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 South Korea and Taiwan
Very few countries are similar to Japan. The closest two would be their neighbors, South Korea and Taiwan. They are well developed, democratic East Asian countries that border the North Pacific Ocean. Outside of the countries closest in proximity, Western European countries are the most similar, but still have huge differences as well.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Japan
- South Korea was annexed by Japan in 1910 and was part of Japan until the end of World War II. The demographics and geography of these countries are significantly similar. Both also share similar sports culture, being most interested in baseball and soccer, while also excelling in the Olympics. However, Korea is more westernized. It has a large percentage of Christians. Furthermore, most of their males are circumcised.
- Taiwan was another protectorate of Japan until the end of World War II. Both countries are mountainous islands in the Pacific, although Taiwan is more tropical. While Taiwan doesn’t drive on the left, it does use 3′-6″ railroad tracks and Type A B electricity with 110 voltage.
- China has had a great cultural influence on Japan due to its proximity. Japan initially borrowed its writing system, Kanji, from China. In addition, Mahayana Buddhism came to Japan through China. However, Japan is more developed than China and their languages are completely different.
- United Kingdom is a temperate island nation that is well developed, just like Japan. In addition, both countries drive on the left, have constitutional monarchies, and love to drink tea. However, there are obvious cultural differences between these two countries as well.
- Thailand is less wealthy and developed than Japan, however it does have a few cultural and demographic similarities. Both countries have a significant percentage of Buddhists, although Thailand has more. In addition, the genetics of Japanese and Thai people are also similar. Furthermore, both countries drive on the left and have Type A, B power outlets, although the voltage is different.
- Italy, 7. Germany, 8. Austria, 9. Spain, 10. Netherlands
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Japan
- Somalia is an anarchic, Muslim country in Africa with poorly developed infrastructure. It is a tropical desert in contrast to Japan’s wetter and cooler climate.
- Chad is a landlocked, sparsely populated country in the Sahara Desert, with very little infrastructure. There really isn’t much Japan and Chad have in common in demographics, culture, politics, technology or geography.
- Niger is a similar country to Chad located to its west. The country has the youngest population in the world, in stark contrast to Japan, which has the oldest population in the world. It also has one of the highest birthrates in the world, while Japan has one of the lowest.
- South Sudan is a newly formed African country has little infrastructure. Its geography also bears little resemblance to Japan, since it is rural, landlocked, and relatively flat.
- Eritrea is another country in Africa, close to the others on this list, which is not at all like Japan. It has a conservative totalitarian one-party dictatorship and poorly developed infrastructure.
- Sudan, 7. Burundi, 8. Mali, 9. Yemen, 10. Central African Republic
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Japan
Do you agree with the list?
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