Which Countries are Most Similar to Netherlands?

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 other countries near the North Sea

Four of the top five countries most similar to the Netherlands border the North Sea. Many Western European countries are relatively similar to the Netherlands. These countries are have a high level of development and their democratic governments also have relatively liberal policies.  

Top 10 Places Most Similar to the Netherlands

  1. Belgium was once part of the Netherlands before it became completely independent in 1839. One reason it succeeded from the union is that it is mostly Catholic, unlike the Netherlands, however nowadays neither country is very religious. Approximately half of Belgiums speak Dutch, while the other half speak French.
  2. Germany and Netherlands were both originally part of the Holy Roman Empire. They have a mix of Catholics and Protestants but also have a high number of atheists and a minority population of Muslims. One difference is that Germany no longer has a monarch as head of state.
  3. Luxembourg‘s head of state was the king of the Netherlands until 1890. It is one of the richest countries in the world and has a high level of development. Luxembourgish is a Germanic language that is similar to Dutch. One big difference is that Luxembourg is landlocked.
  4. Denmark is another Germanic country that is extremely flat and has all of its land relatively close to the sea. Although both countries are part of the European Union, Denmark has not adopted the Euro as currency. Another difference is that Denmark is less densely populated and has about twice as much farmland as a percentage of its land.
  5. United Kingdom is just across the North Sea from the Netherlands. Both countries had considerable seafaring ability with their merchants establishing trading posts in distant locations. Over 90% of Dutch can speak English. However, there are some small technological differences, since Britain drives on the left and uses different electrical outlets.
  6. France, 7. Austria, 8. Sweden, 9. Ireland, 10. Norway

Top 10 Places Least Similar to the Netherlands

  1. Yemen is a conservative Muslim country that unlike other countries on the Arabian Peninsula, is poorly developed due to civil war. While the Dutch are on average some of the tallest people in the world, Yemen is one of the shortest.
  2. Somalia is located in Africa across the Gulf of Aden from Yemen. It is another anarchic, Muslim country with poorly developed infrastructure. It is very conservative, in contrast to more liberal Netherlands.
  3. Sudan is located in the Sahara Desert. It is another poor Muslim country, like others on this list. It recently lost some territory to the newly formed country of South Sudan, due to civil war.
  4. Eritrea is the only country on this list with a majority Christian population, but its people are part of the unique Oriental Orthodox denomination. It is located on the Red Sea across from Yemen. Its government has been a dictatorship for almost 20 years.
  5. Chad is a landlocked country in the Sahara Desert that has little development of its infrastructure. Like Eritrea, it also has a mix of Christians and Muslims. While the Netherlands has a dense railroad network, Chad does not even have a railroad in the entire country.
  6. Niger, 7. Afghanistan, 8. Mauritania, 9. Bhutan, 10. Laos

    Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to the Netherlands

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


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