Difference Between Nation and Country

To put it in a simple way, a country is a place or an area where the individuals have a government that has the highest authority or power. There is a proper system that governs everything and everyone. The nation is when a bunch of people come together because of language, identity, ethnicity, history.

Nation vs Country

The main difference between Nation and Country is that they have completely different individual identities and authorities. The two terms, Nation and Country, are often by mistake interchangeably employed by individuals. This is often due to the confusion between them. Both have variations between them concerning their origin and individualism moreover.

Nation vs Country

A nation is somewhat a community of individuals entrenched based upon a common culture, traditions and, in several cases, a shared territory. A nation is additionally more political than an ethnic group. Some have characterized a nation as an imagined community and an abstract community.

A country is usually noted as the province of an individual’s birth, residency or citizenship. Upon their choice or decision, it may be an independent state with self-governance or governed by an authority, or an area that follows the rules and regulations of another area or simply an association of individuals.

Comparison Table Between Nation and Country

Parameters of ComparisonNationCountry
EtymologyIt means a “nacion”- an old French word meaning “place of origin”. It means a “contree”- an old French word meaning “a remote area”.
IdentityIt is commonly recognized as a cluster of individuals who share the same cultures and traditions.It is commonly recognized as a ‘state’ governed by an authority.
StateNot every nation has a state.In the concept of Nation-State, every state has one nation.
ExampleThe Basque people living in Spain. The Russian Federation. 
AlternativeIt can alternatively be used in reference to Sovereign state and Country.In an unsubstantial way, it can alternatively be used in reference to aby particular region or area with no governmental status.

What is Nation?

A nation is a giant cluster of individuals populating a certain area who have a connection based upon common culture and traditions. Nations are anthropically undiversified teams of individuals sharing a customary language, establishment, religion, and/or historical events. Some nations are identified with ethnic masses, and a few are equated with an affiliation with a social and political constitution.

A nation has conjointly been outlined as a cultural-political community that has become aware of its autonomy, unity and explicit interests. In jurisprudence, the nation is that the term for a sovereign state. Some of the nations are sovereign states. Several aren’t.

Some Nations hold a territory yet aren’t sovereign states. Like ”The Indian Nations’Nations’ of different countries formed by the local Indians in that particular state. In some cases, people sharing common histories, cultures, and languages yet, having no territory, like the Sindhi, Yoruba, Rohingya, and Igbo. There are a few states having two nations, such as Canada and Belgium.

The term has derived its name from the word “nacion”, which means “place of origin” in the old French language. The term is also casually utilized by many for referring to a Sovereign state or a country.

What is Country?

The word ”Country” has its origin from an Old French word ”contrée”. It is assumed that the term was not included in the English language until the 11 century, amid the Norman Invasions of England. Often, a country may refer to both a sovereign state and distinct political entity or else refers solely to states. It is not inherently sovereign.

 Once a sovereign state is encircled by a nation of individuals, it’s known as a nation-state. History, language, ethnicity, and culture are shared by the people residing within nation-states. For instance: Iceland and Japan– Identical ancestry and culture is shared by the overwhelming majority of individuals born in these nation-states. 

A country is also otherwise referred to as a sovereign state. There is a wide variety to the degree of self-governance of countries that are not sovereign. Few are property of sovereign states, whereas the rest of them are incorporation of a union of smaller policies, thought of countries similar to the U K comprising England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Countries generally have two names, a protocol name and a geographical name or short name. Both the names are full, formal, official. Example: Protocol name- The Republic of India, Geographical name- India.

Main Differences Between Nation and Country

  1. The term Nation has derived from “nacion”, and the term Country has derived from “contree”.
  2. The nation is commonly recognized as a cluster of individuals who share the same cultures and traditions, whereas a Country is a ”state” governed by an authority.
  3. Not every nation has a state. On the contrary, every state has one nation in a Nation-state.
  4. An example of a Nation is the Basque people living in Spain, and The Russian Federation is an example of a country.
  5. The nation can be an alternative for Sovereign state and Country. The country is alternately used in an unsubstantial political manner in reference to any particular region or area without governmental status.
Difference Between Nation and Country


The words’ words’ nation” and ”country” are interchangeably used in everyday usage. In addition, the terms many other similar words and terms with distinctive meaning intend to blur the variations. However, a better look can reveal the distinction between a country and a nation.

At the same time, being a part of a country, people who are culturally connected also determine themselves as a nation. Several Native American masses are recognized as nations; For instance- the Cherokee Nation. However, they are ultimately adherent of the State or country. The uppercase ”S” in the ”US” is employed while pointing to the US representing State. And, ”s” in ”Us” is employed while pointing states that are subsidiaries of a country, such as Florida, Ohio and so on.


  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1474474014539248
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