Major Human races of the world and their characteristics Upsc

Human races in the world

Human races in the world
Different Racial Groups in the World

A Race is a group of people with similar, permanent distinguishing characteristics. People belonging to a particular race, skin and Hair colour have certain interpretations.

The classification of racial groups should be done on the basis of characteristics, and physical features inherited from a common ancestor.

The important features based on race are:

  • skin colour
  • stature
  • The shape of the head, face, nose, eye
  • Type of hair
  • Blood Group

4 Major Races in the World

  • Negroid
  • Caucasoid
  • Mongoloid
  • Australoid


negroid race

Negroid is commonly called as “Black Race“. Negroid, have the darkest skin tone of other human races in the world. Their other striking characteristics are:

  • Slopped Forehead
  • Thick Lips
  • Wide Nose
  • Dark Hairs

Their skin colour is brown to black-brown yellow-brown. Also, their stature is Tall to very short. Their face is medium broad to narrow and tends to have medium-high strong prognathism. The head form is Predominantly long and low in height.

The hair colour is Brown blacklight curl and woolly. The body build is linear and muscular. The nose is low, medium to very broad. Their blood group is high in Rh(D). The eye colour is brown to brown block, vertical eye folds are common.

Blacks live in Sub-Sahara Africa.


mongoloid face

Mongoloid live in East Asia. These people have folding eyelids, almond-shaped eyes, Yellowish skin tone and V-Shaped Cheeks. Their skin colour is Saffron to Yellow Brown and Reddish Brown.

The body stature is Medium Tall to Medium Short. The face is Medium broad to very broad malars high and flat tends to medium-high. The head is medium height, predominantly broad. The hair colour is brown to brown-black straight.

The body build tends to be lateral, some linearity evident. The nose is low to medium form, medium broad. They have a high number of blood Group B.

The eye is brown to dark brown, medial epicanthic fold very common. Native Americans and Eskimos are also Mongoloid. They have the least body hairs, the least body odour, and the smallest limb ratio. Mongoloid facial structure is likely to adapt to cold mild wind.


The Caucasoid is also known as “White People”. They have a pointy nose, vertical forehead, pinkish/orange skin tone, Visible brow ridge and colourful eyes/hair. The skin colour is Pale reddish white to olive brown. Their stature is Medium to tall. The face is Narrow to medium broad and tends to have high no prognathism.

The Head form is Long broad and short-medium, high very high. The hair colour is Light blonde to Dark brown, straight to wavy. Their body is linear to Lateral slender to refuge. The nose is usually high, narrow to medium board. The number of Blood Group A is more than Blood Group B. The eye colour is light blue to dark brown, with lateral eyes and folds occasionally.

It is believed that their light skin tone is meant to receive more sunlight due to Europe’s cold climate. It is also believed that Caucasoid nose structure is used to keep the nose moisture from getting dried by the wind.

Caucasoid people are living in Europe and the Middle East.


Australoid Race

Australoid Race have visible eye ridges, wide noses, curly hair, dark skin tone, and are short in height. It is believed that the visible eye ridge helps them to eat stiff foods.

Australoid people live in Australia Continent and Papua New Guinea.

australoid people
Australoid race


Ethnicity and Race are almost similar, it is a grouping of people. It is a concept that refers to a shared culture and a way of life.

Ethnicity can be reflected in language, religion, and material cultures such as clothing, cuisine, music and art. It is a major source of social conflict. Han Chinese is the largest ethnic group in the world.

There are several thousand ethnic groups in the world, that possess a shared history, language, religion, and culture, that provides a common identity between members.

Ethnicity vs Race

  • But Ethnicity is the grouping of people based on cultural characteristics.
  • Race is a grouping of people based on physical qualities.

Racial Diversity in India

India is a unique country with great diversity in ethnicity. It has many races, religions, languages, cultures, cuisine etc. Indian civilization is one of the oldest in the world.

The Indian civilization primarily consists of the Indo-Aryan of North India the Dravidians of South India and the people of the Indus Valley Civilization. Indo-Aryan migrated to this at about 1800 BC.


Dravidian people are native speakers of the Dravidian languages in the Indian Subcontinent. Almost all Dravidians live in South India. Five Major Dravidian Ethnic groups in India are:

  • Tamil
  • Telugu
  • Kannada
  • Malayalam
  • Tulu

The Indus Valley People are believed to be the Dravidian People, pushed down to South India due to the arrival of Indo-Aryans and the rise of the Kuru Kingdom. Major Dravidian kingdoms are Cheras, Cholas and the Pandyas.

These three kingdoms were also tolerant of Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism. Major Dravidian languages are Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Brahui.


Arabic Script Brahui is the only Dravidian Language that is not known to have been written in a Brahmi Based Script. Instead, it has been written in the Arabic Script since the second half of the 20th Century in Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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