Total population
c. 1,180,000[a]
Regions with significant populations
(in North Ossetia – Alania North Ossetia)480,310[2]
 South Ossetia51,000[3][4]
(excluding South Ossetia)
Ossetian, Russian, Georgian
Predominantly Eastern Orthodox Christianity
with a sizeable minority professing Uatsdin, and Islam
Related ethnic groups
Scythians, Sarmatians, Alans
Other Iranian peoples, the Jassic people of Hungary, and North Caucasians.

a. ^ The total figure is merely an estimation; sum of all the referenced populations.

The Ossetians or Ossetes (z/; Ossetian: ир, ирæттæ, ir, irættæ; дигорæ, дигорæнттæ, digoræ, digorænttæ) are an Iranian ethnic group of the Caucasus Mountains, indigenous to the ethnolinguistic region known as Ossetia.[23][24][25]They speak Ossetic, an Eastern Iranian (Alanic) language of the Indo-European languages family, with most also fluent in Russian as a second language. The Ossetian language is neither closely related to nor mutually intelligible with any other language of the family today.[26] Ossetic, a remnant of the Scytho-Sarmatian dialect group which was once spoken across the Pontic–Caspian Steppe, is one of the few Iranian languages inside Europe.[27]

The Ossetians mostly populate Ossetia, which is politically divided between North Ossetia–Alania in Russia, and South Ossetia, a de facto independent state with partial recognition, closely integrated in Russia and claimed by Georgia. Their closest relatives, the Jász, live in the Jászság region within the north-western part of the Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok County in Hungary.

Ossetians are mostly Eastern Orthodox Christian, with sizable minorities professing Uatsdin or Islam.


The Ossetians and Ossetia received their name from the Russians, who adopted the Georgian designations Osi (ოსი) (sing., pl.: Osebi (ოსები)) and Oseti ("the land of Osi" (ოსეთი)), used since the Middle Ages for the single Iranian-speaking population of the Central Caucasus and probably based on the old Alan self-designation "As". As the Ossetians lacked any single inclusive name for themselves in their native language, these terms were accepted by the Ossetians themselves already before their integration into the Russian Empire.[28]

This practice was put into question by the new Ossetian nationalism in the early 1990s, when the dispute between the Ossetian subgroups of Digoron and Iron over the status of the Digoron dialect made the Ossetian intellectuals search for a new inclusive ethnic name. This, combined with the effects of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict, led to the popularization of "Alania", the name of the medieval Sarmatian confederation, to which the Ossetians traced their origin, and inclusion of this name into the official republican title of North Ossetia in 1994.[28]

Other Languages
Адыгэбзэ: Iэсетинхэр
Afrikaans: Ossetiërs
العربية: أوسيتيون
aragonés: Osetas
авар: Гьириял
azərbaycanca: Osetinlər
تۆرکجه: اوستین‌لر
беларуская: Асеціны
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Асэтыны
български: Осетинци
català: Ossetes
čeština: Oseti
Cymraeg: Osetiaid
dansk: Ossetere
Deutsch: Osseten
eesti: Osseedid
español: Osetios
Esperanto: Osetoj
euskara: Osetiar
فارسی: مردم آسی
français: Ossètes
Gaeilge: Oiséataigh
galego: Pobo oseto
한국어: 오세트인
հայերեն: Օսեր
hrvatski: Oseti
Bahasa Indonesia: Orang Ossetia
italiano: Osseti
עברית: אוסטים
къарачай-малкъар: Тегейлиле
ქართული: ოსები
қазақша: Осетиндер
kurdî: Osetî
Кыргызча: Осетиндер
лакку: АсатӀин
Latina: Osseti
latviešu: Osetīni
лезги: Аланар
lietuvių: Osetinai
magyar: Oszétok
მარგალური: ოსეფი
монгол: Осет ястан
Nederlands: Osseten
日本語: オセット人
нохчийн: ХӀирий
Plattdüütsch: Osseten
polski: Osetyjczycy
português: Ossetas
русский: Осетины
slovenčina: Oseti
српски / srpski: Осети
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Oseti
suomi: Osseetit
svenska: Osseter
тоҷикӣ: Осетинҳо
Türkçe: Osetler
українська: Осетини
粵語: 奧塞梯人
Zazaki: Oseti
中文: 奥塞梯人