Changde is a city with various ethnic groups. According to the 1990 census, the population of minority ethnic groups was 430,000. It consists of thirty-three ethnic groups, accounting for about 8% of the overall population. Changde ranks fourth out of fourteen cities in Hunan Province in terms of the population of minority ethnic groups. Besides Han, there are other ethnic groups, including Mongol, Hui, Tibetan, Uyghur, Miao, Yi, Zhuang, Buyei, Korean, Manchu, Dong, Yao, Bai, Tujia, Hani, Dai, Va, Li, She, Gaoshan, Sui, Jingpo, Tu, Mulao, Xibe, Pumi, Russian, Oroqen, Maonan, and Mulao. Among these minority ethnic groups, the Tujia, Hui and Uyghur observe their unique traditions and keep their own customs, philosophy and moral standards.
The Tujia people are native to Changde; they used to reside in Shimen County about 2000 years ago. Their ancestors lived their life by planting and farming in jungles. Generations later, the population has now grown to 350,000.
The Hui and Uyghur live in Taoyuan County, Wuling District, Dingcheng District, Hanshou County, Lixian County, Jinshi County and Anxiang County as well. Their ancestors were soldiers who were relocated to the above-mentioned areas under military order. In 1372, the General Bashi from Uyghur, and General Ma Decheng from Hui were dispatched to Changde along with their ethnic group members to take charge of security and border patrols. They became permanent residents of Changde and their offspring spread to all its counties. Nowadays, the Hui have a population of 40,000 and Uyghur have 6,000. Taoyuan Fengshu Hui & Uyghur Autonomous Town is known as the second largest Uyghur community in China, behind Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
The other ethic minority groups mostly immigrated to Changde after the People’s Republic of China was founded in 1949. They are modest, dedicated and brave people. They have not only inherited historical ethic traditions, but have also created modern fortunes and cultural assets. They have made significant political, economic, and cultural contributions to the development of Changde.