RBC vs WBC- Definition and 19 Major Differences

Differences between RBCs and WBCs

RBC vs WBC (Table form)

S.N.CharacteristicsRed Blood Cells (RBCs)White Blood Cells (WBCs)
1.Alternative NameErythrocytesLeucocytes
2.OriginIn the embryonic phase, they are formed in the liver and spleen. However, after birth, they are formed in the red bone marrow.They are formed in red bone marrow,  lymph nodes, spleen, etc
3.Process of FormationFormation of RBCs is called “Erythropoiesis”Formation of WBCs is called “Leucopoiesis”
4.AbundanceMore abundant (4-5 million /mm3) They are the most abundant cell in the blood, accounting for about 40 to 45 percent of its volume.They are much fewer in number than red blood cells, accounting for about 1 percent of blood (8000 /mm3).
5.SizeSmaller than WBC ( 0.008 mm diameter )Larger than RBC (0.02mm)
6.ShapeBiconcave disc-shapedIrregular or round in shape
7.ColourRed cells are pinkish‐brown in color.White cells are colorless.
8.HemoglobinThe complex protein, hemoglobin, is the major constituent of RBCs.Hemoglobin is absent in WBCs.
9.NucleusThe nucleus is absent (anucleate).Present and may be bilobed, irregular or round.
10.Circulatory systemBelong to the cardiovascular systemBelong to the lymphatic system
11.TypesSingle type.In healthy people, there are at least five types of white cells in the circulating blood. White cells are divided into granulocytes, monocytes, and lymphocytes.
12.Number IncrementNumber increases during exercise or when at high altitudes.The infection leads to an increase in the number of WBCs.
13.Life spanThe average life span of 120 daysLife span ranges from 5-21 days.
14.MotilityNon-motile but can move through circulation and have the ability to squeeze through small capillaries.Generally motile.
15.MovementMovement is Primarily between the cardiovascular systemBetween the cardiovascular and lymphatic systems.
16.Movement typeDo not leave the blood vesselThey can leave blood from capillaries and land in tissues.
17.Rouleaux formationForms stacks or aggregation called RouleauxDo not form Rouleaux
18.Related disordersDisorders result in anemia, thalassemia, polycythemia vera, etc.Lymphoma, Leukemia, Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)
19.FunctionCarry respiratory gases- oxygen and carbon dioxide. Also, it contributes to blood viscosity.Phagocytosis and defensive role including antibody production.


  1. https://www.livestrong.com/article/106131-white-blood-cells-functions/
  2. https://www.diffen.com/difference/RBC_vs_WBC
  3. https://theydiffer.com/difference-between-red-and-white-blood-cells/
  4. http://simplebiologyy.blogspot.com/2015/04/table-comparison-between-red-blood-cells-erythrocytes-white-blood-cells-leucocytes-platelets-thrombocytes.html
  5. http://www.hematology.org/Patients/Basics/

About Author

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Sagar Aryal

Sagar Aryal is a microbiologist and a scientific blogger. He attended St. Xavier’s College, Maitighar, Kathmandu, Nepal, to complete his Master of Science in Microbiology. He worked as a Lecturer at St. Xavier’s College, Maitighar, Kathmandu, Nepal, from Feb 2015 to June 2019. After teaching microbiology for more than four years, he joined the Central Department of Microbiology, Tribhuvan University, to pursue his Ph.D. in collaboration with Helmholtz-Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS), Saarbrucken, Germany. He is interested in research on actinobacteria, myxobacteria, and natural products. He has published more than 15 research articles and book chapters in international journals and well-renowned publishers.

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