A nation state is a state in which a great majority shares the same culture and is conscious of it. The nation state is an ideal in which cultural boundaries match up with political boundaries. According to one definition, "a nation state is a sovereign state of which most of its subjects are united also by factors which defined a nation such as language or common descent." It is a more precise concept than "country", since a country does not need to have a predominant ethnic group.
A nation, in the sense of a common ethnicity, may include a diaspora or refugees who live outside the nation state; some nations of this sense do not have a state where that ethnicity predominates. In a more general sense, a nation state is simply a large, politically sovereign country or administrative territory. A nation state may be contrasted with:
This article mainly discusses the more specific definition of a nation-state as a typically sovereign country dominated by a particular ethnicity.