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/
Similar to other Continental West European countries
The top 5 countries most similar to Germany are all countries in the European Union. In fact, there are many countries similar to Germany that don’t make this list, since many European countries are relatively similar. These countries are have a high level of development and their governments also have relatively liberal policies.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Germany
- Netherlands is the most similar country to Germany. Both countries were originally part of the Holy Roman Empire. They both have a mix of Catholics and Protestants but also have a high number of atheists and a minority population of Muslims.
- Austria is extremely similar to Germany too. They also speak German and have similar cultural heritage. However its geography is somewhat different, being an alpine landlocked country with a relatively rural landscape.
- Belgium is another country similar to Germany that was originally part of the Holy Roman Empire. However, unlike Germany and Netherlands, they are mostly Catholic and furthermore approximately half of the country speaks French, a non-Germanic language.
- Luxembourg had been part of the German Confederation before and up until 1919 had also been a member of the German Customs Union. Luxembourg is one of the richest countries in the world and has a high level of development.
- France and Germany were both part of the Frankish Empire in the Middle Ages. Their cultures are more similar than many realize. In addition, except for Southern France, their geographies are extremely similar. The countries grow similar agricultural products and have a similar percentage of arable land. Their density, amount of developed land, and pollution are alike as well.
- Denmark, 7. Switzerland, 8. United Kingdom, 9. Sweden, 10. Czechia
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Germany
- Yemen is a conservative Muslim country that, unlike other countries on the Arabian Peninsula, is poorly developed.
- Somalia is located in Africa across the Gulf of Aden from Yemen. It is an anarchic, Muslim country with poorly developed infrastructure.
- Eritrea is the only country on this list with a majority Christian population. It is located on the Red Sea across from Yemen. Its government has been a dictatorship for almost 20 years.
- Sudan is located in the Sahara Desert. It is another poor Muslim country, like others on this list. It recently lost some territory to the newly formed country of South Sudan.
- Chad is another landlocked Muslim country in the Sahara Desert that has little development of its infrastructure.
- Mauritania, 7. Laos, 8. Niger, 9. Bhutan, 10. Bangladesh
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Germany
A vast majority of people voted for Austria as the most similar country to Germany. This is one of the few instances where this index does not mirror match people’s perceptions. It is safe to assume that this is because Austrians speak German, which is a huge factor for most people. However, looking at all the other aspects besides language, there are definitely more similarities between Germany and the Netherlands than Austria. There are regional differences as well. One can consider Bavaria to be more like Austria, while Northern Germany is more like the Netherlands.