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. 20% of the index is based on demographics. 20% of a country’s demographic score (4% of the overall Country Similarity Index score) is allocated for the ancestry of the people in a country. Ancestry includes two major components: their racial group and parental lineage.
Race is a highly controversial subject and there is no exact way to fully categorize it, but it would be negligent not to include it in this analysis. For the purposes of this exercise, four major conventional racial groups based on genetic clustering were included:
East Eurasians include both East Asian people and Native American people, while West Eurasians are generally from Europe and the Middle East. Australo-Melanesians include Native Australians and Melanesians. Despite some superficial similarities in appearance to Sub-Saharan Africans, they are actually the least genetically similar of any two major racial groups. In addition, some racial groups blur the boundaries between these major racial groups to varying degrees. These include:
Central Asians (East Eurasian-West Eurasian)
Polynesians (East Eurasian-Australo-Melanesian)
Indians (West Eurasian-Australo-Melanesian)
Hamites (West Eurasian-Sub-Saharan African)
Malagasy (East Eurasian-Sub-Saharan African)
Central Asians are Turkic people that have a mix of East and West Eurasian attributes, due to their central location between Europe and Asia. They are most heavily concentrated in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Kyrgyzstan.
Polynesians are concentrated on islands in the Pacific Ocean. They have a mix of East Eurasian and Australo-Melanesian attributes, as a result of people originating in East Asia migrating through Melanesia.
Indians are primarily located on the Indian subcontinent. There is great controversy about the correct racial classification of Indians. Gene clustering suggests Indians have traits of both West Eurasian and Australo-Melanesian people. However, there is a wide range of genetic difference even within Indian itself.
Hamites are generally in countries where West Eurasian people interacted heavily with Sub-Saharan African people. They are most heavily concentrated on the Horn of Africa.
Finally, the people in Madagascar are another unique group. They have a mix of East Eurasian and Sub-Saharan African attributes, since some East Asians migrated to the African island around 500 AD.
Furthermore, the broad definition of the four major racial groups does not fully take into account the wide variance of appearance and lineage of people within these groups. Therefore the following sub-groups were also included:
Native Americans (East Eurasian sub-group)
North Europeans (West Eurasian sub-group)
Native Australians (Australo-Melanesian sub-group)
Paleo Africans (Sub-Saharan African sub-group)
Rough diagram of the major racial groups and related sub-groups:
The Dienekes’ Anthropology Blog was the main source of the data:
Racial groups do not form a complete picture of the wide variation and nuances of lineages, so it is necessary to also consider the unique haplogroups of a country’s population. For example, in Latin America, the paternal lineage of most people originates in Europe, since many European males migrated to Latin America and fathered children with Native American women. Therefore, despite their paternal ancestry, far fewer Latin Americans can trace their maternal lineage to Europe. Another example is that Y-chromosome DNA shows people from Finland have their paternal origins in Siberia, unlike other European nations. For paternal lineage, Y-chromosome DNA was compared between countries. For maternal lineage, Mitochondrial DNA was compared between countries.
The Atlas of Genetic Genealogy was the source of the data for paternal lineage:
For maternal lineage there is not one single comprehensive location for the information (if you know a single website with the Mitochondrial DNA percentages of every country please comment on this article), but a bulk of it is located at Eupedia:
Obviously there is no one clear way to determine how similar one country is to another. How would you quantify how similar one country is to another?
Please leave any thoughts in the comments section.