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 Dominican Republic, Central America, and former French colonies in Africa
Haiti is a unique country. It is located in the Caribbean, but it is the only French speaking country in the area (besides territories like French Guinea and Martinique). Furthermore, it is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. 5 of the top 10 countries most similar to Haiti are located in the Caribbean and Central America, while the other 5 are located in Africa.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Haiti
- Dominican Republic is the only other country on the island of Hispaniola. Haiti actually ruled Dominican Republic for more than 20 years. Both countries are mostly Catholic. However, the countries have significant differences despite their proximity. Dominican Republic speaks Spanish and has a lower percentage of Africans. In addition, it is more developed.
- Nicaragua is the country in Central America most similar to Haiti. After Haiti, Nicaragua is the next poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Both countries have endured devastating natural disasters and political instability. In addition, both had been occupied by the United States in the 20th Century. However, like Dominican Republic, it speaks Spanish and has a lower percentage of Africans.
- Honduras is another country similar to Nicaragua, with natural disasters and political instability. Both Haiti and Honduras were heavily in debt to foreign powers, adding to their woes. The countries also have similar laws. They both prohibit abortion and do not allow gay marriage or polygamy.
- El Salvador is yet another Central American country on this list. El Salvador’s geography is like Haiti since it has an extremely similar climate and terrain. In addition, they have similar percentage of farmland and grow a mix of beans, coffee, corn, and sorghum.
- Togo is the most similar African country to Haiti. Both countries were colonized by the French and have similar demographics and standard of living. They also have a similar climate. A large percentage of the people brought to Haiti to become slaves were from West Africa. Togo and Haiti both have many Catholics but also people that practice Voodoo. One big difference is that in Togo, 20% of the population is Muslim.
- Burundi 7. Guatemala, 8. Central African Republic, 9. Republic of Congo, 10. Ivory Coast
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Haiti
- Japan has little demographic or cultural similarity with Haiti. In addition, its infrastructure is extremely different as Japan drives on the left and has a high number of cars per capita. Japan has some of the busiest railroads in the world, while Haiti doesn’t even have a railroad. However, one big similarity is that they both have Type A,B outlets with a similar voltage.
- Australia has even less similar technology to Haiti than Japan since Australia uses Type I outlets with 230 voltage. In addition, Australia spends much more on military and health care. Furthermore, Australia’s government is more liberal than Haiti.
- Israel is one of the few countries in the world to allow Haitians visa free travel to their country. However, the countries are incredibly different. Israel is much more developed and has a drier climate. It also has a unique culture, due to its religious practices, language, and writing system.
- Qatar is another wealthy country with a dry climate on this list. It is a flat peninsula located in the Persian Gulf, connected to Saudi Arabia. It has one of the highest GDPs per capita in the world in contrast to Haiti.
- Finland‘s geography has little similarity with Haiti, since it is quite cold, relatively flat, and has a lot of freshwater lakes. It also has a much higher standard of living. While Finland is also Christian, it is mostly Protestant and much less religious.
- Kuwait, 7. South Korea, 8. United Arab Emirates, 9. New Zealand, 10. Saudi Arabia
Do you agree with the list?
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