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 Southeast Asian countries
There are few countries with a high degree of similarity with Thailand. They are tropical countries located in Southeast Asia. They generally have mix of Indian and Chinese influences to varying degrees.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Thailand
- Cambodia and Thailand were part of the Khmer Empire before the kingdom declined. Their people have relatively similar demographics and culture. In addition, both countries are constitutional monarchies and have similar laws. However, Cambodia is poorer and less developed than Thailand.
- Vietnam is another Asian country bordering the South China Sea that is similar to Thailand. The countries have a similar standard of living. In addition, both have a tropical climate and beautiful beaches. However, Vietnam’s culture and government is more similar to China than Thailand.
- Laos shares a lot of cultural similarity with Thailand, since their languages are mutually intelligible, their alphabets are very similar, and they practice Theravada Buddhism. However, Laos is poorer and its infrastructure is less developed. In addition, it is landlocked and more mountainous than Thailand.
- Malaysia is by far the most similar country to Thailand in regards to technology. Both countries mostly use gas to create electricity. In addition, their power grids are connected. Their transportation is also similar, since both countries drive on the left and use meter-gauge railroad tracks. However, Malaysia is a Muslim country, unlike Thailand.
- Myanmar borders Thailand to the west. In the 1500’s, both countries were part of the Toungoo Empire. Later, it became part of British India, before becoming independent after World War II. Therefore, Myanmar is more influenced by India than the rest of Southeast Asia.
- Sri Lanka, 7. Indonesia, 8. Philippines, 9. China, 10. Taiwan
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Thailand
- Iceland is a well developed but sparsely populated country. Not only are their demographics and culture quite different from Thailand, but also their geography. Iceland’s climate is much colder and hardly any of their land is used for agriculture.
- Somalia, is on the opposite end of the spectrum. Its infrastructure is poor and its government is extremely conservative. In addition, although both countries border the Indian Ocean, its climate is much dryer than Thailand.
- Niger‘s demographics are very different from Thailand. The country has the youngest population in the world, in contrast to Thailand. It also has one of the highest birthrates in the world, while Thailand has one of the lowest birthrates in Asia.
- Chad is a similar country to Niger, located to its east. It is a landlocked, sparsely populated country in the Sahara Desert, with very little infrastructure. There really isn’t much Thailand and Chad have in common in demographics, culture, politics, technology or geography.
- Eritrea is another country on this list in Africa, which is not at all like Japan. It has a conservative totalitarian one-party dictatorship and poorly developed infrastructure. In addition, its dry desert climate contrasts Thailand’s tropical forest landscape.
- United States, 7. Canada, 8. South Sudan, 9. Yemen, 10. Mauritania
Do you agree with the list?
Please leave any thoughts in the comments section.