Property talk:P172

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ethnic group
subject's ethnicity (consensus is that a VERY high standard of proof is needed for this field to be used. In general this means 1) the subject claims it him/herself, or 2) it is widely agreed on by scholars, or 3) is fictional and portrayed as such).
Representsethnic group (Q41710)
Data typeItem
Domainperson (Q215627), fictional character (Q95074), ethnic community (Q28790362), diaspora (Q133004) and family (Q8436)
ExampleKarl Marx (Q9061)Jewish people (Q7325)
Yasser Arafat (Q34211)Arab (Q35323)
Nikita Khrushchev (Q35314)Russians (Q49542)
Huang Xianfan (Q5208)Zhuang people (Q36692)
Mahatma Gandhi (Q1001)Gujarati people (Q1282294)
Format and edit filter validationAbuse filter #95
Tracking: sameCategory:Ethnic groups (Q4048336)
Tracking: usageCategory:Pages using Wikidata property P172 (Q23909094)
See alsoindigenous to (P2341)
Proposal discussionOriginally created without a formal discussion
Current uses60,880
Search for values
[create] Create a translatable help page (preferably in English) for this property to be included here
Type “person (Q215627), fictional character (Q95074), ethnic community (Q28790362), diaspora (Q133004), family (Q8436): element must contain property “instance of (P31)” with classes “person (Q215627), fictional character (Q95074), ethnic community (Q28790362), diaspora (Q133004), family (Q8436)” or their subclasses (defined using subclass of (P279)). (Help)
Exceptions are possible as rare values may exist.
List of this constraint violations: Database reports/Constraint violations/P172#Type Q215627, Q95074, Q28790362, Q133004, Q8436, SPARQL, SPARQL (new)
Value type “ethnic group (Q41710), people (Q2472587), nationality (Q231002), race (Q3254959), nation (Q6266), indigenous people (Q103817), ethnic community (Q28790362), fictional ethnic group (Q2590445): This property should use items as value that contain property “instance of (P31)”. On these, the value for instance of (P31) should be an item that uses subclass of (P279) with value ethnic group (Q41710), people (Q2472587), nationality (Q231002), race (Q3254959), nation (Q6266), indigenous people (Q103817), ethnic community (Q28790362), fictional ethnic group (Q2590445) (or a subclass thereof). (Help)
Exceptions are possible as rare values may exist.
List of this constraint violations: Database reports/Constraint violations/P172#Value type Q41710, Q2472587, Q231002, Q3254959, Q6266, Q103817, Q28790362, Q2590445, SPARQL, SPARQL (new)
Conflicts with “instance of (P31): Wikimedia permanent duplicate item (Q21286738): this property must not be used with the listed properties and values. (Help)
Exceptions are possible as rare values may exist.
List of this constraint violations: Database reports/Constraint violations/P172#Conflicts with P31, search, SPARQL, SPARQL (new)
Citation needed: the property must have at least one reference (Help)
Exceptions are possible as rare values may exist.
List of this constraint violations: Database reports/Constraint violations/P172#citation needed, SPARQL (new)
This property is being used by:

Please notify projects that use this property before big changes (renaming, deletion, merge with another property, etc.)

This property is being used by:

Please notify projects that use this property before big changes (renaming, deletion, merge with another property, etc.)


Pictogram voting comment.svg Claims without source
Each P172 claim needs to have at least one (non Wikipedia) source (Help)
Violations query: SELECT DISTINCT ?item { ?item p:P172 ?claim; wdt:P31 wd:Q5 . OPTIONAL { ?claim prov:wasDerivedFrom ?source . ?source ?p ?v . FILTER NOT EXISTS { ?v wdt:P31 wd:Q10876391 } } FILTER(!bound(?source)) }
List of this constraint violations: Database reports/Complex constraint violations/P172#Claims without source


See Wikidata:Property_proposal/Nationality for a related discussion.

Rules for Usage[edit]

Rule Archived Discussion
Use this property only together with a reference in that the person itself states her/his ethinicty Ongoing discussion (german)


Français : quelle est la signification de cette propriété ? A-t-elle été discutée avant création ?
English: what is the meaning of this property ? Has it been discussed before its creation?
--Gloumouth1 (talk) 12:24, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

Nation Q6266 - fr:Nation - en:Nation
אבגד (talk) 12:45, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
Please use country of citizenship (RFD). --Kolja21 (talk) 23:55, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
OK. thank you very much. אבגד (talk) 07:25, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
I responded there, and as I wrote there, and I gave an example, there is a difference between citizenship and ethnicity. We will continue the discussion there. אבגד (talk) 07:28, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

A recent discussion concluded that ethnicity, nationality (even culture and peoples) are the same thing, and quite different from Citizenship: --Vladimir Alexiev (talk) 10:15, 3 October 2017 (UTC)


Archived discussion

Ethnic group is not a well defined property. We should delete it. To the examples: Bloomberg is US-citizen and his religion is Judaism. That's it. His family has roots in russia and poland. What ethnic group is he in? The jewish-russian-poland-living-in-US-group?
Guliani: Why is he an ethnical italian? Because of his name??? I would not say that Guliani has more in common with somebody living in Italy than me. Ethnical group is a minefield. --Svebert (talk) 11:25, 16 March 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I agree that the above examples are not good. But I think we should try to restrict the usage, not just delete it. In some cases, ethnic group is actually well defined. For instance, in China (and in Russia/Soviet Union before 1997), every citizen's Identity Card lists an officially defined ethnic group. --Stevenliuyi (talk) 15:55, 16 March 2013 (UTC)
I think even “official” documents like a passport stating someone's ethnicity are not enough to reference an usage of this property. Because this could easily extended to official lists or tags and then in my memory the usage of the en:David's star in the en:Drittes Reich comes up. I want to say: Even official documents often are meant to stigmatize humans. I still think that this property should only used if and only if the person stated its ethnicity as “self statement“--Svebert (talk) 11:54, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
You mean 100% of the population of the Soviet Union have been stigmatized because they had "Nationality" in their official documents? Eldizzino (talk) 18:37, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
1) the word "often" means not in every case. 2) AFAIK the Soviet Union is not know for beeing a pioneer in human rights issues. Wikidata and Stalin is not a promising combination. --Kolja21 (talk) 05:21, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
  • The use of this property would need to be defined more precisely, both regarding what qualifies as an ethnicity (& this probably depends on the nationality of the person considered) and what kind of sources are needed. —Tinm (d) 00:38, 21 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Getty puts the emphasis on self-determination, and reading the Description of this prop, the same policy has been adopted. Forget about "official": governments are too often in controversy with their citizens, especially after annexations and the like --Vladimir Alexiev (talk) 13:33, 3 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Does anyone know how to define someone from two ethnic groups? For instance, I'm editing Robert Davidson's wikidata page (Q7343412). He is Haida and Tlingit, which are technically two different groups under First Nations. When I input the two, even as being a sub-grouping under First Nation, the constraint still pops up. A similar issue also comes up for Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex (Q3304418), who is biracial. Is there a specific P-number for those of mixed ethnic background? Morinjam (talk) 17:18, 28 May 2018 (UTC)

2015-05 Constraint:Value type[edit]

I added a Constraint:Value type. At first it was a test, but since it allow to find and correct errors such using P172 intead of country of citizenship (P27), I will let it. However, it MUST NOT be seen as an official or complete list of allowed classes for this propoerty. Visite fortuitement prolongée (talk) 19:52, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

Should this property be used for places?[edit]

Places like wikipedia:Canada have "Ethnic groups" or "Ethnic demography". Should this property be used for that info box field or should a new one be created? Davidwbarratt (talk) 12:51, 13 August 2017 (UTC)

Add country, but how to enforce percentage[edit]

I added a "country" to the list of instances that it works on, but I'm not sure how to add a percentage qualifier (i.e. White 78%) etc. Davidwbarratt (talk) 20:41, 13 August 2017 (UTC)

@Davidwbarratt: You shouldn't have done that, so I reverted your modification. A change on an already controversial property needs to be discussed first, so wait to receive some feedback or try reaching to a wider audience at the Project Chat. Andreasm háblame / just talk to me 07:46, 29 September 2017 (UTC)
@Andreasmperu: There hasn't been discussion on this property on this page since 2013 (4 years ago). Property_talk:P140#Use_for_churches_as_well.3F discusses the use of religion (P140) on items other than human (Q5), so this sets a precedent for using ethnic group (P172) on items other than human (Q5) as well. ethnic group (Q41710) is always going to be difficult to define because the term is used differently around the world and methods of measuring population (Q2625603) by ethnic group (Q41710) are varied and inconsistent. There are many sources which approximate the population (Q2625603) by ethnic group (Q41710) for different country (Q6256) and geographic region (Q82794), and therefore this information is suitable for inclusion in Wikidata. Whilst the methodologies for determining ethnic group (Q41710) may be questionable, the information about how humans label and group each other into various ethnic group (Q41710) over time is valuable information when accurately referenced/sourced. Pixeldomain (talk) 08:29, 29 September 2017 (UTC)
@Davidwbarratt: proportion (P1107) is used to define percentages (proportions) as a decimal number ranging from 0 (0%) to 1 (100%). Pixeldomain (talk) 08:31, 29 September 2017 (UTC)

Same as Nationality?[edit]

Hi, in Wikidata:Property proposal/Nationality there is a discussion about extending this property to also add information which is better described as Nationality than ethnicity. For example we might have "Australians" and "Canadians" which likely can not be described as ethnicities. I think that would make this property much more useful. For people using it in infoboxes. --Jarekt (talk) 16:20, 3 October 2017 (UTC)

I think it would be more clear to rename the property to "Ethnic group or nationality" similar to "sex or gender (P21)" property. --Jarekt (talk) 12:30, 10 October 2017 (UTC)
+1 --Pasleim (talk) 07:08, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
No, if we add "or nationality" to anything, it should be country of citizenship (P27).--Pharos (talk) 08:22, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
That is what I thought too, and it works for contemporary people. But look at Albrecht Dürer (Q5580): everybody describes him as "German painter" but his country of citizenship (P27) is not "Germany". Adolf Hitler (Q352) is also described as "German", but he has 6 country of citizenship (P27) and none of them is "Germany" either. But you can say that his "Ethnic group or nationality" was "German". --Jarekt (talk) 11:42, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
You can perhaps say his ethnic group is German, but I don't think you can say his nationality is. I've proposed a different way to think about this on the Wikidata:Property proposal/Nationality, which is that instead of sorting individuals by "nation", we sort the states they are citizens/subjects of, for example the "historical German states".--Pharos (talk) 04:49, 14 October 2017 (UTC)

Proposed cleanup of unsourced P172 claims[edit]

I have opened a discussion at Wikidata:Project chat#Cleanup of unsourced “ethnic group (P172)” claims recently that deals with the finding that almost all claims with this property are unsourced, in spite of a “requires source” constraint. In the WD:PC topic I am looking for further input. Thanks, MisterSynergy (talk) 09:05, 7 January 2018 (UTC)

Same as race description?[edit]

We're working with data from scholarly sources that have previously used a race description field to represent how 19th-century American individuals have race appear within documentary sources like newspapers, enlistment forms, or census records. Those descriptions may vary from one document to another (as when a census enumerator in 1870 describes a person as "Black", but one in 1880 describes the same person as "Mulatto") and are often in 19th-century wording, with all the attendant baggage. Is P172 the appropriate property to use here? Nineteenth Century Digital Cooperative (talk) 18:25, 9 July 2018 (UTC)