Difference Between Head Of State and President


Main Difference

Head of state and president are two type of official designation, which shows how much power and authority rests with each designation. Both are the main leader of a state and represents the country at international level as well. Do not make mistake by treating them equal person. In this article you will come to know what are the differences that exists between head of state and president.

What is Head Of State?

Head of state is a government official person who is considered as the highest ranked person in a sovereign state according to respective constitution. He basically performs ceremonial type of duties. For example representing his country in a an international general meeting or in an event. In past king and sultan were considered as the head of state. In list of official persons of a country he ranked at top position in the list. In many countries of the world his designation is just considered as a symbol to represent as the leader of the country while in some countries he officially performs some duties and responsibilities according to constitution.


What is President?

President is also an official leader of a republic, democratic or dictatorial country. Besides using world for leader of a country it is also used to represent the big gun of any department. For example chief executive, chairman or chancellor are also considered as a president of their organization. In many countries president is a common title for head of state. The word president was first time used during Commonwealth of England after removing the word monarchy for Council of State.

Key Differences

  1. Head of state is a general term, which is used to show that in a specific country who is the most powerful person according to its constitution. Head of state can be a president or prime minister. In US, president is considered as the head of state while in Asian countries prime minister is believed a head of state. While designation of president relates to a specific person.
  2. Head of state has more authority than president. In some counties president nature is just symbolic until its constitution provides him all power of decision making.
  3. In some kingdom or dictatorial countries post of head of state and president are often held by a same person.
  4. Head of state is just used for the formal highest ranked person of a government while president is used informally as well to represent the chairman or chief executive of an organization.
  5. More of the political functions, duties or legislation are performed by head of state either he is a president or prime minister. While the power of president can be limited according to constitution.
  6. If head of state is prime minister than most of the head of the federal department like National Finance Commission and other national level designation, without any political elected minister, are appointed by president.
Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson