Small People Group Policy

What This Policy Addresses

This policy addresses how very small groups are handled on the Joshua Project people group list. It provides standards for including or not including very small groups on the active Joshua Project list. Global people group lists are limited in the level of detail they can realistically present. Low levels of detail, such as very tiny diaspora groups, may be beyond the scope of a global list, but very appropriate on country and local lists.

Four types of very small groups are considered in this policy. The majority of this policy deals with the fourth category of small diaspora populations of large people groups.

Given the increased mobility of peoples today, an almost unlimited number of new diaspora people groups could potentially be created.

1. Distinct, often isolated, small people groups

These are distinct ethnic people groups often speaking a unique language and living separate from the surrounding world. In most all cases no Christian resources are available in their language. These groups will always be retained on the main Joshua Project people group list regardless of population. These groups represent unique worshippers before the throne in Rev 5:9 and 7:9. Populations for groups below 100 in size are listed as “Unknown”. Some examples are an Amazon basin tribal group or an isolated Aborigine group in Australia.

2. Transient or temporary populations

Transient or temporary groups are not tracked by Joshua Project. An example is Vietnamese migrant workers in Malaysia. The transient and temporary nature of these groups makes them virtually impossible to track and unrealistic as a focus for long-term church planting. In addition, occupation is not considered when defining traditional people groups. Transient or temporary populations are different than nomadic peoples. Joshua Project does track nomadic groups such as various Bedouin peoples in North Africa.

3. Very small South Asian groups

Very small people groups in South Asia typically do not live in isolation or have a unique language. They must interface with the surrounding culture. To function, they must know one or more of the major South Asian languages e.g. Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Telugu, Gujarati etc. Christian resources exist in these major South Asian languages. Some have questioned if groups of a few hundred can actually be found in the midst of nearly two billion South Asians. Very small South Asian groups may also have been assimilated into larger, related people groups. South Asian entries with less than or equal to 100 in population are not included in the main Joshua Project list. While not presented on the Joshua Project website, data for South Asia peoples smaller than 100 in population is available upon request.

Some have questioned if groups of a few hundred can actually be found in the midst of nearly two billion South Asians.

4. Small diaspora populations of large people groups

Given the increased mobility of peoples, an almost unlimited number of new diaspora people groups could potentially be created. For example, does a group of British families living in Andorra constitute a distinct people group that should be added to a global people group list?

Conditions

The following is a set of conditions to determine when to exclude very small groups of individuals that are part of larger People Groups Across Countries (PGAC).

  • Condition 1: The population of this group in this country is less than 500
  • Condition 2: The population of this group in this country is less than .5% of the total population of the people group in all countries (PGAC). In other words, 99.5% of the people group lives in another country or countries
  • Condition 3: The population of this group in the country in question is less than .5% of the overall population of that country.

NOTE: All three conditions must be met in order for a group to be excluded from the Joshua Project people group list. Put another way, if any of the three conditions above is not met, then the people group (PGIC) should be included on the people group list.

All three conditions must be met in order for a group to be excluded from the Joshua Project people group list.

Rationale

  • Condition 1: A baseline cutoff number needs to be established; otherwise the number of people groups by country (PGICs) becomes almost unlimited. For example, there are probably individuals from almost every larger PGAC in the world living in the United States. Therefore, if no cutoff is established, the US alone would potentially have many thousands of distinct people groups (PGICs) listed. A minimum population of 500 is proposed as a reasonable value. Below 500 it becomes increasingly questionable whether the group can even be found, particularly in larger countries. Also at smaller and smaller sizes, it becomes less clear if these tiny groups actually identify themselves as distinct people groups.

  • Condition 2: This is to ensure that only very tiny portions of the larger people group (PGAC) are considered for exclusion as well as protect small PGAC groups from having meaningful portions excluded. For example, consider a small PGAC group with a global population of 10,000. If 500 individuals living in a particular country were excluded based on Condition 1, then 5.0% of the PGAC would be excluded which is too much.

  • Condition 3: This is to ensure tiny countries have meaningful groups identified. For example, in a country with total population of 20,000 individuals, 500 individuals form a meaningful portion of the country population and should be considered as a people group (PGIC).

Examples

Sample of groups removed from the list because they meet all three conditions:

  • 400 Koreans in Honduras – less than 500 in size, less than .5% of Korean globally e.g. 99.5% of Koreans live in other countries, less than .5% of population of Honduras.
  • 200 Zulu in Canada – less than 500 in size, less than .5% of Zulu globally e.g. 99.5% of Zulu live in other countries, less than .5% of population of Canada.
  • 300 French in Taiwan – less than 500 in size, less than .5% of the French globally e.g. 99.5% of French live in other countries, less than .5% of population of Taiwan.

Decision Tree

Small Group Data Still Available

Joshua Project retains and makes available all people group data regardless of population size. While not included in the overall people group counts, tiny diaspora groups that have been removed from the main Joshua Project list using the above conditions are available by clicking the "Other reported groups" link at the bottom of each country listing or the "Other reported countries" link at the bottom of each peoples listing.



Population: 59,591,000
Language: Hindi
Religion: Hinduism
Status: Unreached 


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