Difference Between State and Government


Main Difference

The main difference between State and Government is that State is perpetual, whereas Government is transitory.

State vs. Government

The state is defined as a unit of jurisdiction in the international legal system. In contrast, the government is defined as an exclusive and intimidating organization for making decisions and making sure to implement them wisely. The states are considered to be the nonphysical persons of international law. On the flip side, governments are considered as organizations of people.

The state is referred to as an institution that is held accountable for the continuous progression of diverse governments. Conversely, the government is taken as a representative or an authorized agency of the state, which refers to all communal establishments and governmental branches.


The state is a large organization consisting of four major elements, including population, government, territory, and sovereignty. On the flip side, the government is the only part of this extensive organization having three significant elements, including the legislature, judiciary, and execution.

The whole population is reflected as members of the state, excluding the foreigners who visit the state for multiple reasons. Conversely, few members of the state are members of the government. A state is not described as a physical entity, whereas a government has physical existence. A state cannot be seen, while a government can be seen through its divisions, constitutions, parliament, judiciary, and executive.

A state grants its rights to its citizens. Conversely, a government makes sure to protect those rights of citizens granted by the state. The presence of a state is territory limited. On the flip side, the government can function efficiently without territories.


Comparison Chart

A geographic entity that revels in sovereignty is called state.An organization that formulates articulates, and imposes the law of a state is called government.
Essential Elements
Four, including population, government, territory, and sovereigntyThree, including the legislature, judiciary, and execution
Entire populationMembers of state
Physical Existence
No physical existencePossess physical existence
Entity Nature
Citizens Rights
Grants rights to citizensProtects the rights of citizens
Territory dependentTerritory independent

What is State?

A state is defined as a political body. An association of people or other entities, which have assembled for shared profit is called a state. A state is more than a government. It holds its unique structures of the contemporary state, with its all-embracing rule of law, citizenship right, and wide financial and communal accountabilities.

A state is defined as a set of rules over a sovereign territory. It is associated with an executive, a democracy, a law court, and other foundations. A state can impose taxes and can operate a military and police force.

States exist in a wide range of sizes ranging from as large as China and as small as Andorra. A state is comprised of four significant elements that hold vital importance in the existence of a state. These elements include the permanent population, territory, government, and sovereignty.

A state can be described as an organic concept where the government is just a constituent of it. The government is considered to be a mediator of state. Therefore, the state is referred to as the mastermind, which controls the performance of the government. The state is more or less permanent.

Changing governments or the death of the ruler does not impact on the sovereignty of the state. Various political parties keep replacing each other, which does not impart any fundamental change in the structure of the state. The state comprises all the population. Every citizen has his rights given by the state and protected by the government.

What is Government?

Government is a contracted concept, and it is a constituent of state. The state is the master, while the government is the slave. The government controls all the activities by the rules set by the state under the action of law. The government has a physical existence, and its lifespan is temporary.

A government keeps changing, but the state remains intact. Replacement of one government with another government does not alter the fundamental structure of the state. A government is made up of individuals that are also members of the state. A government has no sovereignty, with powers that are limited and delegated.

The government can only possess the powers that are delegated by the state through its constitution. A government may pledge mistakes, but a state cannot be indulged in mistakes. The citizens can go against the government, but they cannot strive against the state.

The government consists of three principal organs, including the legislature, judiciary, and execution. Legislature’s part is to make the laws of the state, the responsibility of the judiciary is to articulate and interpret the laws of the state, and the executive branch of the government executes and implements the laws of the state.

Besides membership of state’s members, people from the population can also be the members of the government by passing through the competitive exams, drills, and selections. A government has the dexterity to function efficiently without territory. There are many types and forms of government through which a state can be regulated.

Key Differences

  1. The state consists of four significant elements, including population, government, territory, and sovereignty, that are essential for the establishment of a state. On the flip side, a government has three major organs, including the legislature, judiciary, and execution.
  2. State functions are to enroll the tasks to government and scrutinize its efficiency, whereas a government functions to formulate the state laws, their interpretation, and implementation through its various divisions.
  3. All the citizens of a state are its members. On the contrary, a government comprises few members from the state members who have passed the competitive exams, training, elections, and education.
  4. All the members of the state are not members of the government; on the other hand, all the members of the government are members of the state.
  5. State’s membership does not necessarily need a title. On the flip side, the government’s membership is bestowed with a title within different branches like a judge, public prosecutor, MNA, MPA, chief minister, prime minister, president, chairman, etc.
  6. The authority of a state is absolute and unlimited. In contrast, the authority of a government is imperfect and limited.
  7. A state is an abstract entity and does not possess physical existence. On the other hand, a government is a physical entity that possesses physical existence.
  8. A state cannot be seen and can never act, whereas a government can be seen through its branches or organizations, legislature, judiciary, and execution.
  9. A state provides suitable rights to its citizens. On the flip side, a government is held responsible for ensuring the safety of these rights of citizens.
  10. The existence of a state is territory dependent. Conversely, a government can be established and function optimally without any territory.
  11. The state is a permanent organization, whereas the government is a temporary and fleeting entity.


A state is a permanent territory with absolute sovereignty, whereas a government is a constituent of a state that protects its territory with its legislature, judiciary, and execution divisions.

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