Difference Between Nationality and Race

Nationality vs Race

Nationality and race are two concepts that are used very often by media and journalism. Though the words have totally different meanings, their usage has created doubts in the minds of the readers. Whereas nationality pertains to the country you were born in or are in at present, race is the ethnic group you belong to. While nationality is in your hands up to an extent, it is you race you cannot do anything about. Let us take a closer look at the two concepts.

The piece of land you were born in decides your nationality so if your parents moved to another country just before your birth, you may have a new country for your nationality. You could also choose to make a country your home. Some people leave their home country when they go to another country for higher studies. If they get better employment in that country, they decided to live their and change their nationality.

What is that comes to your mind when you hear the terms white male, black lady, a Caucasian, a Mongoloid, and so on. These are words that have been used to refer to racial affiliations of people around the world though it is a fact that because of living together of different races and also cross marriages between different races, the distinctions between so called races has blurred to a great extent. The word race is used mostly in a negative tone these days to refer to discrimination that is going on in various parts of the world on the basis of color of skin and facial features. The belief that one’s race is superior to others leads people to behave in a certain manner towards others in the society. Who can forget the holocaust during World War II when Jews were systematically annihilated in Nazi Germany? Who can forget how long Nelson Mandela had to fight against racial discrimination in South Africa for apartheid to be rooted away. Even today, when we take pride in so much of development and advancement, discrimination on the basis of race is going on in so called civilized and developed nations.


There are metropolitan cities in many countries that are described as melting pots of races. This is because of the fact that one can get to see scores of ethnic groups and nationalities living in these cities. You may see whites, blacks, Mongoloids, and Caucasians all living in one country and they all have same nationality of the country they are living in. Still, they are treated differently as they belong to different races and have distinct cultural identities.