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Germans (German: Deutsche) are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe,[3] who share a common German ancestry, culture and history. German is the shared mother tongue of a substantial majority of ethnic Germans.

The English term Germans has historically referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages.[4] Before the collapse of communism and the reunification of Germany in 1990, Germans constituted the largest divided nation in Europe by far.[5][6][note 2] Ever since the outbreak of the Protestant Reformation within the Holy Roman Empire, German society has been characterized by a Catholic-Protestant divide.[7]

Of approximately 100 million native speakers of German in the world,[8] roughly 80 million consider themselves Germans.[citation needed] There are an additional 80 million people of German ancestry mainly in the United States, Brazil (mainly in the South Region of the country), Argentina, Canada, South Africa, the post-Soviet states (mainly in Russia and Kazakhstan), and France, each accounting for at least 1 million.[note 3] Thus, the total number of Germans lies somewhere between 100 and more than 150 million, depending on the criteria applied[1] (native speakers, single-ancestry ethnic Germans, partial German ancestry, etc.).

Today, people from countries with German-speaking majorities (such as Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and other historically-tied countries like Luxembourg) most often subscribe to their own national identities and may or may not also self-identify as ethnically German.

Pages in category "Germans"

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