ministries vs departments


Senior Member
Hello. Do Americans call their parts of the government that deal with a particular area of work "departments" and Brits "ministries"? For example, would Department of Health be an American counterpart to Ministry of Health? Thank you.
  • reno33

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    I can't speak for the UK, but yes, in the US, "departments" are what the British call "ministries."
    However, the situation is much more complicated than that. There are many "agencies" in the US govt that do not come under any "department" but are independent in their own right. For a fuller explanation, see:
    List of federal agencies in the United States - Wikipedia


    Senior Member
    USA - English
    I cannot answer for Britons. Nevertheless, I can tell you that in the United States neither the federal government nor the states uses either the term minister" or "ministry." However, you should also be aware that "Department" is used on the state, local, and municipal level for very different bodies, including agencies that have the same name. For example, there is a United States Department of Transportation, a New York State Department of Transportation, and a New York City Department of Transportation. Some of their duties overlap, and some are entirely different and distinct.


    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Britain has largely moved from Ministry to Department. There are still Ministries of Defence and Justice, but mostly they're the Department for Transport, or whatever. (Health is still the Department of Health.)


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Also keep in mind that there is no crossover between the executive branch and the legislative branch in U.S. government. So the heads of all departments are specifically appointed to those roles and have no connection with the legislative branch and hold no other political offices.
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