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Difference Between Ethnicity and Nationality

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Main Difference

The main difference between Ethnicity and Nationality is that Ethnicity reveals a person’s ancestral and cultural identity, whereas Nationality is the national identity of a person.

Ethnicity vs. Nationality

Ethnicity means ‘cultural’ description of an individual, while nationality means ‘legal’ description of an individual. Ethnicity is generally a grouping of many individuals who share the same legacy and are based on language, race, or culture, whereas nationality usually refers to the place or a country from which a person belongs to naturalization or by birth.

Ethnicity can be traced through genetic tests because it shares a mutual genetic and cultural origin; on the other hand, nationality is just citizenship of a country that a person has and have zero cultural and genetic links.

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In ethnicity, people are closely linked to each other by their blood and DNA and normally share the same haplogroups; on the contrary, no links are usually present in nationality. Some basis of identification for ethnicity are culture, race, religion, language, etc.; on the flip side, the basis of identification of nationality are birth, inheritance, and citizenship of a country.

Ethnicity represents ancestry and heritage; on the other hand, nationality represents the legal status. The basic background for ethnicity is that it arises from an Ethnic background; on the other hand, the basic background for nationality is that it arises from a Geographical location.

An example of ethnicity can be in India, the population is a mixture of many people belonging to many ethnic groups like Punjabi, Bengali, Rajasthani, Assamese, Bihari, Marathi, etc.; on the flip side, some examples of nationality are American, British, Indian, South African, Canadian, Mexican, etc.

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Comparison Chart

EthnicityNationality
Ethnicity is the cultural background someone had and as well as having the culture of ancestors.Nationality is the country from which a person holds a passport.
Meaning
Cultural descriptionLegal description
Refers To
A grouping of many individuals who share the same legacyRefers to the place or a country from which a person belongs to naturalization or by birth
Traced By
Genetic tests because it shares a mutual genetic and cultural originCitizenship of a country that a person has and has zero cultural and genetic links
Linked
By their blood and DNA and normally share the same haplogroupsNo links are usually present
Basis of Identification
Culture, race, religion, language, etcBirth, inheritance, and citizenship of a country
Represents
Ancestry and heritageLegal status
Arises From
Ethnic backgroundGeographical location
Example
In India, the population is a mixture of many people belonging to many ethnic groups like Punjabi, Bengali, Rajasthani, Assamese, Bihari, and Marathi, etc.American, British, Indian, South African, Canadian, Mexican, etc

What is Ethnicity?

The word ethnicity can be defined as the inherited or cultural eminence which resides inside an individual. Ethnicity is the position of belonging to a specific subgroup of a population that shares the same physical and social features.

In other words, ethnicity is a person’s ethnic identity that is associated with heritage-based characteristics. The heritage-based characteristics are generally the traits that are acquired and have a historical and cultural basis.

An ethnic group in ethnicity is the grouping of people who deliberated themselves as distinct groups as compared to others based on some social, ancestral, and national descent. People present in ethnic groups share a common history, culture, behavior, religion, physical presence, and many other aspects such as geographical association such as beliefs, dressing style, etc.

In an ethnic group, the people are closely related to blood and genetic codes and can be traced through genetic tests because they share a mutual genetic and cultural origin. Ethnicity is all about cultures just as if a human is born in a specific culture and life and then transfers into a different culture.

He will slowly adapt to that new culture and eventually become part of that ethnicity, and certainly, his children will eventually start their life in that culture where they will be born. Normally, the ethnicity contains much less connection with the country where a person was born or get raised and is now residing but can be changed by acculturation.

Some change in religion or conversion of religion, or many times the adaptation of the different and novel language. A person’s ethnicity always based on inherited characteristics, which are usually apprehended by that person.

The categorization of ethnicity can be into the following groups: ethnolinguistic, ethnoracial, ethnonational, ethnoreligious, and ethnoregional. Sometimes the ethnicity consists of many following identities, such as French-Canadian in Canada, the African-American in the United States, and the Kongo in Africa.

The basic background for ethnicity is that it originates from Ethnic background. The example of ethnicity includes, as in India, the population is a mixture of many people belonging to many ethnic groups like Punjabi, Bengali, Rajasthani, Assamese, Bihari, Marathi, etc.

What is Nationality?

The definition of the term nationality is the evolving eminence from the super fact of the origin of an individual’s nation. Nationality is considered as the trait of the individuality of a person as a result of the membership/citizenship in a nation.

In other words, nationality can be the characteristics or identification of a large group of people having a strong connection, which is legal and strong allegiance to a particular place where they are born. Nationality usually tells about the country where the individual belongs and also tells that the individual is a legal citizen of that country/nation.

In nationality, the nationality law of a specific country contracts with its provision and sets some rules and conditions for having the nationality of that country. But sometimes, nationality can be obtained from the country by birth, naturalization, and inheritance.

The nationality law gives the state authority over the person and advises the person, protection of the state. The nationals, rights, and powers that a country has may vary from country to country. Nationality has a psychological basis and thus gives the chance for patriotism and self-sacrifice.

Nationality usually does not always assure the right to participate in some political procedures of the country. The feelings often result in patriotism and nationalism when identifying with nationality. The basic background for nationality is that it arises from Geographical location

In nationality, if someone becomes a citizen of another country, he/she will remain the citizen and have the nationality of the older country. Nationality is the piece of paper that describes that this person is a citizen of a specific country.

But it doesn’t matter if someone doesn’t have anything in common with the local people or someone just got citizenship just for business, then it basically means that he can work, live and do everything like residing folks of the specific country. Some examples of nationality in the following identities are Indian, British, Canadian, American, Nigerian, Mexican, etc.

Key Differences

  1. Ethnicity reflects the ethnic identity of a person; on the other hand, nationality is the citizenship or individual’s relationship with the specific nation.
  2. The basis of ethnicity is on ancestry traits and cultural legacy; on the contrary, the baisi of nationality includes birth and inheritance.
  3. A person’s ethnicity can be associated with food habits, language, dressing style, race, physical appearance, culture, many things; on the flip side, a person’s nationality can be associated with the origin of a country in which the individual is living.
  4. The state which describes the heritage and the ancestry of an individual is the ethnicity, whereas nationality is deliberated only to a specific person who is born in that specific country, and it is the legal identity.
  5. Ethnicity usually arises from an ethnic background of a person; on the other hand, controlling a person’s nationality depends on the geographical location.
  6. From genetic tests, ethnicity can be found because it usually shares a mutual genetic and cultural background; on the other hand, nationality has zero cultural and genetic links, and it is just citizenship of a country that a person has.
  7. People are closely connected in ethnicity by their blood and genetic codes and normally share the same haplogroups; on the contrary, no connections belong to the nationality.

Conclusion

From the above discussion, we can conclude that ethnicity is a person’s inherited or cultural identity from where its ties belong, whereas nationality is the place where a person is born.

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