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Native vs. Domicile: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on December 15, 2023
Native refers to the place where a person is born or originates, while domicile is the legal residence where a person chooses to live and is recognized for legal purposes.

Key Differences

Native pertains to one's place of birth or origin, often shaping cultural and personal identity. Domicile refers to a chosen or legal place of residence, which may change and may not align with one's native place.
Native status often has no legal implications but is a matter of identity. Domicile, however, has legal significance, affecting one's legal rights, taxation, and civic responsibilities.
Native status is fixed and doesn’t change, while domicile can change depending on where one decides to live and establish their life.
Native place usually influences cultural heritage and personal background. Domicile is more about administrative and legal aspects of residence.
Being native to a place often carries emotional and cultural connections. Domicile is a practical concept, focusing on current living arrangements and legal residency.

Comparison Chart


Place of birth or origin.
Legal residence or place of living.


Fixed and based on birth.
Can change based on choice and circumstances.

Legal Significance

Generally none, relates to identity.
Significant for legal rights, taxes, etc.

Cultural Connection

Strong cultural and identity ties.
May or may not have cultural significance.


Personal and historical relevance.
Practical and legal relevance.

Native and Domicile Definitions


Belonging to a place by birth.
She is native to Brazil, born and raised in Rio de Janeiro.


A place where a person has their permanent primary residence.
His domicile is now in Canada, although he was born in India.


Designed for or built into a particular system or environment.
The app runs in a native mode on the operating system.


The place where a company is legally registered.
The company's domicile is in Delaware, a common choice for businesses.


Pertaining to one's origin or beginnings.
Her native language is Spanish.


A legal residence, where one is registered for tax purposes.
She changed her domicile for tax benefits.


Indigenous or originating naturally in a particular place.
The kangaroo is native to Australia.


A place of residence established by choice and with an intent to remain.
They chose a new domicile closer to the city for work.


Innate or inherent in one's character.
His native kindness made him well-liked.


A dwelling place or home.
After years abroad, he returned to his family domicile.


Being such by birth or origin
A native Scot.


A residence; a home.


Being a member of the original inhabitants of a particular place.


One's legal residence.


What is a native country?

It's the country where a person was born or originates from.

Is native status important for cultural identity?

Yes, native status often influences one's cultural identity and heritage.

How is domicile determined?

Domicile is determined by where a person establishes their primary residence and intends to remain.

Can domicile affect one’s legal responsibilities?

Yes, domicile determines legal responsibilities like taxation and jury duty.

How do governments use the concept of domicile?

Governments use domicile for legal purposes like voting, legal jurisdiction, and taxation.

Can domicile be temporary?

No, domicile implies a permanent and primary residence.

Can a person’s native country change?

No, a native country is fixed based on birth and doesn't change.

Is one's birthplace always their native place?

Yes, in terms of geographical origin, the birthplace is considered the native place.

What happens to domicile if one moves to another country?

The domicile can change if one establishes a primary residence and intends to stay in the new country.

Does native language imply the language spoken in one’s birthplace?

Typically, yes, it’s the language learned from birth in one's native place.

How does being native to a place impact personal identity?

It can significantly shape one's cultural background, values, and personal history.

Does changing domicile require legal action?

Yes, it often involves legal steps like registering with local authorities or changing address records.

Is domicile important for business registration?

Yes, the domicile of a business determines its legal obligations and jurisdiction.

Does being native to a place require citizenship?

Not necessarily; one can be native to a place without holding citizenship there.

Can a person have multiple domiciles?

Legally, a person usually has only one primary domicile at a time.

Can native plants and animals be found elsewhere?

While they can exist elsewhere, they are indigenous to their native region.

Do native species always thrive in their original environment?

Generally, yes, as they are adapted to their native environment, but changes can impact their survival.

How does one prove their domicile?

Through legal documents like a driver’s license, voter registration, or tax records.

Can native traditions influence modern culture?

Yes, native traditions often have a lasting impact on cultural practices and beliefs.

Is changing domicile common?

It's common for people who move for work, study, or personal reasons.
About Author
Written 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.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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