minority

Caution. Not a synonym for people of color. Group or groups differing especially in race, religion or ethnicity from the majority of a population. Collective when used as a noun.

Does not refer to an individual, so avoid such phrases as: There are three minorities on the council. Also: Women do not constitute a minority, although they may be linked with minorities in various civil-rights contexts. Avoid saying, for example, the program is designed to encourage the representation of minorities if it also encourages the representation of women. Better to say the program is designed to encourage the representation of women and minorities. A better alternative is people of color when referring to a group.

See people of color, model minority.

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