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 China and Southwest Asia
Unlike other Southwest Asian countries, Vietnam was more influenced by China than India. It still shares many traits of other Southwest Asian countries, like their climate, agriculture, and economic situation. 4 of the top 5 are part of the ASEAN Free Trade Area.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Vietnam
- China ruled Vietnam several times in history, most recently in 15th Century. So its culture is more similar to China than other Southeast Asian countries. The governments of both countries are totally controlled by the Communist Party. As a result, China and Vietnam have similar religious traditions as well. They both have high rates of atheism but also practice Mahayana Buddhism.
- Laos is another country in Southwest Asia that has a government controlled by the Communist Party. Both countries were part of French Indochina. While both countries have a similar climate, Laos is landlocked, in contrast to Vietnam, where most of the country is close to the coast.
- Thailand is less Western-influenced than Vietnam since it was never colonized. Their diets remain extremely similar as both countries almost exclusively eat rice as their staple food, with a mix of chicken, pork, and fish. The infrastructure in Vietnam and Thailand also has a similar level of development. Their trains both use 1-meter gauge railroad tracks, however Thailand drives on the left.
- Cambodia, like Laos and Vietnam, was part of French Indochina. Vietnamese and Khmer are distantly related, however their writing systems are completely different, since Vietnamese uses the Latin script. Cambodia is also poorer and less developed than Vietnam.
- Philippines is another country that borders the South China Sea. It has a similar climate and level of economic development. Unlike most other East Asian countries, in both Philippines and Vietnam, beer is by far the most common alcoholic drink. Although Vietnam is mostly Buddhist, there is also a small minority of Catholics there.
- Myanmar, 7. Indonesia, 8. North Korea, 9. Taiwan, 10. Malaysia
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Vietnam
- United States is vastly different from Vietnam in all five factors: demographics, culture, politics, technology, and geography. One thing they do share is that they were both European colonies at some point, however Vietnam was colonized by the French, unlike the United States which has a contrasting British influence.
- Iceland is one of the coldest countries in the world. In addition, while Vietnam has a significant military and conscription, Iceland does not even have a military. While there is little in common culturally, both countries do have a significant amount of irreligious people.
- Canada, like the United States, has few traits in common with Vietnam. However, one unique similarity is that according to the Lewis Model, Canadians have the most reactive behavior of all Western countries, while the Vietnamese are the most reactive in the world.
- Australia unlike other countries on this list, is relatively close in distance to Vietnam. They both also have some beautiful beaches, however the similarities largely end there. While Vietnam is mostly rainforest, Australia is mostly desert and has completely different flora and fauna.
- Finland is another highly developed country on this list. Its terrain is also quite different from Vietnam. It is quite flat and has many freshwater lakes. Furthermore, while large Vietnamese cities are full of skyscrapers, Finland does not have any skyscrapers.
- Denmark, 7. Ireland, 8. Norway, 9. Sweden, 10. Switzerland
Do you agree with the list?
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