Fortress Village - The Ethnic Minorities of Southwest China  
Demographics and Geographic Distribution

The geographic distribution of the Hani people spans several countries. In China, the Hani population numbers approximately 130,000 people, the majority of whom resides in the vast mountainous region of Mt. Ailao and Mt. Wuliang, between the Hong and Langcang Rivers in southern Yunnan Province. This region is crisscrossed by steep mountains and deep valleys, characteristics that are typical of the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau, and is home to a variety of ethnic groups, including Han, Yi, Bai, Dai, Lahu, Miao, Yao, Hui, Zhuang, and Blang, each occupying a specific altitude range. Generally speaking, the geographic distribution of these ethnic groups in this region are as follows: Dai people inhabit the low, flat river valleys; the Han reside in towns and along major transportation routes; Hani and Yi peoples live half-way up the mountain; Miao and Yao peoples inhabit the higher and colder altitudes.1
Yunnan shaoshu minzu shehui lishi diaocha, “Hani zu jianshi jianzhi hebian,” 1964.
In terms of administrative districts, the Hani people can be found mainly in Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan Province, the Simao City, Yuxi City and Xishuangbanna Autonomous Prefecture, and scattered across tens of counties and townships in northern and southwestern Yunnan Province.2
Hani zu yanjiu wenji. Institute of Ethnology in Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture, 1991:1.
Outside of China, there are over 100,000 members of the Hani people spread out in the northern mountains regions of Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos.3
Data from 1982 show that there are about 115,000 Hani people living outside of China.

A Hani village surrounded by trees at about 1,700 meters above sea level.
A view of a Hani village.
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