Which Countries are Most Similar to Bhutan?

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 Nepal and Myanmar

There are very few countries with a high degree of similarity with Bhutan. This is because its culture and geography are extremely different from most other countries. It is a mixture of Indian and East Asian influences. Only Nepal has a significant degree of similarity. While Bhutan is highly similar to Tibet, it is not like the rest of China, especially in regards to politics and technology.

Top 10 Places Most Similar to Bhutan

  1. Nepal is by far the most similar country to Bhutan. It is another landlocked country in the Himalayas that has little development. Both countries are highly influenced by their larger neighbor India. In fact, the Indian rupee is legal tender in both countries. However, they have some big differences as well. While the ancestry of Bhutanese is mostly East Asian, the ancestry of Nepalese is closer to Indians. Furthermore, while both countries have a significant percentage of Hindu and Buddhist people, Nepal has the highest percentage of Hindus of any country.
  2. Myanmar used to be part of British India, before it gained its independence. Like Bhutan, most of its people have East Asian ancestry and are Buddhists, however they follow a different school of Buddhism. In addition, Myanmar has the most linguistic similarity to Bhutan, since its language is distantly related and both countries use Indic writing systems, although Myanmar’s is quite different. In addition, Myanmar is fairly mountainous, although it is not located in the Himalayas.
  3. Laos is another mountainous, landlocked, and rural East Asian country. Both countries are mostly Buddhist as well. However, its one-party communist government is significantly different from Bhutan’s constitutional monarchy. In addition, Laos was colonized by France, while Bhutan was more influenced by the British.
  4. India, like Bhutan, has some of the highest rates of vegetarianism in the world. Since Bhutan has close ties to India, there is freedom of movement between the countries. Both drive on the left and have a democratic, parliamentary-style government. However, like Nepal, the ancestry and religion of its people differ from Bhutan.
  5. Cambodia is similar to Laos, except it is flatter and not landlocked. Both Nepal and Cambodia are constitutional monarchies with parliamentary governments, however Cambodia is far less democratic. While both countries have a high percentage of farmers, Cambodia has a much higher percentage of agricultural land.
  6. Papua New Guinea, 7. Indonesia, 8. Sri Lanka, 9. Malaysia, 10. Bangladesh

Top 10 Places Least Similar to Bhutan

  1. United States is by far the least similar country to Bhutan. The countries have little technological similarity, since USA drives on the right and uses Type A, B plus with a different voltage than in Bhutan. In addition, while the United States has one of the strongest militaries in the world, Bhutan has an extremely small army and no navy or air force. 
  2. Netherlands is extremely flat, low-lying, and densely populated, in stark contrast to Bhutan. Moreover, it is far less religious and far more liberal than in Bhutan. However, both countries are constitutional monarchies with parliamentary governments.
  3. Denmark is another extremely flat and low-lying country that is highly developed. In addition, Denmark has a lot of coastline, in contrast to Bhutan. While Denmark has one of the most heavily used train networks in the world. Bhutan does not even have a railroad in the country, although there are plans in the works.
  4. Germany is similar to both the Netherlands and Denmark, however Germany does not have a lot of coastline and is not as flat compared to them. In addition, the average personality of Germans is completely different from Bhutanese according to the Lewis Model.
  5. Finland yet another highly developed, European country on this list. The country is quite flat and has many freshwater lakes. However, both countries are sparsely populated and have a lot of forest land.
  6. Canada, 7. Switzerland, 8. Belgium, 9. Luxembourg, 10. Australia

Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Bhutan

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


  1. Bhutan is mostly similiar to the Sino-Tibetan groups of Nepal and to Tibet, but not to the Khas part of Nepal or the Han Chinese part of China. Bhutan is still culturally related to the Sinosphere, but in the same way as Europe, Middle East, and West Asia to each other.

    I mean, Bhutan does’nt feel Chinese, but it also does’nt feel completely unrelated. Same as Germany to Saudi Arabia to India.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s