Which Countries are Most Similar to Myanmar?

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 Southeast Asian countries

There are few countries with a high degree of similarity with Myanmar. They are tropical countries located in Southeast Asia. They generally have mix of Indian and Chinese influences to varying degrees. Myanmar tends to be the most Indian influenced, since it is closer and also was part of British India.

Top 10 Places Most Similar to Myanmar

  1. Laos is another rural and mountainous country in Southeast Asia. Both countries lack a high level of development and create most of their electricity using hydropower. Most of the people in Laos and Cambodia are farmers. The countries have different colonial influences, since Laos was part of French Indochina. While both countries practice Theravada Buddhism, many Laotians also practice local folk religions.
  2. Cambodia is another country that practices Theravada Buddhism. Both countries have about the same GDP per capita and a similar population density. They both purchase many of their weapons from China and use Chinese-made battle tanks. Like Laos, Cambodia was also once part of French Indochina, so it has a greater French influence than Myanmar.
  3. Thailand borders Myanmar to the east. In the 1500’s, both countries were part of the Toungoo Empire. Thailand’s culture is significantly similar to Myanmar’s. However, Thailand is much more prosperous and developed. Both countries grow a lot of rice, although a far greater percentage of Thailand is used for agriculture, since it is not as mountainous.
  4. Vietnam is another Buddhist country in Southeast Asia, but it differs significantly from the top 3 countries since its people follow Mahayana tradition. In addition, its people are less religious than Burmese due to its Communist government’s influence. Vietnamese also uses the Latin script, instead of a Indic script, unlike the other Southeast Asian countries.
  5. Indonesia is another relatively poor tropical country whose people primarily have East Asian ancestry. Although Indonesia is Muslim, Myanmar’s government has fairly similar laws, which are neither especially liberal or conservative. Both countries are quite mountainous and grow a lot of rice. However, like Vietnam, there is no linguistic similarity between Indonesia and Myanmar.
  6. Sri Lanka, 7. Bhutan, 8. Philippines, 9. Nepal, 10. India

Top 10 Places Least Similar to Myanmar

  1. Denmark is an extremely flat and low-lying country that is highly developed. While Myanmar primarily uses hydropower to create electricity, Denmark uses a mix of wind, coal, and biomass. Denmark also uses a far greater amount of electricity.
  2. Switzerland is one of the richest countries in the world. Its government is much more democratic than Myanmar and its citizens have more entitlements. Although both countries are mountainous, Switzerland’s average elevation is much greater and it is landlocked. Switzerland also has one of the most heavily used train networks in the world and uses a different rail gauge.
  3. Canada has few traits in common with Myanmar, although both were territories of Great Britain in the past. It is one of the coldest countries on average, in contrast to Myanmar’s tropical climate. It is also much more sparsely populated.
  4. Belgium is yet another European country on this list. It is not especially religious, but its people are mostly Catholic. It is far more developed and has little demographic or cultural similarity to Myanmar.
  5. Netherlands is extremely flat, low-lying, and densely populated in contrast to Myanmar. The Netherlands is also far less religious and far more liberal than in Myanmar. While Myanmar uses the presidential system of government, the Netherlands is a parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarch as its head of state.
  6. United States, 7. Germany, 8. Finland, 9. Luxembourg, 10. Australia

Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Myanmar

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



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