First, there are two types of “states.”
One is a division of a country, as in the 50 states of the United States.
The other kind of state is any country.
By definition, a country must occupy a space with internationally recognized boundaries, and it must be a self-governing political entity, among other things.
A nation, however, is slightly different. It is defined as a tightly knit group of people who share a common language, institutions, religion, and historical experience.
Most countries are nation-states, including the United States, Germany, and France, for example.
Canada, though, is one state with two nations, the British and the French cultures.
A nation can exist without having a state or a country.
One example is the Palestinians. Palestine is not an independent country, although the Palestinian people would like to have their own state.
Another example is the Basque nation in southwestern Europe.
For longer than anyone knows, the Basque people have lived in the western foothills of the Pyrenees mountains, the border area of France and Spain.
Today, most of the more than 2 million Basques live in Spain. For years, many Basques have wanted to form their own country, separate from Spain and France.
The Basque language, called Euskera, is one of the most mysterious and oldest on earth, it is not related to any other known language.
Genetic studies of the Basque people have shown that they are not related to any other European peoples.