White vs Caucasian: Difference and Comparison

Million of years ago, human life began on this earth. An ape-like creature started to walk on two legs like a human being, and then human beings developed into what we are now.

They spread into different parts of the world, leading to different races. White and Caucasian are two different races, in which most people get confused and use them interchangeably many times.

Key Takeaways

  1. White refers to a person with light skin color, while Caucasian is a term used to describe people of European, Middle Eastern, and North African ancestry.
  2. White is a racial classification, while Caucasian is an ethnic classification.
  3. White is a broader term that includes people from different ethnicities, while Caucasian is more specific and refers to people from a particular geographic region.

White vs Caucasian

The term White is used to referring to White people and ethnic groups with lighter skin color. Caucasian represents a larger group of people with a greater variation in skin tone, including lighter and darker tones. Caucasians are distinguished based on physical appearance. It is avoided due to racist concerns.

White vs Caucasian

The term “White” in this context is related to race. It was originated in the 17th century to denote people with lighter skin tones.


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It mainly consists of a person of European origin, but its definition keeps changing from place to place and person to person. About 20% of the world population belongs to the white population.

The term “Caucasian” is also related to race. It was first introduced in 1780 for the people who biologically belong to the taxon.

It mainly includes people from Western Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, Europe, North Africa, and the Horn of Africa. In some places, the Caucasus term is also used as a synonym for white people.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonWhiteCaucasian
Definition It is a type of race that mainly includes people of European origin.It is also a type of race that includes people of different Asian and African regions.
ColorPeople belonging to this group have a lighter skin tone.People belonging to this group have different skin tones.
OriginThis term was originated in the 17th century.This term was originated in the 19th century.
Classification It is mainly classified due to the skin color of the people.It is classified due to different features of the human body like color, skull shape, etc.
Composition It is mainly combined of people of European, Irish, or British origin.It is combined of people from different regions of Asia, Africa, and Europe.

What is White?

The term “White” is used for people of European origin.

But it can have different meanings depending upon the context, like any object color, nationality to define a person from which country he belongs, and different points of view of people as some consider only European origin people white, but some also include other people.

Sometimes people from some Asian regions are also considered white by some people.

The main criteria for putting them into this category is their lighter skin tone. It was introduced with the origin of the racialization of slavery during the 17th century.

It was categorized dependent on ancestry, the strain of blood, and physical traits, and later scientific research was also done on it that led to scientific racism. After reaching its peak in scientific racism, this idea was widely rejected by the scientific community.

The definition of the white race kept changing from time to time. Even the official definition in many countries changed regularly.

Amongst all countries, Ireland has the highest percentage of the white population as it has more than 90 percent of white people. With changes in definition and time, these populations also changed.


What is Caucasian?

The term “Caucasian” is also related to race and was introduced in 1780. It mainly includes people who are biologically taxon.

It is one of the major races of humankind, including the population of various regions like Western Asia, Central Asia, North Africa, South Asia, North Africa, Europe, and the Horn of Africa.

Göttingen School of History first used the term Caucasian to denote this major race. In the biological branch of anthropology, by categorizing skeletal anatomy and cranial morphology, the term caucasoid is used for phenothe same groups of different regions without considering skin tone.

Hence, it is not mainly for white skin tone people. It consists of people with a white complexion as well as dark brown color.

In the 20th century, anthropologists started to see the human race from a different perspective; hence the meaning of Caucasian changed with time. In the United States, the term Caucasian has also been used as a synonym for White people.

Many scholars also believe that human life originated around the Caucasus mountains. It is one of the major races alongside negroid and mongoloid. It consists of Aryans, Semitics and Hamitic. Some of the scholars also declared that Dravidian is also under the Caucasian race.


Main Differences Between White and Caucasian

  1. The main difference between White and Caucasians is that White in this context is a type of race that mainly include people of European origin, but Caucasian is a type of race that includes people of different Asian and African region.
  2. The people of the White race have lighter skin tones, whereas the people of the Caucasian group’s skin color range from lighter skin tones to dark brown skin color.
  3. The term White as a type of race was first used in the 17th century. On the other hand, Caucasians came into origin in the late 18th to early 19th century.
  4. The classification basis for white is mainly dealt with the skin color of people, while in Caucasians, many things like skin color, skull shape, etc., are taken under consideration for classification.
  5. The white population mainly consists of Ireland, Britain, and America. On the other hand, Caucasians consist of people from Central Asia, Western Asia, South Asia, North Africa, Europe, and the Horn of Africa region.
Difference Between White and Caucasian
  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/10641963.2011.561897
  2. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s10823-014-9241-x.pdf

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