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 Italy and Greece
Israel is one of the most unique countries in the world, so very few countries are similar, since their people have a distinct religion and customs. Only Italy and Greece are even close, but they are still quite different as well. Israel has some traits of countries in both Europe and the Middle East.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Israel
- Italy is another highly developed, Mediterranean country. There is some evidence that a large portion of the Jewish population in Europe originated in Italy. Despite practicing different religions and speaking a vastly different language, the people of both countries do have cultural similarities. Both enjoy soccer and basketball as well. In addition, Italy’s agriculture is like Israel’s since they both grow predominately wheat and olives.
- Greece is another country that does not have the best relationship with Muslim countries in its vicinity. Both countries have unicameral parliaments with similar laws. Their populations also have similar ancestry. However, Greece is not as wealthy. Furthermore, Greece is more successful in sports and founded the Olympics, while Israel only has one Olympic gold medal.
- Belgium is the most similar country outside of the Mediterranean. Similar to Israel, it is a densely populated country with few natural resources. However, both are highly developed and the people are well educated. They also have many immigrants from a variety of backgrounds. According to the Lewis Model, the personality of Belgians and Israelis is alike as well, since they tend to be decisive factual planners that are also outgoing and friendly. One interesting connection is that Belgium and Israel are two of the biggest hubs for the diamond industry.
- Cyprus was also a British controlled territory before it became partitioned between Muslims and another dominant ethnic group, like Israel. However, the technology in Cyprus is significantly different from Israel, since they drive on the left and use Type G electrical outlets, due to greater British influence. Its military is not very advanced either.
- Netherlands is similar to Belgium. It is another densely populated country with many immigrants. Both Israel and the Netherlands rely on a mix of natural gas and coal to create their energy. Furthermore, both countries have a United States military base on their soil. However, Netherlands is much more flat and their climate is wetter and colder.
- Denmark, 7. Germany, 8. Lebanon, 9. Spain, 10. Bulgaria
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Israel
- Papua New Guinea is a tropical Christian country in the Pacific Ocean. In contrast to the dry climate of Israel, it is one of the wettest countries on Earth. While Israel is highly developed, Papua New Guinea has little infrastructure. It drives on the left and uses different electrical outlets.
- Burundi is a landlocked African country that is one of the poorest in the world. Like Papua New Guinea it is also a Christian country that has poorly developed infrastructure.
- Solomon Islands is another tropical Christian country in the Pacific Ocean, like Papua New Guinea. It also has one of the lowest percentages of immigrants in the world. However, most of its population is close to the coastline and it has mountainous terrain, just like Israel.
- South Sudan is one of the world’s newest countries. It is located in Africa, south of the Sahara Desert. Its geography bears little resemblance to Israel, since it is rural, landlocked, and relatively flat.
- Uganda is another poor, landlocked country in Africa. It has a presidential system of government and more conservative laws than Israel. Furthermore, it is rated as one of the most corrupt countries in the world.
- Sierra Leone 7. Democratic Republic of Congo, 8. Laos, 9. Malawi, 10. Mozambique
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Israel
The vote is roughly split equally between Lebanon, Italy, and Greece, with Cyprus also receiving a significant amount of votes. This mirrors how close all these countries scores are to each other. There isn’t a country that is obviously the most similar to Israel. It can be said that Israel is a combination of different aspects of both Lebanon and European countries, especially those in the Mediterranean.