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 Malaysia
There are relatively few countries with a high degree of similarity to Brunei. By far the most similar country is Malaysia. Due to its abundance of oil and gas, it is the second richest East Asian country, behind Singapore. At the same time it is a Muslim country ruled by an absolute monarch with very conservative laws. As a result, despite significant differences, 4 of the top 10 are wealthy Arab countries.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Brunei
- Malaysia is the only country that borders Brunei. Like Brunei, it practices Islam and speaks the Malay language. Both countries use Type G electrical outlets and drive on the left, like Great Britain. Their governments are both monarchies, although Malaysia is more democratic. Another difference is that Brunei is wealthier and more developed.
- Indonesia is similar to Brunei, since the countries both practice Islam and speak mutually intelligible languages. However, Indonesia is less prosperous. Furthermore, it was colonized by the Netherlands, not Great Britain, so it has less British characteristics. Unlike Malaysia and Brunei, its government is not a monarchy, but a multi-party democracy that uses the presidential system.
- Singapore is another small but wealthy country near Malaysia, where English is widely spoken. However, despite its proximity there are some significant differences as well. It is much more densely populated and few of its people work in industry, unlike Brunei. Furthermore, it is more religiously diverse. A plurality of its people are Buddhist, but there are also many Christians. Less than 15% of the population is Muslim.
- Philippines is significantly less similar to Brunei than the top 3 countries. Most Filipinos are Catholic, although there is a small percentage of Muslims there as well. Its standard of living is significantly lower than Brunei as well. Since it was an American colony, it drives on the right and uses Type A,B electrical outlets, unlike Brunei. However, their ancestries are nearly identical. In addition, English is widely spoken in both countries and the Malay language is related to Filipino. Furthermore, the countries have a similar tropical climate.
- United Arab Emirates has some significant similarities, but also some huge differences. On one hand, both countries are extremely wealthy Muslim countries, due to oil and gas reserves. In addition, they both are monarchies with conservative laws. They were both colonized by Great Britain as well. On the other hand, while Brunei is a tropical rainforest, the United Arab Emirates is a desert. While United Arab Emirates has many skyscrapers, Brunei does not have any. Furthermore, the ancestries of their people are extremely different.
- Thailand, 7. Qatar, 8. Samoa, 9. Saudi Arabia, 10. Oman
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Brunei
- Burundi is one of the poorest countries in the world. It is landlocked and more densely populated than Brunei. The vast majority of its people are Christian. While both countries were colonized by European countries, Burundi was colonized by Belgium and Germany, not Great Britain.
- Chad is another poor landlocked country in Africa. Much of its land is located in the Sahara Desert. While it is about 60% Muslim and both their leaders have been in power for over 25 years, it has few other aspects in common with Brunei. Its infrastructure is especially dissimilar since it drives on the right, does not have railroads, and uses Type C, E, and F electrical outlets.
- Togo is another former French colony on this list. Most of its people are Christian or practice traditional African religions. It is much poorer than Brunei and its infrastructure is not as well developed.
- Haiti is predominately Catholic and most of its people have African ancestry. Its government is a multi-party democracy. Its infrastructure is also quite different, since it drives on the right and uses Type A,B electrical outlets with a different voltage than Brunei. However, one big similarity is that both countries are located on islands that have tropical climates, although Haiti is in the Caribbean.
- Niger, like Brunei, is mostly Muslim, however other than religion there is little else they have in common. It is a landlocked and sparsely populated African country in the Sahara Desert. It is a multi-party democracy, which uses the semi-presidential system of government, unlike Brunei.
- Burkina Faso, 7. Mozambique, 8. Lesotho, 9. Ethiopia, 10. Eritrea
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Brunei
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