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 Mostly White, English-Speaking Countries
The 5 of the top 6 countries most similar to New Zealand have all been part of the United Kingdom at one time or another so they share similar traits. These countries are composed of a majority White and English-speaking population. They are also predominately Christian nations that have well developed infrastructure. Besides English speaking countries, Scandinavian countries are the most similar to New Zealand.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to New Zealand
- Australia is by far the most similar country to New Zealand. Australia even asked New Zealand to be one of its states when it was formed. Both are former British colonies with similar politics and culture. However, its climate is much drier and has hotter temperatures. In addition, New Zealand is much more mountainous.
- United Kingdom originally founded New Zealand, so it is no wonder that they are high on this list as well. In fact of all the former British colonies, New Zealand is the most similar. Although it is on the opposite side of the world, it has significant geographical similarities to Britain since it is also an island with a temperate climate.
- Ireland also has similar culture and demographics to New Zealand in part because of its high degree of similarity to Britain. However, unlike other English speaking countries on this list, Ireland is mostly Catholic. Furthermore, the Irish are more outgoing than Kiwis, who are generally more reserved.
- Canada is another former British colony similar to New Zealand. They also share similar politics and culture. Both countries are sparsely populated and have relatively little agricultural land. In addition, both are highly urbanized. However, Canada has adopted some American traits, like driving on the right side and playing baseball, instead of driving on the left and playing cricket.
- Norway also makes this list just ahead of the United States. Its socially liberal policies are more similar to New Zealand than the US. In addition, New Zealand’s physical geography bears some likeness to Norway, since it is another sparsely populated mountainous country with lots of coastline and fjords. Both countries are also mostly powered by hydroelectricity.
- United States, 7. Iceland, 8. Sweden, 9. Denmark, 10. Netherlands
Top 10 Places Least Similar to New Zealand
- Somalia is by far the least similar country to New Zealand. In fact, New Zealand and Somalia are one of the least similar pairs of countries in the world. This is because Somalia is an anarchic, Muslim country with poorly developed infrastructure. In addition, its politics are very conservative, in contrast to New Zealand.
- Yemen is across the Gulf of Aden from Somalia. It is another anarchic Muslim country that is and very conservative. Unlike other countries in the Arabian Peninsula, its infrastructure is not well developed.
- Mauritania is located in the Sahara Desert. It is similar to Somalia and Yemen, since it is another relatively impoverished conservative Muslim country.
- Eritrea is a totalitarian one-party dictatorship and has poorly developed infrastructure, in contrast to New Zealand. However, it is the only country in the top 5 that has a majority Christian population.
- Niger is is a relatively flat, landlocked African country. Its demographics are quite different from New Zealand, since it is the youngest country in the world and has an extremely high birth rate.
- Chad, 7. Sudan, 8. Burundi, 9. Mali, 10. Afghanistan
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to New Zealand
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