Which Countries are Most Similar to Spain?

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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 other Catholic, Western European countries

Many countries are similar to Spain. The top 5 countries are all in the European Union and have a majority Catholic population. Although most Latin American countries speak Spanish, only Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay are significantly similar. Most Latin America countries are located in sparsely populated rainforests, in contrast to the chaparral landscape of Spain. Furthermore, Latin American countries tend to have a high diversity of ancestries, unlike Spain. It is also wealthier and more developed than all the Latin America countries.

Top 10 Places Most Similar to Spain

  1. Portugal is Spain’s only neighbor on the Iberian Peninsula. They share similar demographics and culture. Both countries have a similar climate and grow many olives. Furthermore, they both use a unique railroad gauge, not used anywhere else in Europe. One difference is that Portugal has a semi-presidential system of government, while Spain is a constitutional monarchy.
  2. Italy is just across the Balearic Sea from Spain. The two countries have similar climate, demographics, and culture. In addition, both are parliamentary multi-party democracies with similar laws. In addition, they share some sporting similarities, since they both have won the World Cup and have also have strong soccer and basketball leagues.
  3. France is the only other country in Europe that borders both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. It has roughly the same population density and pollution. Like Italy and Spain, it is also is strong in soccer. However, France has a more diverse population, since it has more Muslims and Africans. Furthermore, France’s climate is wetter and cooler.
  4. Belgium was once known as Spanish Netherlands, since it was ruled by the Habsburgs for over 100 years. The two countries governments are quite similar since they are both constitutional democracies with similar liberal laws. Unlike Portugal, France, and Italy, Belgians drink more beer than wine, like the Spanish. Still Belgium is more north and significantly denser in population.
  5. Luxembourg is a small country between France, Belgium, and Germany. Like Belgium, it had been ruled by the Habsburgs before. In addition, more than 15% of its population consists of immigrants from Iberia, especially from Portugal. One big difference is Luxembourg much wealthier, having one of the highest GDPs per capita in the world.
  6. Greece, 7. Slovenia, 8. Germany, 9. Austria , 10. Slovakia

Top 10 Places Least Similar to Spain

  1. Somalia is the least similar country to Spain, since it is an anarchic, Muslim country that has poorly developed infrastructure. Its conservative policies contrast Spain’s more liberal society.
  2. Yemen is located on the Arabian Peninsula, across the Gulf of Aden from Somalia. It is another conservative Muslim country that has poorly developed infrastructure. 
  3. Sudan is located in the Sahara Desert, near Somalia and Yemen. It is another impoverished Muslim country. It recently lost some territory to the newly formed country of South Sudan. Its authoritarian government and lack of development make it quite different from Spain.
  4. Eritrea is the only country on this list with a majority Christian population, however the Christians there are part of the unique Oriental Orthodox denomination. Eritrea has one of the world’s most authoritarian governments.
  5. South Sudan is one of the world’s newest countries. It is located in Africa, south of the Sahara Desert. Its geography also bears little resemblance to Spain, since it is rural, landlocked, and relatively flat.
  6. Chad, 7. Mauritania, 8. Bangladesh, 9. Gambia, 10. Niger

Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Spain

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

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