The neutrality of this article is disputed.

In sociology and in voting theory, a minority is a group that is outnumbered by persons who do not belong to it, often people with different nationality, religion, culture or lifestyle from that of the mainstream in the society.

In recent decades the term minority has taken on a newer meaning: a group with lower social status rather than small numerical scale. For instance, while numerically women outnumber men in most societies, in many of them they are a minority, given their claim that they have inferior social rights compared to men.

A majority is a group that outnumbers its non-members, or, in the newer sense of the word, has a higher social status.

In politics, a minority is an ethnic group that is recognized as such by respective laws of their home country and therefore has some rights that ethnic groups not so recognised don't have (for example, its members might have education and/or communication with the government in their mother tongue). Not every ethnic group that is a minority in social sense is a minority in political sense: some are too small or too indistinct to validate costs of providing these rights, and some are so large or historically or otherwise important that they are one of constitutive nations.