Skip to main content
European Commission logo
Migration and Home Affairs


A non-dominant group which is usually numerically less than the majority population of a State or region regarding their ethnic, religious or linguistic characteristics and who (if only implicitly) maintain solidarity with their own culture, traditions, religion or language.


Derived by EMN from IOM Glossary on Migration, 2019.


  • BG: малцинство
  • CS: menšina
  • DE: Minderheit
  • EL: μειονότητα
  • EN: minority
  • ES: minoría
  • ET: vähemus
  • FI: vähemmistö
  • FR: minorité
  • GA: mionlach
  • HU: kissebbség
  • IT: minoranza
  • LT: mažuma
  • LV: minoritāte
  • MT: Minoranza / F’minoranza
  • NL: minderheid
  • PL: mniejszość
  • PT: minoria
  • RO: minoritate
  • SK: menšina
  • SL: manjšina
  • SV: minoritet
  • NO: minoritet

Narrower Term(s)

  • ethnic minority
  • national minority

Related Term(s)


1. There is still no universally accepted definition of minority in international law, although a variety of international documents have attempted to define the concept of a minority. See, for example, Art. 27 of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
2. This definition has been added because of its relevance to international protection and integration-related aspects.