Tajiks (Persian: تاجيک، تاجک, Tājīk, Tājek; Tajik: Тоҷик) are a Persian-speaking Iranian ethnic group native to Central Asia, living primarily in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Tajiks are the largest ethnicity in Tajikistan, and the second-largest in Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. They speak varieties of Persian, a Western Iranian language. In Tajikistan, since the 1939 Soviet census, its small Pamiri and Yaghnobi ethnic groups are included as Tajiks. In China, the term is used to refer to its Pamiri ethnic groups, the Tajiks of Xinjiang, who speak the Eastern Iranian Pamiri languages. In Afghanistan, the Pamiris are counted as a separate ethnic group.
|Regions with significant populations|
| Uzbekistan||1,420,000 (2012, official)|
other, non-official, scholarly estimates are 8 – 11 million
|Persian (Dari and Tajik) |
Secondary: Pashto, Russian, Uzbek
|Vast majority Sunni Islam |
minority Shia Islam and Sufism
|Related ethnic groups|
|other Iranian peoples|
As a self-designation, the literary New Persian term Tajik, which originally had some previous pejorative usage as a label for eastern Persians or Iranians, has become acceptable during the last several decades, particularly as a result of Soviet administration in Central Asia. Alternative names for the Tajiks are Eastern Persian, Fārsīwān (Persian-speaker), and Dīhgān (cf. Tajik: Деҳқон) which translates to "farmer or settled villager", in a wider sense "settled" in contrast to "nomadic" and was later used to describe a class of land-owning magnates as "Persian of noble blood" in contrast to Arabs, Turks and Romans during the Sassanid and early Islamic period.