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 objective 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 France are all countries in the European Union. In fact, there are many countries similar to France 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 France
- Belgium is by far the most similar country to France. It is just to its north and even has been part of France in the past. They are mostly Catholic and furthermore approximately half of the country speaks French natively.
- Italy is to the southeast of France. Both countries speak Romance languages and have a majority Catholic population. However, Italians tend to be more religious. Furthermore, their climate is much warmer and their landscape is more mountainous.
- Germany‘s geography is more similar to France than any other country. In addition while Germany has more Protestants, both have a small Muslim minority coming from recent immigration. Both countries have a high percentage of atheists as well.
- Luxembourg had been under French control between 1686 to 1815, when it was given autonomy during the Congress of Vienna. Like France, it is mostly Catholic. In addition, French is one of its official languages along with German and Luxembourgish.
- Spain is to the southwest of France. It is the only other country in Europe, other than France to border both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Both countries have a majority Catholic population and speak Romance languages. However, Spain’s climate is warmer and dryer. Furthermore, its landscape has more scrubland and less forests than France.
- Slovenia, 7. Netherlands, 8. Portugal, 9. Austria, 10. Poland
Top 10 Places Least Similar to France
- Somalia is an anarchic, Muslim country with poorly developed infrastructure. Its tropical desert landscape contrasts France’s temperate forests.
- Yemen is located in Africa across the Gulf of Aden from Somalia. It is is a conservative Muslim country that, unlike other countries on the Arabian Peninsula, is poorly developed due to civil war, in contrast to France.
- Bangladesh is another extremely hot and wet country. The country is also much poorer and less technologically advanced than France.
- Eritrea is located on the Red Sea across from Yemen. Its government has been a dictatorship for almost 20 years. The country has little infrastructure, unlike France.
- Papua New Guinea is one of the hottest and wettest countries in the world, in contrast to the France’s temperate climate. Its people have little in common demographically or culturally with France. Furthermore, although its people are mostly Christians, they are generally Protestants.
- Sudan, 7. Cambodia, 8. Bhutan, 9. Laos, 10. South Sudan
As correctly predicted by the index, a vast majority of people voted for Belgium as the most similar country to France. No other country has a strong argument.