20+ Difference Between Ethnicity And Nationality

The overall population of the globe is approximately 8 billion, and it comprises people who belong to various groups, cultures, nations, races, and so on.

A person’s place of origin, nationality, and ethnicity makes it possible to determine with relative ease the nation or ethnic group to which that individual belongs. 

Simply put, a person’s national identity may be determined by looking at where they were born, which is why the term “nationality” is used. On the other hand, a person’s ethnicity is a reflection of both their cultural identity and their ancestral identity.

The term “ethnicity” refers to a person’s membership in a particular social group, whereas “nationality” is the phrase that is used to define which nation a person belongs to.

Comparison between Ethnicity And Nationality

MeaningRefers to a group of individuals who identify with one another on the basis of shared ancestry, culture, nationality, and social experience.Refers to one’s birthplace or current nation of residence.
ClassificationLanguage, religion, culture, race, etc.Whether by birth or by inheritance.
ExamplesPashtun, English, Scottish, American Indian, Welsh, etc.Americans, Germans, Russians, Nigerians, British, Greeks, etc.

Major Differences Between Ethnicity And Nationality

What exactly is ethnicity?

Depending on the culture in which a person lives, ethnicity might be viewed as a person’s inherited status. Attributes such as physical or social similarity are considered to be characteristics of one’s subgroup.

Ethnicity, in other terms, is a person’s ethnic identity based on their ancestry. The term “descent-based qualities” refers to attributes that may be traced back to a person’s ancestry, such as genetics and cultural inheritance.

The term “ethnic group” refers to a collection of people who identify as belonging to a certain ethnic group because of their shared cultural, racial, or ethnic history.

There are a lot of similarities between members of this group in terms of their shared history, language (or dialect), culture (or lack thereof), religion (or lack thereof), physical appearance (or lack thereof), and so on.

Ethnicity Key Differences

  1. A person’s ethnicity is the basis for their ethnic identity, which is based on the characteristics of their descent and the cultural inheritance they have received.
  2. How a person speaks, the culture they come from, the foods they eat, how they dress, their race, and their physical appearance.
  3. Other factors like physical appearance can also be used to infer their ethnicity.
  4. A person’s heritage and lineage make up their ethnicity, a condition of being.
  5. Whereas a person’s ethnicity is formed from their ancestral ethnic background.

What exactly is nationality?

The status that results from a person’s nationality is called their “nationality.” It’s a characteristic of a person’s uniqueness that comes from being a citizen of a particular country.

To put it another way, nationality refers to the collective identity of a big group of people who have a legal and emotional attachment to a particular location as a result of their birth.

Individuals who are lawful citizens of a particular country can be identified by their nationality on this document. 

In order to become a citizen, one must meet certain requirements, which are laid down in nationality legislation. It is possible, however, to obtain it through a combination of naturalization and inheritance.

It grants the state power over the individual and ensures the individual’s safety by providing them with governmental protection. The state’s and its citizens’ rights and powers may differ depending on the country. As a result, patriotism and self-sacrifice are derived from it.

Nationality Key Differences

  • On the other hand, a person’s nationality is a sign of their connection to the country as a whole. 
  • This is referred to as the individual’s nationality.
  • In contrast, a person’s nationality can be established based on the country they originally hail from.
  • On the other hand, nationality refers to a person’s legal identity and can only be bestowed on someone born in the country in question.
  • Geographical location is the most important factor in determining nationality.

Contrast Between Ethnicity And Nationality

What it shows

  • Ethnicity- Your racial identity can be deduced from your ethnicity.
  • Nationality- Your nationality might refer to the country of your birth or the country in which you currently reside.

Geographical Origin

  • Ethnicity- A group of people who have the same cultural and geographical background are said to be of the same ethnicity. They adhere to the same cultural customs and practices as the Jews do. They originated in the same region and carried on many of the same customs from that time.
  • Nationality- Your citizenship and hence your nationality comes from the country in which you were born. You might have been born in that country, or you might have immigrated there and achieved citizenship by abiding by the laws of that particular nation. Either way, you’re eligible for citizenship in that country.

What influences it

  • Ethnicity- It can be influenced by language, religion, or culture.
  • Nationality- It can be influenced by the geographical origin of a person.


  • Ethnicity- White, Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander.
  • Nationality- American, Indian, British, French, German.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the importance of one’s nationality?

The fulfillment of other fundamental human rights is impossible without the right to one’s own national identity.

The diplomatic protection of the country of nationality, as well as the legal or practical requirements for the exercise of fundamental rights, are typically tied to nationality.

What are international laws?

The laws and principles that govern the relationships and dealings of nations with one another, as well as the relationships between governments and persons and the relationships between international organizations, are collectively referred to as international law.

Who writes international laws?

It is the consensus of all states that determines what constitutes international law. This consensus can be reached by international practice or through the signing of treaties.

These kinds of practices and agreements may include two countries, or they may involve a large number of countries.

What is the United Nations?

The United Nations (UN) is a global body that has been around since its founding in 1945.

The United Nations Organization (UN) is currently comprised of 193 Member States, and its work is directed by the aims and principles outlined in the Charter that established it.

Over the course of its history, the United Nations has undergone various reforms in order to remain relevant in an ever-evolving globe.

Q5. What is the purpose of the United Nations?

The United Nations was established to preserve international peace and security, foster amicable relations among nations, achieve international cooperation in the process of finding solutions to global issues, and serve as a focal point for harmonizing the activities of nations in the service of these shared goals.

Q6. What is meant by racism?

Physical characteristics are used to classify people into different races. Therefore, racism can be defined as the act of discriminating against a person or group of people based on race and the state of being prejudiced towards such individuals or groups.

The conviction that one’s own race is superior to other races or gives one an advantage over those of other races is another form of racism.

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