Which Countries are Most Similar to the United States?

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Have you ever wondered how similar or different two countries are? The Country Similarity Index attempts to quantify how similar countries are to each other relative to other countries. The index is a statistically-based way to measure this. The index weights equally five major aspects of countries: their demographics, culture, politics, technology, and geography. In addition each aspect was roughly balanced evenly between quantity/percentage and quality/type. See this post for a full explanation: https://objectivelists.home.blog/2020/05/30/country-similarity-index/

Most Similar to Predominately White, English-Speaking Countries

Relatively few countries are similar to the United States. The top 5 countries most similar t have all been part of the British Empire at one time or another so they share similar traits. As a result, all of these countries are composed of a majority White and English-speaking population. In addition, they are predominately Christian nations, which have common law legal systems, and potable tap water. 

Top 10 Places Most Similar to the United States

  1. Canada is by far the most similar country to the United States. This is in part because they are both originally British colonies. However Canada retained more characteristics of Britain than the United States since it became independent much later. Still, the United States has had a great influence on Canada due to its close proximity. In fact, they share the longest border between any two countries in the world. Both countries drive on the right, use standard gauge railroad tracks, and Type A,B electrical outlets with the same voltage.
  2. Australia is another former British colony characterized by a large European immigrant population. Like the United States, their people are more extroverted than other other predominately White, English-speaking countries. However, like Canada, it became independent from Britain much later. In addition, it is on the opposite side of the earth so its geography is significantly different. Still, a significant portion of both countries is desert, although Australia has a greater percentage.
  3. United Kingdom originally founded the United States, so it is no wonder that they are high on this list as well. More Americans trace their ancestry back to Britain than any other country. However its government and geography differ from the United States. It is much more densely populated and is not as mountainous. Still, the forests of Great Britain do bear a strong resemblance to Eastern United States, while the landscape of the Western United States is significantly different.
  4. New Zealand is yet another former British colony whose culture and demographics are also similar to the US. However, like Australia, it is on the opposite side of the planet, so its geography is significantly different. Its technology is also significantly different since it drives on the left, uses 3’6″ gauge railroad tracks, and Type I electrical outlets with a higher voltage.
  5. Ireland also has similar culture and demographics to the United States in part because of its similarity to Britain, but also because 10% of the United States population claims to have Irish ancestry. It is also the only country on this list that has an popularly elected head of state, like the United States, not the Queen of England. However, unlike other English speaking countries on this list, Ireland is mostly Catholic, although they are both relatively religious compared to other predominately White, English-speaking countries.
  6. Germany, 7. France, 8. Austria, 9. Norway, 10. Netherlands

Top 10 Places Least Similar to the United States

  1. Somalia is an anarchic country in Africa with war torn infrastructure. It is by far the least similar country to the United States. Since it is also a conservative Muslim country, its politics are much less liberal. Furthermore, it is mostly desert with vastly different flora and fauna from the United States.
  2. Eritrea is another country in Africa, close to Somalia, which has a totalitarian one-party dictatorship and poorly developed infrastructure. Although its population is mostly Christian, they are part of the Oriental Orthodox denomination. Linguistically, Eritrea has no similarity as well since they speak Afroasiatic languages and use the Ge’ez script.
  3. Cambodia is the least similar country to the United States outside of Africa. The countries have very different cultures as Cambodians are Buddhist and are generally good listeners and compromisers in contrast to Americans. In addition, the country’s infrastructure isn’t well developed. 
  4. Sudan is an impoverished Muslim country in the Sahara Desert. It is a war torn nation that recently lost some territory to the newly formed country of South Sudan. Although English is technically one of its official languages, Arabic is the country’s lingua franca.
  5. Bangladesh is another Asian country with little similarity to the United States. It is a densely populated, poor Muslim country with a tropical monsoon climate. It drives on the left, predominately has a meter wide railroad track gauge, and also uses different electrical outlets and voltage.
  6. Bhutan, 7. Chad, 8. Laos, 9. Yemen, 10. Niger

    Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to the United States

As correctly predicted by the index, a vast majority of people voted for Canada as the most similar country to the United States. No other country has a true argument.

Interested in how the individual states compare to each other?

 State Similarity Rating

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