němъ "mute, mumbling"). The word slovo ("word") and the related slava ("glory, fame") and slukh ("hearing") originate from the Proto-Indo-European root *ḱlew- ("be spoken of, glory"), cognate with Ancient Greek κλέος (kléos "fame"), as in the name Pericles, Latin clueō ("be called"), and English loud.

In medieval and early modern sources written in Latin, Slavs are most commonly referred to as Sclaveni or the shortened version Sclavi.[14]


The origin and migration of Slavs in Europe between the 5th and 10th centuries AD:
  Original Slavic homeland (modern-day southeastern Poland, northwestern Ukraine and southern Belarus)
  Expansion of the Slavic migration in Europe

First mentions

Terracotta tile from the 6th–7th century AD found in Vinica, North Macedonia depicting a battle scene between the Bulgars and Slavs, with the Latin inscription BOLGAR and SCLAVIGI.[15]

Ancient Roman sources refer to the Early Slavic peoples as Veneti, who dwelt in a region of central Europe east of the Germanic tribe of Suebi, and west of the Iranian Sarmatians in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD,[16][17] between the upper Vistula and Dnieper rivers. The Slavs under name of the Antes and the Sclaveni first appear in Byzantine records in the early 6th century. Byzantine historiographers under emperor Justinian I (527–565), such as Procopius of Caesarea, Jordanes and Theophylact Simocatta describe tribes of these names emerging from the area of the Carpathian Mountains, the lower Danube and the Black Sea, invading the Danubian provinces of the Eastern Empire.

Jordanes, in his work Getica (written in 551 AD),[18] describes the Veneti as a "populous nation" whose dwellings begin at the sources of the Vistula and occupy "a great expanse of land". He also describes the Veneti as the ancestors of Antes and Slaveni, two early Slavic tribes, who appeared on the Byzantine frontier in the early 6th century. Procopius wrote in 545 that "the Sclaveni and the Antae actually had a single name in the remote past; for they were both called Sporoi in olden times". The name Sporoi derives from Greek σπείρω ("I scatter grain"). He described them as barbarians, who lived under democracy, believed in one god, "the maker of lightning" (Perun), to whom they made a sacrifice. They lived in scattered housing and constantly changed settlement. In war, they were mainly foot soldiers with shields, spears, bows, and little armour, which was reserved mainly for chiefs and their inner circle of warriors.[19] Their language is "barbarous" (that is, not Greek), and the two tribes are alike in appearance, being tall and robust, "while their bodies and hair are neither very fair or blond, nor indeed do they incline entirely to the dark type, but they are all slightly ruddy in color. And they live a hard life, giving no heed to bodily comforts..."[20] Jordanes described the Sclaveni having swamps and forests for their cities.[21] Another 6th-century source refers to them living among nearly-impenetrable forests, rivers, lakes, and marshes.[22]

Menander Protector mentions a Daurentius (c. 577–579) who slew an Avar envoy of Khagan Bayan I for asking the Slavs to accept the suzerainty of the Avars; Daurentius declined and is reported as saying: "Others do not conquer our land, we conquer theirs – so it shall always be for us as long as there are wars and weapons".[23]


Slavic tribes from the 7th to 9th centuries AD in Europe

According to eastern homeland theory, prior to becoming known to the Roman world, Slavic-speaking tribes were part of the many multi-ethnic confederacies of Eurasia – such as the Sarmatian, Hun and Gothic empires. The Slavs emerged from obscurity when the westward movement of Germanic tribes in the 5th and 6th centuries CE (thought to be in conjunction with the movement of peoples from Siberia and Eastern Europe: Huns, and later Avars and Bulgars) started the great migration of the Slavs, who settled the lands abandoned by Germanic tribes fleeing the Huns and their allies: westward into the country between the Oder and the Elbe-Saale line; southward into Bohemia, Moravia, much of present-day Austria, the Pannonian plain and the Balkans; and northward along the upper Dnieper river. It has also been suggested that some Slavs migrated with the Vandals to the Iberian Peninsula and even North Africa.[24]

Around the 6th century, Slavs appeared on Byzantine borders in great numbers.[25] Byzantine records note that Slav numbers were so great, that grass would not regrow where the Slavs had marched through. After a military movement even the Peloponnese and Asia Minor were reported to have Slavic settlements.[26] This southern movement has traditionally been seen as an invasive expansion.[27] By the end of the 6th century, Slavs had settled the Eastern Alps regions.[28]

Pope Gregory I in 600 CE wrote to Maximus, the bishop of Salona (in Dalmatia), in which he expresses concern about the arrival of the Slavs: "Et quidem de Sclavorum gente, quae vobis valde imminet, et affligor vehementer et conturbor. Affligor in his quae jam in vobis patior; conturbor, quia per Istriae aditum jam ad Italiam intrare coeperunt." ("I am both distressed and disturbed about the Slavs, who are pressing hard on you. I am distressed because I sympathize with you; I am disturbed because they have already begun to arrive in Italy through the entry-point of Istria.")[29]

Middle Ages

Great Moravia during Svatopluk I (r. 871–894), according to Štefanovičová (1989)

When Slav migrations ended, their first state organizations appeared, each headed by a prince with a treasury and a defense force. In the 7th century, the Frankish merchant Samo supported the Slavs against their Avar rulers and became the ruler of the first known Slav state in Central Europe, Samo's Empire. This early Slavic polity probably did not outlive its founder and ruler, but it was the foundation for later West Slavic states on its territory. The oldest of them was Carantania; others are the Principality of Nitra, the Moravian principality (see under Great Moravia) and the Balaton Principality. The First Bulgarian Empire was founded in 681 as an alliance between the ruling Bulgars and the numerous slavs in the area, and their South Slavic language, the Old Church Slavonic, became the main and official language of the empire in 864. Bulgaria was instrumental in the spread of Slavic literacy and Christianity to the rest of the Slavic world. The expansion of the Magyars into the Carpathian Basin and the Germanization of Austria gradually separated the South Slavs from the West and East Slavs. Later Slavic states, which formed in the following centuries, included the Kievan Rus', the Second Bulgarian Empire, the Kingdom of Poland, Duchy of Bohemia, the Kingdom of Croatia, Banate of Bosnia and the Serbian Empire.

Modern era

Seal from the pan-Slavic Congress held in Prague, 1848

Pan-Slavism, a movement which came into prominence in the mid-19th century, emphasized the common heritage and unity of all the Slavic peoples. The main focus was in the Balkans where the South Slavs had been ruled for centuries by other empires: the Byzantine Empire, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and Venice. Austro-Hungary envisioned its own political concept of Austro-Slavism, in opposition of Pan-Slavism that was predominantly led by the Russian Empire.

As of 1878, there were only three majority Slavic states in the world: the Russian Empire, Principality of Serbia and Principality of Montenegro. Bulgaria was effectively independent but was de jure vassal to the Ottoman Empire until official independence was declared in 1908. The Slavic peoples who were, for the most part, denied a voice in the affairs of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, were calling for national self-determination. During World War I, representatives of the Czechs, Slovaks, Poles, Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes set up organizations in the Allied countries to gain sympathy and recognition.[30] In 1918, after World War I ended, the Slavs established such independent states as Czechoslovakia, the Second Polish Republic, and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.

One of Hitler's ambitions at the start of World War II was to exterminate, expel, or enslave most or all East and West Slavs from their native lands, so as to make living space for German settlers. This plan of genocide[31] was to be carried into effect gradually over 25 to 30 years. The first half of the 20th century in Russia and the Soviet Union was marked by a succession of wars, famines and other disasters, each accompanied by large-scale population losses.[32] Stephen J. Lee estimates that, by the end of World War II in 1945, the Russian population was about 90 million fewer than it could have been otherwise.[33]

Former Soviet states in Central Asia such as Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan have very large minority Slavic populations with most being Russians.[34] Kazakhstan has the largest Slavic minority population.[35]


East Slavic languages
South Slavic languages
  Upper/Lower Carniolan

Serbo-Croatian Shtokavian (prestige dialect)
Torlakian (transitional dialect)
  Torlakian / Prizren–Timok

  Northern (Tetovo, Skopska Crna Gora, Kumanovo / Kratovo)
  Western (Gora, Reka, Gostivar, Vevčani-Radožda, Upper/Lower Prespa dialect)
  Central (Prilep-Bitola, Kičevo-Poreče, Skopje-Veles)
  Southern (Nestram-Kostenar, Kostur, Solun-Voden, Ser / Drama)
  Eastern (Štip-Kočani, Strumica, Maleševo-Pirin)

  Northwestern/Southwestern Bulgarian dialects
  Balkan dialects
  Moesian dialects
West Slavic languages

Proto-Slavic, the supposed ancestor language of all Slavic languages, is a descendant of common Proto-Indo-European, via a Balto-Slavic stage in which it developed numerous lexical and morphophonological isoglosses with the Baltic languages. In the framework of the Kurgan hypothesis, "the Indo-Europeans who remained after the migrations [from the steppe] became speakers of Balto-Slavic".[36] Proto-Slavic is defined as the last stage of the language preceding the geographical split of the historical Slavic languages. That language was uniform, and on the basis of borrowings from foreign languages and Slavic borrowings into other languages, it cannot be said to have any recognizable dialects, which suggests that there was, at one time, a relatively-small Proto-Slavic homeland.[37]

Slavic linguistic unity was to some extent visible as late as Old Church Slavonic (or Old Bulgarian) manuscripts which, though based on local Slavic speech of Thessaloniki, could still serve the purpose of the first common Slavic literary language.[38]

Standardised Slavic languages that have official status in at least one country are: Belarusian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Macedonian, Montenegrin, Polish, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovene, and Ukrainian. Russian is the most spoken Slavic language, and is the most spoken native language in Europe.[39]

The alphabets used for Slavic languages are usually connected to the dominant religion among the respective ethnic groups. Orthodox Christians use the Cyrillic alphabet while Catholics use the Latin alphabet; the Bosniaks, who are Muslim, also use the Latin alphabet and Cyrillic alphabet in Serbia. Additionally, some Eastern Catholics and Western Catholics use the Cyrillic alphabet. Serbian and Montenegrin use both the Cyrillic and Latin alphabets. There is also a Latin script to write in Belarusian, called Łacinka and in Ukrainian, called Latynka.

Ethno-cultural subdivisions

West Slavs originate from early Slavic tribes which settled in Central Europe after the East Germanic tribes had left this area during the migration period.[40] They are noted as having mixed with Germanics, Hungarians, Celts (particularly the Boii), Old Prussians, and the Pannonian Avars.[41] The West Slavs came under the influence of the Western Roman Empire (Latin) and of the Catholic Church.

East Slavs have origins in early Slavic tribes who mixed and contacted with Finns and Balts.[42][43] Their early Slavic component, Antes, mixed or absorbed Iranians, and later received influence from the Khazars and Vikings.[44] The East Slavs trace their national origins to the tribal unions of Kievan Rus' and Rus' Khaganate, beginning in the 10th century. They came particularly under the influence of the Byzantine Empire and of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

South Slavs from most of the region have origins in early Slavic tribes who mixed with the local Proto-Balkanic tribes (Illyrian, Dacian, Thracian, Paeonian, Hellenic tribes), and Celtic tribes (particularly the Scordisci), as well as with Romans (and the Romanized remnants of the former groups), and also with remnants of temporarily settled invading East Germanic, Asiatic or Caucasian tribes such as Gepids, Huns, Avars, Goths and Bulgars. The original inhabitants of present-day Slovenia and continental Croatia have origins in early Slavic tribes who mixed with Romans and romanized Celtic and Illyrian people as well as with Avars and Germanic peoples (Lombards and East Goths). The South Slavs (except the Slovenes and Croats) came under the cultural sphere of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine Empire), of the Ottoman Empire and of the Eastern Orthodox Church and Islam, while the Slovenes and the Croats were influenced by the Western Roman Empire (Latin) and thus by the Catholic Church in a similar fashion to that of the West Slavs.


Consistent with the proximity of their languages, analyses of Y chromosomes, mDNA, and autosomal marker CCR5de132 shows the gene pool of Eastern and Western Slavs to be identical and demonstrating significant differences from neighboring Finno-Ugric, Turkic, and North Caucasian peoples. Such genetic homogeneity is somewhat unusual, given such a wide dispersal of Slavic populations, especially Russians.[45][46] Together they form the basis of the "East European" gene cluster, which also includes non-Slavic Hungarians and Aromanians.[45][47]

Only Northern Russians among East and West Slavs belong to a different, “Northern European” genetic cluster, along with Balts, Germanic and Baltic Finnic peoples (Northern Russian populations are very similar to Balts).[48][49]

The 2006 Y-DNA study results "suggest that the Slavic expansion started from the territory of present-day Ukraine, thus supporting the hypothesis placing the earliest known homeland of Slavs in the basin of the middle Dnieper".[50] According to genetic studies until 2020, the distribution, variance and frequency of the Y-DNA haplogroups R1a and I2 and their subclades R-M558, R-M458 and I-CTS10228 among South Slavs correlate with the spread of Slavic languages during the medieval Slavic expansion from Eastern Europe, most probably from the territory of present-day Ukraine and Southeastern Poland.[51][52][53][54][55][56][57]


The "Zbruch Idol" preserved at the Kraków Archaeological Museum

The pagan Slavic populations were Christianized between the 7th and 12th centuries. Orthodox Christianity is predominant among East and South Slavs, while Catholicism is predominant among West Slavs and some western South Slavs. The religious borders are largely comparable to the East–West Schism which began in the 11th century. Islam first arrived in the 7th century during the early Muslim conquests, and was gradually adopted by a number of Slavic ethnic groups through the centuries in the Balkans.

Among Slavic populations who profess a religion, the majority of contemporary Christian Slavs are Orthodox, followed by Catholic. The majority of Muslim Slavs follow the Hanafi school of the Sunni branch of Islam.[58] Religious delineations by nationality can be very sharp; usually in the Slavic ethnic groups, the vast majority of religious people share the same religion.

Relations with non-Slavic people

First Bulgarian Empire, the Bulgars were a Turkic semi-nomadic warrior tribe that became Slavicized in the 7th century AD

Throughout their history, Slavs came into contact with non-Slavic groups. In the postulated homeland region (present-day Ukraine), they had contacts with the Iranian Sarmatians and the Germanic Goths. After their subsequent spread, the Slavs began assimilating non-Slavic peoples. For example, in the Balkans, there were Paleo-Balkan peoples, such as Romanized and Hellenized (Jireček Line) Illyrians, Thracians and Dacians, as well as Greeks and Celtic Scordisci and Serdi.[67] Because Slavs were so numerous, most indigenous populations of the Balkans were Slavicized. Thracians and Illyrians mixed as ethnic groups in this period. A notable exception is Greece, where Slavs were Hellenized because Greeks were more numerous, especially with more Greeks returning to Greece in the 9th century and the influence of the church and administration,[68] however, Slavicized regions within Macedonia, Thrace and Moesia Inferior also had a larger portion of locals compared to migrating Slavs.[69] Other notable exceptions are the territory of present-day Romania and Hungary, where Slavs settled en route to present-day Greece, North Macedonia, Bulgaria and East Thrace but assimilated, and the modern Albanian nation which claims descent from Illyrians and other Balkan tribes.

Ruling status of Bulgars and their control of land cast the nominal legacy of the Bulgarian country and people onto future generations, but Bulgars were gradually also Slavicized into the present-day South Slavic ethnic group known as Bulgarians. The Romance speakers within the fortified Dalmatian cities retained their culture and language for a long time.[70] Dalmatian Romance was spoken until the high Middle Ages, but, they too were eventually assimilated into the body of Slavs.

In the Western Balkans, South Slavs and Germanic Gepids intermarried with invaders, eventually producing a Slavicized population. In Central Europe, the West Slavs intermixed with Germanic, Hungarian, and Celtic peoples, while in Eastern Europe the East Slavs had encountered Finnic and Scandinavian peoples. Scandinavians (Varangians) and Finnic peoples were involved in the early formation of the Rus' state but were completely Slavicized after a century. Some Finnic tribes in the north were also absorbed into the expanding Rus population.[48] In the 11th and 12th centuries, constant incursions by nomadic Turkic tribes, such as the Kipchak and the Pecheneg, caused a massive migration of East Slavic populations to the safer, heavily forested regions of the north.[71] In the Middle Ages, groups of Saxon ore miners settled in medieval Bosnia, Serbia and Bulgaria, where they were Slavicized.

Map showing Slavic raids on Scandinavia in the mid-12th century

Saqaliba refers to the Slavic mercenaries and slaves in the medieval Arab world in North Africa, Sicily and Al-Andalus. Saqaliba served as caliph's guards.[72][73] In the 12th century, Slavic piracy in the Baltics increased. The Wendish Crusade was started against the Polabian Slavs in 1147, as a part of the Northern Crusades. The pagan chief of the Slavic Obodrite tribes, Niklot, began his open resistance when Lothar III, Holy Roman Emperor, invaded Slavic lands. In August 1160 Niklot was killed, and German colonization (Ostsiedlung) of the Elbe-Oder region began. In Hanoverian Wendland, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Lusatia, invaders started germanization. Early forms of germanization were described by German monks: Helmold in the manuscript Chronicon Slavorum and Adam of Bremen in Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum.[74] The Polabian language survived until the beginning of the 19th century in what is now the German state of Lower Saxony.[75] In Eastern Germany, around 20% of Germans have historic Slavic paternal ancestry, as revealed in Y-DNA testing.[76] Similarly, in Germany, around 20% of the foreign surnames are of Slavic origin.[77]

Cossacks, although Slavic and practicing Orthodox Christianity, came from a mix of ethnic backgrounds, including Tatars and other peoples. Initially, the Cossacks were a mini-subethnos, but now they are less than 5%, and most of them live in the south of Russia. The Gorals of southern Poland and northern Slovakia are partially descended from Romance-speaking Vlachs, who migrated into the region from the 14th to 17th centuries and were absorbed into the local population. The population of Moravian Wallachia also descended from the Vlachs. Conversely, some Slavs were assimilated into other populations. Although the majority continued towards Southeast Europe, attracted by the riches of the area that became the state of Bulgaria, a few remained in the Carpathian Basin in Central Europe and were assimilated into the Magyar people. Numerous rivers and places in Romania have a name with Slavic origins.[78]


Slavs in the US (1990 census) and Canada (2016 census) by area:
Percentage of ethnic Russians by federal subjects of Russia according to the 2010 census:[79]
  above 80%

Winkler Prins (2002) estimated the number of Slavs worldwide to be around c. 260 million at the time.[80]

Ethnicity Estimates and census data
  • c. 118 million Russians in the Russian Federation (2002 Winkler Prins estimate)[81]
  • 622,445 Russians (120,165 Russian-only) in Canada (2016 Canadian census)[82]
  • 37,393,651 inhabitants of Poland with declared Polish ethnicity (2011 Polish census)[83][84][85]
  • Over 20,000,000 Polish diaspora (2015 estimate by[86]
  • 1,106,585 Poles (264,415 Polish-only) in Canada (2016 Canadian census)[82]
  • c. 46.7~51.8 million Ukrainians worldwide (2001 Ukrainian census + various diaspora estimates)[87]
  • c. 58,693,854 Ukrainians worldwide (1994 Pawliczko estimate[88])
  • 1,359,655 Ukrainians (273,810 Ukrainian-only) in Canada (2016 Canadian census)[82]
  • 51,001 Ukrainians in Poland (2011 Polish census)[84]
  • c. 1.2 million Ukrainian refugees recorded in Poland (August 2022 UNHCR figures)[89]
  • 5,988,150 Serbs in Serbia (2011 Serbian census)[90]
  • c. 2.3 million Serbian diaspora (2008 World Bank estimate)[91]
  • c. 3.2–3.8 million Serbian diaspora (2006 MARRI estimate)[91]
  • c. 3.9–4.2 million Serbian diaspora broadly defined (2008 Serbian Ministry for Diaspora estimate)[91]
  • 1,365,093 Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1991, according to Statistic yearbook of SRBiH 1992)[92]:43
  • 180,213 Serbs in Montenegro (2011 Montenegrin census)[lower-alpha 2]
  • 35,939 Serbs in North Macedonia (2002 North Macedonia census)[95]
  • 96,535 Serbs (52,730 Serbian-only) in Canada (2016 Canadian census)[82]
  • c. 6.1 million Czechs in Czechia (2021–22 CIA World Factbook estimate)[96]
  • 6,732,104 Czechs in Czechia (2011 Czech census)[97]
  • 28,996 Czechs in Slovakia (2021 Slovak census)[98]
  • 3,447 Czechs in Poland (2011 Polish census)[84]
  • 104,585 Czechs (23,250 Czech-only) in Canada (2016 Canadian census)[82]
  • c. 8.37 million Belarusians in Belarus (2009 Belarusian census)[99]
  • 46,787 Belarusians in Poland (2011 Polish census)[84]
  • 20,710 "Byelorussian" (5,125 Byelorussian-only) in Canada (2016 Canadian census)[82]
  • c. 10 million Bulgarians worldwide (Kolev early 2000s estimate)[100]
  • c. 6.5 million Bulgarians in Bulgaria (Jeffreys et al. 2008 estimate)[101]
  • c. 10 million Bulgarian speakers worldwide (Jeffreys et al. 2008 estimate)[101]
  • c. 9 million Bulgarians worldwide, of which nearly 7 million in Bulgaria (Cole 2011 estimate)[102]
  • c. 9 million Bulgarians worldwide, of which c. 7.3 million in Bulgaria (Danver 2015 estimate)[103]
  • 18,543 Bulgarians in Serbia (2011 Serbian census)[90]
  • 34,560 Bulgarians (19,965 Bulgarian-only) in Canada (2016 Canadian census)[82]
  • c. 4.5 million Croats in Croatia and c. 4 million Croats abroad (1993 estimate by Palermo & Sabanadze 2011)[104]
  • 759,906 Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1991, according to Statistic yearbook of SRBiH 1992)[92]:43
  • c. 4.5 million Croats outside Croatia (Winland 2004 estimate)[105]
  • c. 4.5 million Croats and people of Croatian heritage outside Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina (HWC 2003 estimate)[106]
  • 57,900 Croats in Serbia (2011 Serbian census)[90][94]
  • 6,021 Croats in Montenegro (2011 Montenegrin census)[107]
  • 133,965 Croats (55,595 Croatian-only) in Canada (2016 Canadian census)[82]
  • 4,353,775 Slovaks in Slovakia (2011 Slovak census)[108]:10
  • 4,567,547 Slovaks in Slovakia (2021 Slovak census)[98]
  • 149,140 Slovaks in Czechia (2011 Czech census)[97]
  • 52,750 Slovaks in Serbia (2011 Serbian census)[90]
  • c. 762,000 people with Slovak ancestry in the United States (2010 American Community Survey)[109]
  • 2,294 (1,889 single, 947 multiple ethnic identity) Slovaks in Poland (2011 Polish census)[84]
  • 72,290 Slovaks (20,475 Slovak-only) in Canada (2016 Canadian census)[82]
Bosniaks (previously
called "Bosnian Muslims")
  • 1,898,963 Bosniaks in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1991, according to Statistic yearbook of SRBiH 1992)[92]:43
  • c. 1.9 million Bosniaks in Bosnia and Herzegovina (2013–2022 CIA World Factbook estimate)[110]
  • 145,278 Bosniaks in Serbia (2011 Serbian census)[94]
  • 53,786 Bosniaks in Montenegro (2011 Montenegrin census)[lower-alpha 3]
  • 17,018 Bosniaks in North Macedonia (2002 North Macedonia census)[95]
  • 26,740 "Bosnians" (15,610 Bosnian-only) in Canada (2016 Canadian census)[82]
  • c. 1,632,000 Slovenes in Slovenia (2002 Slovenian census)[111]
  • c. 2.5 million Slovenes worldwide (2004 Zupančič estimate[111])
    • c. 1.8 million Slovenes in Slovenia (2004 Zupančič estimate[111])
    • c. 0.7 million Slovene diaspora (2004 Zupančič estimate[111])
  • 4,033 Slovenes in Serbia (2011 Serbian census)[90]
  • 40,470 Slovenes (13,690 Slovenian-only) in Canada (2016 Canadian census)[82]
  • 1,297,981 Macedonians in North Macedonia (2002 North Macedonia census)[95]
  • c. 580,000 Macedonian emigrants (1964 estimate)[112]
  • 22,755 Macedonians in Serbia (2011 Serbian census)[90]
  • 43,110 Macedonians (18,405 Macedonian-only) in Canada (2016 Canadian census)[82]
  • 435,750 Silesians in Poland (2011 Polish census)[84]
  • 12,231 Silesians in Czechia (2011 Czech census)[97]
  • c. 2 million Silesians in Poland (Grabowska 2002 estimate)[113]:6
  • 522,474 Moravians in Czechia (2011 Czech census)[97]
  • 1,098 Moravians in Slovakia (2021 Slovak census)[98]
  • c. 327,000 people with Yugoslav ancestry in the United States (2010 American Community Survey)[109]
  • 38,480 "Yugoslavian, not otherwise specified" (8,570 Yugoslav-only) in Canada (2016 Canadian census)[82]
  • 242,032 Yugoslavs in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1991, according to Statistic yearbook of SRBiH 1992)[92]:43
  • 23,303 Yugoslavs in Serbia (2011 Serbian census)[90][94]
  • 1,154 Yugoslavs in Montenegro (2011 Montenegrin census)[93]
(incl. Lemkos)
  • c. 1.2 million Rusyns worldwide (1995 Magocsi estimate)[114]
  • 23,746 Rusyns in Slovakia (2021 Slovak census)[98]
  • 14,246 in Serbia (2011 Serbian census)[90]
  • 10,531 Lemkos in Poland (2011 Polish census)[84]
Slavs in Greece
  • c. 200,000 speakers of "Macedonian" in Greece (Friedman 1985)[115]
  • c. 150,000—350,000 "Macedonians in Greek Macedonia" (various estimates around 1995)[116]
  • c. 20,000—50,000 "Slavic-speakers in northern Greece" (1990 USDoS estimates)[117]
    • c. 5,000—10,000 of them self-identified as "Macedonians" (1990 USDoS estimates)[117]
  • c. 10,000—50,000 Slavs in Greece (2002 USDoS estimates)[118]
  • c. 304,000 people with Czechoslovak ancestry in the United States (2010 American Community Survey)[109]
  • 40,715 "Czechoslovakian, not otherwise specified" (5,075 Czechoslovakian-only) in Canada (2016 Canadian census)[82]
  • 280,873 Montenegrins in Montenegro (2011 Montenegrin census)[lower-alpha 4]
  • c. 500,000 Montenegrins outside Montenegro (2014 Montenegrin Foreign Ministry estimate)[119]
    • 38,527 Montenegrins in Serbia (2011 Serbian census)[90][94]
    • 4,165 Montenegrins (915 Montenegrin-only) in Canada (2016 Canadian census)[82]
  • c. 331,000 Kashubs and c. 184,000 "half-Kashubs" (couldn't speak Kashubian) in the Gdańsk region (Latoszek 1980s) [120]
  • 52,665 inhabitants of Poland spoke Kashubian at home (49,855 of them also spoke Polish at home) (2002 Polish census)[121]
  • 566,737 "Kashubs and people with partial Kashubian ancestry" in Pomerania (Mordawski 2005)[121]
  • 232,547 Kashubians in Poland (2011 Polish census)[lower-alpha 5]
Slavs (in the United
States and Canada)
  • c. 137,000 people with "Slavic" ancestry in the United States (2010 American Community Survey)[109]
  • 4,870 "Slavic, not otherwise specified" (1,470 Slavic-only) in Canada (2016 Canadian census)[82]
Muslims (ethnic group)
  • 22,301 Muslims in Serbia (2011 Serbian census)[90][94]
  • 20,977 Muslims in Montenegro (2011 Montenegrin census)[lower-alpha 6]
  • 12,121 Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina (2013 BiH census)[122]:27
  • c. 60,000 Sorbs in Germany (20,000 of which still spoke Sorb) (2007 Reuters estimate)[123]
  • c. 60,000 Gorani worldwide (2009 estimate by political party Građanska inicijativa Goranaca)[124]
  • 7,767 Gorani in Serbia (2011 Serbian census)[90]
  • 16,706 Bunjevci in Serbia (2011 Serbian census)[90]

See also


  1. Originally Eastern Orthodox, with some groups adopting Byzantine-Rite Catholicism under Polish and Austro-Hungarian rule and reverting to Eastern Orthodoxy starting in the late 19th Century.
  2. The 180,213 figure is the sum of 178,110 "Serbs" + 2,103 "Serbs-Montenegrins".[93][94]
  3. The 53,786 figure is the sum of 53,605 "Bosniaks" + 181 "Bosniaks-Muslims".[93][107]
  4. The 280,873 figure is the sum of 278,865 "Montenegrins" + 1,833 "Montenegrins-Serbs" + 175 "Montenegrins-Muslims".[93][107]
  5. Including 16,000 single ethnic identity, 216,000 multiple ethnic identity Polish and Kashubian, 1,000 multiple ethnic identity Kashubian and another in Poland.[84]
  6. The 20,977 figure is the sum of 20,537 "Muslims" + 183 "Muslims-Bosniaks" + 257 "Muslims-Montenegrins".[93][107]



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