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A country, a land, or a state, is a geographical area and an independent political entity with its own government, administration, laws, often a constitution, police, military, tax rules, and people. Some countries are nation states – for example, France or Israel. In these nation states one particular nation is dominant. Other states, such as the People's Republic of China, Spain or the United Kingdom contain several nations (or, at least, some parts of the population call themselves a nation), in spite of some of them considering themselves as nation states.

Sometimes, parts of states with a distinct history or culture are called "lands" or "countries": England, Scotland and Wales – the three nations on the island of Great Britain – are sometimes called countries, even though they are administrative components of the State of the United Kingdom.

The terms country, nation, state and land are often used as synonyms, but in a more strict usage they are distinguished:

Some countries consist of non-contiguous parts (an exclave), separated by land of one or more other countries.

See also

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Country is also a short form for