I have already tried Google, Oxford Dictionary, etc., but it was all to no end, so as a last resort I've decided to come here and ask this question, as it is personally important that I get an answer to it.

We often hear things like "citizens' rights are..." or "this is a country full of great citizens that...", but what about non-citizens? Is there a word for people who are citizens, residents, non-citizens, non-residents, undocumented immigrants, etc., in the English language? In other words, is there an inclusive word for this sort of thing?

The only word of which I could possibly think that would be acceptable is 'denizen', but does that word operate in a way that I want it to?

  • 3
    inhabitants - or just people Mar 15, 2020 at 18:49
  • The population. But if your sentence begins with "citizens' rights are..." then it might not be valid to use an all-inclusive term. Mar 15, 2020 at 18:51
  • That was just an example of something that I've heard someone say, but I fully agree with you. Mar 15, 2020 at 18:57
  • 2
    "Residents", "inhabitants", and "population" all include non-citizens (including undocumented immigrants) who actually live in a country. But you also asked about non-residents, which would include short-term visitors such as tourists and some business or foreign government people - I don't know of a single unambiguous term that would include both inhabitants and visitors, so if you want to be unambiguously all-inclusive it would be best to spell it out with a few extra words.
    – nnnnnn
    Mar 15, 2020 at 20:46
  • 1
    Denizens has a nice flavor to it: thefreedictionary.com/denizens Mar 15, 2020 at 20:48


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