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A population made of a mix of people and cultures is called diverse or heterogenous. Heterogenous populations have a wider representation of linguistic, cultural, ethnic and religious groups than homogenous populations. Historically, communities that lay near the water, natural boundaries or state bounderies were heterogenous. The communities of the Mediterranian and Caribbean islands are famously heterogenous owing to their proximity to many land-based cultures and their easy waterway access. Diverse communities tend to be culturally rich and fluid. Heterogenous communities can also form under imperial or colonial rule. The Roman Empire was culturally and religiously diverse, at least in the beginning. Heterogenous societies are sometimes highly stratified, as was the case in the British colonies of North America and the Spanish colonies of Central and South America.
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