Which Countries are Most Similar to Kazakhstan?


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 former republics of the USSR

It’s no surprise that the most similar countries to Kazakhstan were all once part of the USSR. The top 4 are all have a majority Muslim population and also speak Turkic languages. Kazakhstan is also the most similar country to Russia of all the Central Asian countries. It is really a hybrid state comprised of both Russian and Turkic influences.

Top 10 Places Most Similar to Kazakhstan

  1. Uzbekistan is another Turkic Central Asian country that had been part of the Soviet Union. Both countries have serious political similarities as well since they are both one-party states with presidents who regularly receive over 90% of the vote in elections. However, Uzbekistan has far less Russians.  
  2. Kyrgyzstan‘s language has a high degree of mutual intelligibility with Kazakh. In addition, both countries cultures have been significantly influenced by Russia. However, Kyrgyzstan differs from Kazakhstan in two significant ways. It is a democracy, not an authoritarian regime. Furthermore, it is much more mountainous.
  3. Turkmenistan is highly similar to both Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, especially politically, demographically, and culturally. Turkmenistan is generally more isolated from the rest of the world however as the government banned all satellite dishes in the country. It is one of the few countries in the world that still has an analog TV broadcasting standard. 
  4. Azerbaijan is another country on this list that borders the Caspian Sea. Although Azerbaijan is not technically a Central Asian country, it is also Muslim and speaks a Turkic language like Kazakhstan. Both countries are considered to be authoritarian regimes as well. However, Azerbaijan is mostly Shi’ites. In addition, Azerbaijan is primarily powered by natural gas, instead of coal.
  5. Russia had ruled Kazakhstan for over 100 years. Both countries still maintain significant economic and military ties. The biggest difference between Russia and Kazakhstan is the ethnicity of its people. Kazakhs are Turkic people who practice Islam. However, there still are a large amount of Russians living in Kazakhstan, although their numbers have been steadily dwindling. Russia still uses Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to launch all its spacecraft.
  6. Belarus, 7. Tajikistan, 8. Ukraine, 9. Mongolia, 10. Armenia

Top 10 Places Least Similar to Kazakhstan

  1. Papua New Guinea is one of the hottest and wettest countries in the world.  Its people have little in common demographically or culturally with Kazakhstan. It is also one of the least developed countries in the world. 
  2. Solomon Islands is another country similar to Papua New Guinea in the Pacific Ocean. The islands need to import all their energy in the form of oil, while Kazakhstan relies on domestically produced coal. In addition, it is a parliamentary democracy that has many different parties, in stark contrast to Kazakhstan.
  3. Malawi is the only non-island country on this list. In fact, it is landlocked just like Kazakhstan. However, the similarities end there. Malawi is a multi-party democracy with a majority Christian population. In addition, it is one of the poorest countries in the world.
  4. Samoa is tropical island nation on the opposite side of the world. It has a population density is ten times greater than Kazakhstan. Like Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands it is a multi-party parliamentary democracy and part of the Commonwealth realm.
  5. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Its geography and level of development are not at all similar to Kazakhstan. However, unlike other countries on this list, it is not British influenced, since it was originally a French colony.
  6. Jamaica, 7. Sierra Leone, 8. East Timor, 9. Burundi, 10. Somalia

    Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Kazakhstan

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


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