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
The top 5 countries most similar to the United States have all been part of the United Kingdom 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
- 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.
- Australia is another former British colony characterized by a large European immigrant population. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. However, unlike other English speaking countries on this list, Ireland is mostly Catholic.
- Germany, 7. France, 8. Austria, 9. Norway, 10. Netherlands
Top 10 Places Least Similar to the United States
- 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.
- Eritrea is another country in Africa, close to Somalia, which has a totalitarian one-party dictatorship and poorly developed infrastructure.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.