Hindustani people or Hindavi people are an Indo-Aryan panethnicity living in the Hindi belt region of India, which is located in the Indo-Gangetic plain of North India, between the Himalayas and the Vindhyas mountains. The word Hindustani was historically used for such inhabitants on genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds. In modern India, the Persianized Mughal era term Hindustani has slowly fallen out of use, as many North Indian ethnic groups moved closer to regional identities.
Traditionally, the Hindustani identity is primarily linguistic, with Hindustanis being those who have the historical Hindustani language (Hindi/Urdu) or, in a broader sense, a variety of Hindi as their primary language, mainly residing in the present-day Indian states of Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Bihar. The original Urdu speaking Muhajir people (immigrants) of Pakistan are from the same Hindustani roots.
Although the word "Hindustani" refers to people, it is historically important to understand the complex history, culture, ethos and demography of the subcontinent. Certain groups of North Indians have multiple identities, with a more localised prioritised ethnic orientation, for example the Awadhi people, Bhojpuri people, Bagheli people, Braji people, Bundeli people, Chhattisgarhi people, Garhwali people, Haryanvi people, Kumaoni people, Malvi people, Marwari people, or Rajasthani people, Magahi people, Nagpuri people, in addition to further tribal, village, and/or religious identities. However, whenever used, it is used to generally denote people whose native language is Hindustani language and in a broader sense a variety of Hindi and belong to certain parts of North India (i.e. the Hindi belt).