Difference Wiki

Citizen vs. Inhabitant: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Published on January 14, 2024
A citizen is a legally recognized member of a country with certain rights and responsibilities, while an inhabitant is simply someone who lives in a particular place, without implications of legal status.

Key Differences

A citizen is legally recognized by a country, often through birth, naturalization, or descent, and has specific legal rights and responsibilities, such as voting and paying taxes. An inhabitant, on the other hand, is anyone who resides in a particular place, regardless of their legal status or citizenship in that location.
Citizens have specific rights granted by their country, like voting, running for office, and protection by the country's laws and government. Inhabitants, in contrast, might not have these specific rights, especially if they are not citizens of the place where they live.
Citizenship is typically a long-term or permanent status, reflecting a lasting relationship with a country. Being an inhabitant can be temporary or permanent and does not necessarily imply a long-term commitment to the place of residence.
In a global context, citizenship is crucial for international travel and legal status in foreign countries. Inhabitants, however, are defined by their physical presence in a location and may not enjoy international recognition or protection.
Citizens are often expected to participate in the social and political life of their country, such as through voting or jury service. Inhabitants, while they may be active in their community, are not necessarily involved in such civic duties.

Comparison Chart

Legal Status

Legally recognized member of a country
Simply resides in a place

Rights and Duties

Has specific rights and responsibilities
May not have specific legal rights

Duration of Status

Typically long-term or permanent
Can be temporary or permanent

Global Recognition

Important for international travel and status
Limited to physical presence

Civic Participation

Expected to participate in civic duties
No implied civic involvement

Citizen and Inhabitant Definitions


A citizen is an individual entitled to the rights and protections of their country.
As a citizen, she was eligible for jury duty.


An inhabitant is someone occupying a space or region.
As an inhabitant of the island, she loved the sea.


A citizen is someone who participates in the democratic processes of their country.
The citizen campaigned for environmental policies.


An inhabitant is a dweller in a specified place, regardless of legal status.
The cave's inhabitant was a hermit.


A citizen is entitled to receive services and protections from their government.
The citizen applied for a passport at the consulate.


An inhabitant is a person who lives in a particular place.
The inhabitant knew all the local shops.


A citizen is a legal member of a country with certain rights and duties.
The citizen voted in the national election.


An inhabitant is a local resident of a town, city, or area.
The inhabitant attended the town hall meeting.


A citizen is a person who identifies with a specific nation-state legally and culturally.
The citizen celebrated their national heritage.


An inhabitant is a member of a community or neighborhood.
The inhabitant volunteered at the community garden.


A person owing loyalty to and entitled by birth or naturalization to the protection of a state or nation.


One that inhabits a place, especially as a permanent resident
The inhabitants of a fishing village.
Snakes, lizards, and other inhabitants of the desert.


A resident of a city or town, especially one entitled to vote and enjoy other privileges there.


How does one become a citizen?

Citizenship can be obtained by birth, naturalization, or descent.

What is an inhabitant?

An inhabitant is someone who lives in a particular place.

Do citizens have voting rights?

Yes, citizens usually have the right to vote in their country.

Can an inhabitant be a foreigner?

Yes, an inhabitant can be a local or a foreign resident.

Are inhabitants subject to local laws?

Yes, inhabitants must abide by the laws of the place they live in.

Are citizens protected abroad?

Citizens often have protection and assistance from their country when abroad.

What defines a citizen?

A citizen is a legally recognized member of a country with specific rights and duties.

What responsibilities do citizens have?

Citizens often have duties like paying taxes and jury service.

Are all inhabitants also citizens?

No, not all inhabitants are citizens of the place they reside in.

Can an inhabitant vote?

Inhabitants can only vote if they are also citizens of that place.

Can citizenship be revoked?

In some cases, citizenship can be revoked under specific legal circumstances.

Do inhabitants have social security benefits?

Social security benefits are usually reserved for citizens or legal residents.

Can a citizen lose their right to vote?

Under certain legal conditions, a citizen might lose their voting rights.

Do inhabitants pay taxes?

Inhabitants pay taxes if they earn income or own property in that place.

Are inhabitants part of the local community?

Inhabitants are generally considered part of the local community.

Do citizens have a passport?

Citizens are typically eligible for a passport from their country.

Can an inhabitant own property?

Inhabitants can own property, but laws vary by country.

Does an inhabitant have a permanent residence?

Inhabitants can have either temporary or permanent residence.

Are citizens required to serve in the military?

Some countries require citizens to serve in the military.

Can a non-citizen become a citizen?

Non-citizens can become citizens through processes like naturalization.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons