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 other Latin American countries, especially Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua
There are many countries with a high degree of similarity with Guatemala. Latin American countries are especially similar to Guatemala since they are generally Catholic, speak Romance languages, and have similar governments. People in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua can move freely between their countries since there are no checkpoints at their shared borders.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Guatemala
- Honduras and Guatemala are extremely similar. Although both are mostly Catholic, they also have around 40% Protestants (among the highest in Latin America). The two countries have a similar diet, since they eat a lot of corn and their preferred meat is chicken. Both are extremely mountainous and have a similar climate. However, Guatemala has a greater Mayan influence and also has more Native Americans.
- El Salvador borders both Honduras and Guatemala. El Salvador is especially similar politically to Honduras. They both recognize Catholicism in their constitution, but are secular. In addition, both are among the most conservative Latin American countries since they do not allow gay marriage or abortion. El Salvador’s agriculture is similar to Guatemala as well since they grow mostly corn, but also coffee, sugar, and beans. Both their railroads uniquely use 3-foot gauge tracks.
- Nicaragua is also quite similar to Guatemala, even though they do not border each other. Although their geographies are still quite similar, Nicaragua has far more freshwater, since Lake Nicaragua is the second largest lake in Latin America, after Lake Titicaca. It is also poorer and has less developed infrastructure than Guatemala.
- Ecuador is the only non-Central American country in the top 5. Both countries are extremely mountainous. Furthermore, both have a significant Native American population. However, unlike Guatemala, there is little corn in their diet. In addition, Ecuador has far fewer Protestants.
- Costa Rica is yet another Central American country in the top 5. However, Costa Rica is more developed and wealthier. Its population is older and has far fewer farmers. Furthermore, there is a higher degree of rule of law in Costa Rica than Guatemala.
- Panama, 7. Mexico, 8. Dominican Republic, 9. Colombia, 10. Peru
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Guatemala
- Japan has little demographic, technological, or cultural similarity to Guatemala. Their transportation infrastructure is especially different, since Japan drives on the left and has far more vehicles. In addition, Guatemala does not have passenger rail service and uses a different rail road gauge than Japan. The biggest similarity is that both countries are located on Ring of Fire, so they have many active volcanos and earthquakes. They also both use Type A, B electrical outlets.
- Qatar is a small Arabian country. It is a peninsula in the Persian Gulf, connected to Saudi Arabia. It has one of the highest GDPs per capita in the world in contrast to Guatemala. In addition, its climate is much drier and its terrain is quite flat.
- Bahrain is located next to Qatar. It is a small densely populated island in the Persian Gulf. Bahrain is highly developed and urbanized, in contrast to Guatemala.
- Kuwait is yet another country on this list that borders the Persian Gulf. It is located between Iraq and Saudi Arabia. It is a wealthy, developed, and highly urbanized country.
- Australia is the only Christian country on this list. While it also has a mix of Catholics and Protestants, it is much less religious. Australia’s sparsely populated, relatively flat, desert landscape contrasts Guatemala’s geography.
- United Arab Emirates, 7. Finland, 8. Israel 9. United Kingdom, 10. South Korea
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Guatemala
Do you agree with the list?
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