19 Differences between RBC and WBC (RBC vs WBC)

Differences between RBC and WBC

Differences between RBCs and WBCs

Here are the major differences:

S.N. Characteristics Red Blood Cells (RBCs) White Blood Cells (WBCs)
1. Alternative Name Erythrocytes Leucocytes
2. Origin In 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 Formation Formation of RBCs is called “Erythropoiesis” Formation of WBCs is called “Leucopoiesis”
4. Abundance More 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. Size Smaller than WBC ( 0.008 mm diameter ) Larger than RBC (0.02mm)
6. Shape Biconcave disc-shaped Irregular or round in shape
7. Colour Red cells are pinkish‐brown in color. White cells are colorless.
8. Hemoglobin The complex protein, hemoglobin, is the major constituent of RBCs. Hemoglobin is absent in WBCs.
9. Nucleus The nucleus is absent (anucleate). Present and may be bilobed, irregular or round.
10. Circulatory system Belong to the cardiovascular system Belong to the lymphatic system
11. Types Single 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 Increment Number increases during exercise or when at high altitudes. The infection leads to an increase in the number of WBCs.
13. Life span The average life span of 120 days Life span ranges from 5-21 days.
14. Motility Non-motile but can move through circulation and have the ability to squeeze through small capillaries. Generally motile.
15. Movement Movement is Primarily between the cardiovascular system Between the cardiovascular and lymphatic systems.
16. Movement type Do not leave the blood vessel They can leave blood from capillaries and land in tissues.
17. Rouleaux formation Forms stacks or aggregation called Rouleaux Do not form Rouleaux
18. Related disorders Disorders result in anemia, thalassemia, polycythemia vera, etc. Lymphoma, Leukemia, Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)
19. Function Carry 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/

Differences between RBC and WBC

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