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 objective 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 India, Bangladesh, and Thailand
There are few countries with a high degree of similarity with Sri Lanka. It is most similar to India, but it also shares similar geography and culture with Southwest Asian countries, especially Thailand. Although both Bhutan and Sri Lanka are mostly Buddhist, their schools of Buddhism are different. Furthermore, Bhutan’s landscape is vastly different since it is landlocked and extremely mountainous.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Sri Lanka
- India is by far the most similar country to Sri Lanka. A majority of the population descended from Northern India and they have deep demographic and cultural ties. Both countries love to play cricket, but have little success in the Olympics. However, there are some big differences as well since the majority of Sri Lankans practice Buddhism, not Hinduism. In addition, its climate is hotter and wetter than India.
- Thailand began practicing Theravada Buddhism after Sinhalese monks converted them in the 13th Century. Both countries produce a lot of rice and their cuisine is similar. In addition, their writing systems both descended from the Grantha script, although their languages are completely different. Another big difference is that Thai people have East Asian ancestry, unlike Sri Lanka.
- Bangladesh is another country similar to India. Both countries are not well developed. Like Thailand and Sri Lanka, they primarily grow rice and eat fish. However, Bangladesh is Muslim. In addition, its population is much denser.
- Myanmar is like Thailand, except less developed. There is far more poverty and subsistence farming there. Unlike other countries in the top 5 it does not drive on the right. It also uses a narrower gauge for its railroad tracks.
- Indonesia is another tropical island country that borders the Indian Ocean. Their governments are also similar since they both are flawed democracies where the rule of law is relatively low. However its demographics differ significantly from Sri Lanka since a majority of its people have East Asian ancestry and are also Muslims.
- Philippines, 7. Mauritius, 8. Pakistan, 9. Nepal, 10. Cambodia
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Sri Lanka
- Switzerland is one of the wealthiest and most developed countries in the world, in contrast to Sri Lanka. Switzerland’s geography is also quite different, being a landlocked country with a temperate climate.
- Iceland is a well developed, sparsely populated country. Not only are their people and culture quite different from Sri Lanka, but also their politics. Iceland is much more liberal than Sri Lanka.
- Finland is a flat and sparsely populated country with many freshwater lakes. Like Iceland and Switzerland, it is much more liberal than Sri Lanka. In addition, while Sri Lanka is one of the most religious countries in the world, more than 50% of people in Finland don’t practice religion.
- Canada was also a colony of Britain, but its culture, demographics, and technology are quite different. In addition, it is an extremely cold and sparsely populated country with a highly urbanized population, which starkly contrasts Sri Lanka’s dense but rural population.
- United States was another former colony of Britain, but they also quite different in almost every aspect. Sri Lanka’s diet heavy in fish and rice is unlike the United States. In addition, its technology is completely different, since it uses Type A,B outlets with a different voltage, drives on the right, and uses standard railroad gauge.
- Sweden, 7. Norway, 8. Germany, 9. Belgium, 10. Luxembourg
Do you agree with the list?
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