Which Countries are Most Similar to Ireland?

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 Great Britain and the wealthiest countries in the Eurozone

The countries most similar to Ireland are other countries that speak Germanic languages, but also have a significant percentage of Catholics (except for the UK). Ireland, unlike UK is part of the European Union and uses the Euro.

Top 10 Places Most Similar to Ireland

  1. United Kingdom ruled Ireland for over 100 years. It wasn’t until 1922 that it got its independence. The countries have similar culture, technology, and geography. The biggest difference between Ireland and the United Kingdom is religion. The Irish are Catholic and more religious.
  2. Netherlands might seem like a surprising choice to be on this list, since Ireland used to be much poorer and much more religious than the Netherlands. However in the last 20 years, the situation has changed dramatically. Ireland is now one of the richest countries in the world and has become far less conservative. It even had an openly gay head of government, Leo Varadkar. In addition, Ireland and the Netherlands are both low-lying and have a lot of wetlands. However, the Netherlands is much more densely populated. Both countries primarily rely on natural gas for power, but are rapidly installing more wind turbines.
  3. Belgium is the closest mostly Catholic country, although it is less religious than Ireland. Like the Netherlands and Ireland, it is part of the EU. However, their agriculture is different since most of Ireland’s fields are devoted to producing barley. In addition, Belgium does not have much coastline.
  4. Luxembourg is another mostly Catholic country between Belgium, France, and Germany. Luxembourg is the richest country in the European Union, while Ireland is the second richest. One big difference is that Luxembourg is landlocked, but the countries do have a similar climate.
  5. Germany has similar geography, culture, and demographics to Ireland. Both countries love to drink beer and have a similar diet consisting of potatoes and wheat. In addition, they both have bicameral multi-party parliamentary governments without a monarch.
  6. France, 7. Denmark, 8. Austria, 9. Sweden, 10. Norway

Top 10 Places Least Similar to Ireland

  1. Eritrea is an extremely dry country located between Sudan and the Red Sea. Although it has a majority Christian population, it is Oriental Orthodox. Its government has been a dictatorship for almost 20 years and is much less liberal than Ireland.
  2. Somalia is another African country that is far different from Ireland. It is located across the Gulf of Aden from Yemen. It is an anarchic, Muslim country with poorly developed infrastructure. Its climate is much drier than Ireland.
  3. Sudan is an impoverished Muslim country in the Sahara Desert. It is a war torn nation that recently lost some territory to the newly formed country of South Sudan.
  4. Yemen is a conservative Muslim country that, unlike other countries on the Arabian Peninsula, has little development of infrastructure. It is located on the Red Sea across from Eritrea. 
  5. Chad is another landlocked Muslim country in the Sahara Desert that has little development of its infrastructure. Although Chad has some European influence, its colonizers were French.
  6. Laos, 7. Niger, 8. Mauritania, 9. Ethiopia, 10. Afghanistan

Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Ireland

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


  1. No i dont agree with this list. Most of Irish people that i have met of course resemble other-especially celtic and to a much lower extend english- brits, but they are nothing like Germans and little like Dutch. On the other hand, by mentality they are much more familiar to southern Europeans than most of people think


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