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
The top 5 most similar countries to Tajikistan were all once part of the USSR. They all have a majority Muslim population but their secular governments tend to be ruled by authoritarian leaders. Although Tajiks are Persian, they have a lot in common with Turkic countries as well, due to their proximity. Farsi and Dari are mutually intelligible languages with Tajik, however Tajik is officially written in Cyrillic.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Tajikistan
- Kyrgyzstan is another landlocked and extremely mountainous country to Tajikistan’s north. They are the two of the poorest and least developed countries of the former USSR. Both countries rely on hydropower to create electricity. One big difference is that Kyrgyzstan is the only multi-party democracy in Central Asia, in stark contrast to Tajikistan, whose president has been in power for over 25 years.
- Uzbekistan is to the west of Tajikistan. Over 10% of people in Tajikistan have Uzbek ethnicity. In fact, it had been over 20% in the past. The countries have incredibly similar laws. In addition, both countries have won Olympic medals in boxing, wrestling, and judo. However, Uzbekistan is far less mountainous.
- Turkmenistan and Tajikistan’s public holidays are incredibly similar, due to shared Islamic and Russian influence. Both countries have governments that heavily censor the internet, blocking YouTube and Facebook. However, like Uzbekistan, it is a lot less mountainous and relies on natural gas to create energy.
- Azerbaijan is another country that has a mix of Persian, Turkic, and Russian influences. Both countries are landlocked and mountainous, although Azerbaijan does border to Caspian Sea. Moreover, Azerbaijan has mostly Shia Muslims, unlike the other countries in the top 5.
- Kazakhstan is similar to both Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, especially demographically and culturally. However, Kazakhstan has far more Russians than Tajikistan. In addition, its economy is much more prosperous. It also has a higher percentage of agricultural land than Tajikistan, but the main crop of both countries is wheat.
- Afghanistan, 7. Armenia, 8. Turkey, 9. Iran, 10. Syria
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Tajikistan
- Japan is technically on the same continent as Tajikistan and it is also quite mountainous, however other than these two aspects it is extremely 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 Tajiks.
- Singapore is a densely populated tropical island city-state, unlike the more rural and mountainous landscape of Tajikistan. It is also far more prosperous. One similarity is that about 15% of people in Singapore are Sunni Muslims. In addition, both countries are one party states, although Singapore is more democratic.
- New Zealand is another archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, like Japan. New Zealand has an extremely liberal and democratic government, unlike Tajikistan. Its infrastructure also is very different since it uses Type I plugs, drives on the left. However, both countries are mountainous and generate most of their electricity using hydropower.
- Bahamas was colonized by Great Britain and its people are of mostly African ancestry. In addition, the country is quite prosperous, due to tourism and the banking industry, unlike Tajikistan. Furthermore, the landscape of the Bahamas is essentially the opposite of Tajikistan, since the country made up of many low-lying islands in the Western Hemisphere.
- Australia is yet another former British colony on this list. Although both countries have a fairly dry climate, Australia is relatively flat and has a lot of coastline. Like New Zealand and Japan, its infrastructure is also far different from Tajikistan as well.
- United Kingdom, 7. United States, 8. Trinidad & Tobago, 9. Taiwan, 10. Canada
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Tajikistan
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