Victoria, as all Paradox games, has its own jargon. Some of the technical terms of the game get quite confusing, as they are interchangeable in some cases and opposites in others. the newest Dev Diary is here to explain the concept of States.
States, as we have previously touched on, are the main political-geographical unit of Victoria 3, where pops live and buildings are built. Before we proceed it will be useful to understand the difference between States and State Regions.
A State is always controlled by a single country and its borders are dynamic, which can change over the course of the game, including being created and destroyed, while State Regions can contain one or several States and have static borders, which are unchanging throughout the game. If a single country owns all provinces within a State Region, there is no practical difference between these concepts. But if more than one country owns provinces within a single State Region, they will each control individual States within it.
For example, the State Region of Rhineland is a predetermined set of provinces on the border of France that in 1836 contains two States: Prussian Rhineland, actually just called Rhineland because it contains more than half the land in the region, and Bavarian Rhineland, called Bavarian Rhineland to distinguish it from the Prussian parts, a concept that is called a Split State.
Over the course of the game, which exact provinces make up the State Region of Rhineland will never change, but the States might. If France was to conquer the Prussian Rhineland, there would of course no longer be a Prussian Rhineland but a French Rhineland, and if Prussia were to conquer the Bavarian Rhineland, the entire State Region would be unified into a single Prussian State.