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Difference between Citizen and Civilian

Difference between Citizen and Civilian

Citizen vs. Civilian

What is Difference between Citizen and Civilian? More often than not, people are confused when using the terms “civil” and “citizen”; which is not at all far-fetched if one takes into account that they sound very similar and both are used to describe the state of a person within the society.

However, although there may be some similarities, it is important to keep in mind that these two words have different meanings and should not always be used in the same contexts.

Difference between Citizen and Civilian

If you have doubts about what is the difference between citizen and civil or just looking for a little more information to complement what you already know, then continue reading, because below we explain everything you need to know around to this interesting topic.


This term denotes a person who is generally accepted as a resident of a country and, therefore, is subject to his government. How the person has acquired citizenship is not taken into account when considering whether or not as a citizen. It can be native or naturalized, that is to say, by birth or by having moved to the country and becoming a citizen.

Basically, anyone who is recognized by the government and authorities as a resident of a country is called a citizen. This recognition guarantees the person that his rights and freedoms will be protected and provided by the government of the country to which he belongs, as well as comply with the duties that the nation imposes on citizens.


On the other hand, the term civilian denotes any person who is not part of the military body or armed forces of a country or nation. It can be said then that any “regular person” is a civilian, as long as he is not an active part of military bodies.

Finally, both the term “civil” and “citizen” are independent of each other. Not all citizens are civilians, but except for tourists and other temporary visitors (who are citizens in their respective countries), all civilians are citizens.

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