Which Countries are Most Similar to Turkmenistan?

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 former republics of the USSR

It’s no surprise that the most similar countries to Turkmenistan were all once part of the USSR. They all have a majority Muslim population but their governments are secular. Four of the top five also speak Turkic languages.

Top 10 Places Most Similar to Turkmenistan

  1. Uzbekistan is located to the north of Turkmenistan. Both countries are sparsely populated deserts that rely on a lot of irrigation to water their crops, which consist mostly of wheat, but also cotton. Both countries also have a similar diet. They mostly eat beef and lamb meat. In addition, both countries have presidents that are dictators, but Turkmenistan’s is more extreme.
  2. Kyrgyzstan is another landlocked dry country, however it is much more mountainous. Its demographics and culture are very similar to Turkmenistan. One big difference is that Kyrgyzstan is the only multi-party democracy in Central Asia, in stark contrast to Turkmenistan.
  3. Kazakhstan is similar to both Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, especially politically, demographically, and culturally. However, Kazakhstan has far more Russians. In addition, its economy is more prosperous.
  4. Tajikistan is unique among former USSR countries in Central Asia, since its native people have mostly Persian ancestry, not Turkic. Their holidays are incredibly similar, due to shared Islamic and Russian influence. Like Turkmenistan, its government heavily censors the internet. Both countries have blocked YouTube and Facebook.
  5. Azerbaijan is just across the Caspian Sea from Turkmenistan. Due to abundant reserves of natural gas in the region, both countries entirely rely on it to create electricity. In addition, both countries have authoritarian rulers. However, like Tajikistan, its people have less East Asian admixture.
  6. Turkey, 7. Iran, 8. Egypt, 9. Syria, 10. Mongolia

Top 10 Places Least Similar to Turkmenistan

  1. Japan is technically on the same continent as Turkmenistan, but it is extremely different. Its culture is especially different. One reason is that Japanese do not follow an Abrahamic religion. Furthermore, its language and writing system are completely different. Their diet is also quite different since they eat a lot of pork fish, and rice in contrast to Turkmens.
  2. New Zealand is a mountainous archipelago in the Pacific Ocean far away from Turkmenistan. Their infrastructure also is very different as New Zealand uses Type I plugs, drives on the left, and generates most of its electricity through hydropower. In addition, New Zealand’s government is one of the most democratic in the world.
  3. Papua New Guinea is yet another mountainous island country in the Pacific Ocean on this list. However, unlike Japan and New Zealand, it is on the other end of the economic spectrum. It has a high percentage of forested area and one of the highest rainfall amounts in the world. Its has little in common demographically, technologically, or culturally with Turkmenistan as well.
  4. Canada and Turkmenistan are both sparsely populated countries, but the similarity largely ends there. Canada has a lot more freshwater and coastline. In addition, Canada has a much higher GDP per capita. Like New Zealand, it generates most of energy through hydropower.
  5. Bahamas is another North American country on this list, colonized by Great Britain, although it is highly different, since its people are of mostly African ancestry. Furthermore, it is a highly developed tropical island group, unlike Turkmenistan, which is landlocked and poorer.
  6. Jamaica, 7. Switzerland, 8. Taiwan, 9. Solomon Islands, 10. Iceland

    Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Turkmenistan

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


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