Which Countries are Most Similar to Senegal?

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 former countries of French West Africa

The top 5 countries most similar to Guinea all were colonized by France and use French as their lingua franca. In addition, 4 of the top 5 countries have Islam as their most common religion. However, these countries have secular governments, unlike many Arab countries. The Gambia, despite being completely surrounded by Senegal, was a British colony, so it has less similarity than other neighboring countries.

Top 10 Places Most Similar to Senegal

  1. Guinea is just to the south of Senegal. It is another former French colony on the Atlantic Ocean. Although Senegal’s main ethnic group is Wolof, it also has a significant percentage of Fula people like Senegal. They have a similar standard of living and development of infrastructure. However, Guinea does not have a large percentage of desert land, like Senegal.
  2. Mali and Senegal were actually one country briefly in 1960, but much earlier in history Senegal was part of the Mali Empire. The countries use the same currency: the West African CFA franc. Their flags are also incredibly similar. Furthermore, their agriculture is similar as well since they both grow millet, rice, sorghum, and corn, but Mali grows less peanuts.
  3. Burkina Faso‘s technology is especially similar to Senegal. Both countries rely on oil to create electricity. In addition, both their militaries are not well equipped, neither have battle tanks. Both countries are secular democracies after Burkina Faso’s dictator was overthrown in 2014. However, only 60% of its citizens are Muslim.
  4. Benin is the only country in the top 5 with a majority Christian population, but it also has a significant number of Muslims as well. As a result, it drinks significantly more alcohol and polygamy is not allowed. Still, both countries have a similar standard of living.
  5. Ivory Coast has roughly an equal mix of Muslims and Christians. Both countries have been to the FIFA World Cup and also won an Olympic medal in track. One big difference is that Ivory Coast uses mostly natural gas, not oil, to create its electricity. Furthermore, its agriculture is significantly different since Ivory Coast mostly grows cocoa and doesn’t grow many peanuts.
  6. Gambia, 7. Niger, 8. Guinea-Bissau, 9. Cameroon, 10. Togo

Top 10 Places Least Similar to Senegal

  1. Japan‘s geography significantly different from Senegal. It is a mountainous archipelago with a temperate climate and a lot of rainfall. Its demographics, culture, and technology are also quite different. There isn’t much in common between the two, except that they are both democracies.
  2. Canada is the least similar country to Senegal in the Western Hemisphere, despite both countries having French as one of their official languages. It is one of the coldest countries, in contrast to Senegal’s hot desert climate. In addition, its politics are extremely different, since it is much more liberal.
  3. New Zealand is a mountainous, temperate island with developed infrastructure, in contrast to Senegal’s relatively flat and undeveloped desert landscape. Like Canada, it is much wealthier and more liberal.
  4. United Kingdom is also quite different from Senegal, in part because it was colonized by France. Its technology is extremely dissimilar since it drives on the left, uses different electrical outlets, and also the standard railroad gauge. Its legal system uses common law, not civil law.
  5. United States is yet another former British colony on this list. It is especially different from Senegal, since it has so many guns per capita and its military is much more sophisticated. However, both countries use the presidential system of government.
  6. Norway, 7. Switzerland, 8. Australia, 9. Iceland, 10. Netherlands

    Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Senegal

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


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