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 Pacific Island nations, especially in Melanesia
Papua New Guinea is quite a unique country, although it does have a few similar similar countries in its vicinity. 4 of the top 5 have English as their official language, although these countries have a wide variety of native languages.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Papua New Guinea
- Solomon Islands is an archipelago to the east of Papua New Guinea. It is another Commonwealth realm nation, which still has the Queen of the United Kingdom as its head of state. Both countries have English as one of their official languages and are predominately Protestant. Their technology is similar as well since both drive on the left and use Type I electrical outlets, like Australia and New Zealand.
- Vanuatu is another Pacific island country, even further to the east than the Solomon Islands. Like Papua New Guinea, it is also inhabited by Melanesian people that are mostly Protestant. However, since it was jointly administered by both Great Britain and France, it has less of a British influence, so it drives on the right and is not a constitutional monarchy.
- Samoa is in Polynesia, unlike Papua New Guinea. However, it still has many similarities due to its shared Anglosphere influence. While Papua New Guinea became a territory of Australia after World War II, Samoa was a territory of New Zealand.
- East Timor is another country that shares a island with Indonesia. Like Papua New Guinea, it is a mix of Austronesian and Melanesian cultures. However, it is a former Portuguese colony that is mostly Catholic. In addition, its rainfall is also significantly less.
- Fiji is also a former British colony in Melanesia. However, Fiji is unique since a large proportion of its population came from India, as indentured workers. It is also far more developed than Papua New Guinea.
- Liberia 7. Madagascar, 8. Tanzania, 9. Zambia, 10. Sierra Leone
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Papua New Guinea
- Israel is a densely populated country in the Mediterranean. In contrast to the dry climate of Israel, Papua New Guinea is one of the wettest countries on Earth. While Papua New Guinea has little infrastructure, Israel is highly developed. It drives on the right and uses different electrical outlets as well.
- Netherlands is one of the world’s most developed countries. It is densely populated and extremely flat, unlike Papua New Guinea’s geography. The countries are very different political as Netherlands is much more liberal. For example, in the Netherlands gay marriage is legal, while in Papua New Guinea same-sex intercourse is criminalized.
- Switzerland is one of the world’s richest countries and has the most millionaires per capita with around 7.5%. In addition, its temperate landlocked geography contrasts Papua New Guinea. Both countries are quite mountainous however.
- Germany actually colonized the northern part of New Guinea before it lost the territory after World War I. However, there is little legacy from that time. The two countries have highly divergent culture, demographics, and politics.
- Qatar is another densely populated country on this list. It is a flat peninsula located in the Persian Gulf, connected to Saudi Arabia. It also has one of the highest GDPs per capita in the world unlike Papua New Guinea.
- Belgium, 7. Denmark, 8. Kuwait, 9. France, 10. United States
Do you agree with the list?
Please leave any thoughts in the comments section.