Which Countries are Most Similar to Russia?


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 former republics of the USSR

It’s no surprise that the most similar countries to Russia were all once part of the USSR. Most were part of the Russian Empire at one time or another as well. This has made these countries have some unique features, which most other countries don’t. For instance, all former USSR countries use the Russian broad gauge for their train tracks. In addition, most still use the same power grid: the IPS/UPS.

Top 10 Places Most Similar to Russia

  1. Belarus was a former member of the Soviet Union and retains more ties to Russia than others. Citizens of both countries can move freely between them and also work. Belarus also has the highest percentage of Russian speakers outside of Russia.
  2. Ukraine had been part of the Russian Empire for over 100 years, even before it became part of the Soviet Union. Their demographics, culture, and technology are all quite similar, even though diplomatic relations between the two countries at this point have broken down significantly.
  3. Kazakhstan, like Ukraine, had been part of the Russian Empire for over 100 years. Both countries still maintain significant economic and military ties. The biggest difference between Russia and Kazakhstan is the ethnicity of its people. Kazakhs are Turkic people who practice Islam. However, there still are a large amount of Russians living in Kazakhstan.
  4. Lithuania is located on the Baltic Sea, next to Belarus. It was once part of the USSR, but is now part of the EU. Both Russia and Lithuania speak Balto-Slavic languages. Furthermore, both have a high ratio of women to men. The biggest difference is that Lithuanians are Catholic, while Russians are Orthodox and less religious. 
  5. Latvia is another member of the EU on this. It is quite similar to the country south of it, Lithuania. However, in general, Latvians are less outgoing than Russians and Lithuanians. In addition, Latvia is a diverse mix of Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox Christians.
  6. Bulgaria, 7. Serbia, 8. Estonia, 9. Slovakia, 10. Romania

Top 10 Places Least Similar to Russia

  1. Somalia is a failed state located in Africa on the Indian Ocean coast. It is conservative Muslim country with poorly developed infrastructure. In contrast to Russia’s subarctic taiga, it is located in a tropical desert.
  2. Papua New Guinea is one of the hottest and wettest countries in the world.  Its people have little in common demographically or culturally with Russia. Furthermore, although its people are Christians, they are generally Protestants, while Russia has a high rate of irreligious people. 
  3. Sierra Leone is an African country on the Atlantic Coast. It was originally created by the British as a place for freed slaves to settle. It is especially different from Russia demographically. Its people are much skinnier and shorter than Russians on average. In addition, it has a high rate of poverty.
  4. Bangladesh is densely populated, hot, and wet, unlike Russia. The country is also much poorer and less technologically advanced.  However, both countries have governments led by leaders who have been in power for more than a decade.
  5. Solomon Islands is another country similar to Papua New Guinea in the Pacific Ocean. Unlike Russia, which has one of the strongest militaries in the world, Solomon Islands doesn’t even have a military. The islands also need to import all their energy in the form of oil, while Russia relies on domestically produced gas.
  6. Malawi, 7. Sudan, 8. Gambia, 9. Yemen, 10. Eritrea

    Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Russia

Do you agree with the list?
Please leave any thoughts in the comments section.


  1. Balto-slavic is just a controversial theory that once these languages used to be connected historically. But they have split up and if you would take a Russian speaker and make him listen to Latvian or Lithuanian they would not understand anything.
    It would make so much more sense to have Serbia instead. And I think Moldova, a country that has moved from it’s USSR past much less than fully democratic EU member states of Latvia and Lithuania.


  2. Serbia and Russia both use cyrilic alphabet, both have ortodox faith, both love soccer, both are not fully-democratic, languages are mutually intelligable.

    Also, Russian language is super similar to Bulgarian. It is as close as it gets. Because of this during the Soviet times Bulgaria was nicknamed as the 16th republic of USSR. Both Bulgaria and Russia have similar GDP, similar wages, both use cyrilic alphabet, both are ortodox. Both sit on the Black sea.


  3. Fuck off. Your article is trash. Your comparison to the least similar countries was quite negative and false . I’ve reported this article and page. I hope it gets taken down spreading false information about African/Muslim countries.


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