Twenty-three Y-STR loci (DYS576, DYS389I, DYS389 II, DYS448, DYS19, DYS391, DYS481, DYS549, DYS533, DYS438, DYS437, DYS570, DYS635, DYS390, DYS439, DYS392, DYS393, DYS458 DYS456, DYS643, Y-GATA-H4, and DYS385a/b) included in the next-generation PowerPlex® Y23 System were first investigated in 311 unrelated, healthy male individuals from the Yi minority population residing in the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan, China. A total of 179 alleles and 297 haplotypes were discovered in the Yi group. In total, 285 haplotypes among them were unique, and the remaining 12 haplotypes were observed in two or three individuals. Haplotype discrimination capacity and haplotype diversity were 0.9550 and 0.9989, respectively. Genetic diversity ranged from 0.4550 (DYS437) to 0.9556 (DYS385a/b). Population comparisons between the Yi minority group and 10 Asian meta-populations comprising 58 individual populations were performed. Both multidimensional scaling plots and phylogenetic analyses demonstrated that the genetic structure of the Chinese Yi ethnicity was extremely different compared to Taiwan indigenous inhabitants among 10 Asian meta-populations. Additionally, the genetic structure resemblance of the Yi group was obtained from a geographically close population (Xuanwei Han) or similar language family groups (Thai populations). Besides, our study has demonstrated that the PowerPlex® Y23 System has high polymorphism in a Chinese Yi ethnic population and high discriminatory power for forensic purposes. Population data of the 23 Y-STR obtained from a Yi ethnic population has enriched the Chinese ethnic genetic information.