Which Countries are Most Similar to the United Kingdom?

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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 Ireland and countries bordering the North Sea

The top 5 countries most similar to the U.K. are all in close proximity to it. In general, these countries speak Germanic languages. In addition, they all have parliamentary forms of government. Although, Australia and New Zealand have especially similar demographics and culture to the U.K, their geography is highly dissimilar in part because they are located on the opposite side of the globe and are much more sparsely populated.  

Top 10 Places Most Similar to the United Kingdom

  1. Ireland was part of the United Kingdom for over 100 years. It wasn’t until 1922 that it got its independence. The countries have similar culture, technology, and geography. The biggest difference between Ireland and the United Kingdom is religion. The Irish are Catholic and more religious.
  2. Netherlands is just across the North Sea from the U.K. Both countries had considerable seafaring ability with their merchants establishing trading posts in distant locations. Both countries are Christian, but not particularly religious. In addition, over 90% of Dutch can speak English. 
  3. Denmark is also located to the east of the U.K., across the North Sea. The Danes ruled a large part of England for over 100 years, so it is no wonder Denmark is high on this list. Denmark’s relatively flat land, extensive coastlines, and similar agriculture, make its landscape quite similar to the U.K as well. Furthermore, both countries are constitutional democracies with similar governmental policies.
  4. Germany is another Germanic country on this list that is similar to the U.K. Their people have a similar linear-active personalty and their climate and landscape are alike. Although Germany no longer has a monarch, the British royal family has German roots. Queen Victoria was actually German and it was her native language.
  5. Belgium is the only country in the top 5 which has a significant amount of its people speaking a non-Germanic language. Belgium’s energy production is similar to U.K., since they both have a mix of gas, nuclear, biomass, and wind power plants. Both countries are constitutional monarchies and in fact the royal family of Belgium is closely related to United Kingdom’s. In addition, while Belgium is mostly Catholic, like the U.K., it is not especially religious.
  6. Luxembourg, 7. Norway, 8. Sweden, 9. New Zealand, 10. Australia

Top 10 Places Least Similar to the United Kingdom

  1. Somalia is located in Africa across the Gulf of Aden from Yemen. It is an anarchic, Muslim country with poorly developed infrastructure. In contrast to the U.K., it has a hot desert landscape.
  2. Eritrea is the only country on this list with a majority Christian population, however it is Oriental Orthodox and much more religious than the UK. Its government has been a dictatorship for almost 20 years.
  3. Yemen is a conservative Muslim country that, unlike other countries on the Arabian Peninsula, has little development of infrastructure. It is located on the Red Sea across from Eritrea. 
  4. Chad is another landlocked Muslim country in the Sahara Desert that has little development of its infrastructure. Although Chad has some European influence, its colonizers were French.
  5. Niger is a similar country to Chad located to its west. The country has the youngest population in the world, in stark contrast to the U.K., which is much older. It also has one of the highest birthrates in the world, while U.K. has one of the lowest.
  6. Sudan, 7. Mali, 8. Laos, 9. Mauritania, 10. Central African Republic

Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to the United Kingdom

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

19 Comments

  1. Interesting to see that the UK is more similar to other European countries than to us, Canada, Australia or New Zealand. Can you please make one of these maps for Israel?

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    1. Belgium is the only country in the top 5 which does not have a majority of its people speaking a Germanic language… [Think/check again pls]

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      1. hey mattias,
        i agree about the germanic language, but it’s still not english not english. in addition to that the Governmenial systems in those countries (canada, australia, new zeland) is more similar to the one in the UK.

        sorry for my bad english.

        Like

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