Difference between Race and Ethnicity

There are a number of terms that people use as synonyms only. However, there are also differences between them, but still the users take them as one and same only. The use of terms Ethnicity and Race also somewhat falls in this category. Not many people know the exact difference between Ethnicity and Race and think that both are the same. The reality is that there is a lot of difference between them, and we will explain that in detail. While Ethnicity is based on social and cultural factors, Race is based on biological factors.


An ethnicity is a group of people who share a common nationality or culture though there may be internal differences. They may also share the same religion or language. It can be broadly classified or narrowly depending on the context. Say for example, in the Indian subcontinent, you can consider everyone as one broad category of Indians. On the other hand, you can also classify them into smaller ethnic groups like Bengali, Tamils, Punjabi, Bihari, etc. Ethnic groups can include people from multiple cultures and background.


The race is also a group of people who share common physical features which are usually a result of genetics. The race is the result of a shared genealogy, and it is slowly losing its importance in the modern world. In today’s world, it is not acceptable to distinguish people based on their skin color or eyes or other facial features.

Nowadays, Race has lost its significance, and it does not matter to which Race you belong to. On the other hand, Ethnicity still has some importance in the modern world. As a person, you can choose the ethnic group you want, but you cannot choose the Race. As ethnicity is a matter of learned behavior and customs, you can choose to adopt a different culture and lead your life.

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