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 China, Japan, and South Korea
Very few countries are similar to Taiwan. The closest would be their neighbors, China, Japan and South Korea. While China is by far the closest in demographics and culture, its politics is far different.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Taiwan
- South Korea is another densely-populated mountainous land, where the agriculture is primarily rice, although Taiwan is more tropical. In addition, the countries have a similar standard of living. Both countries have unicameral legislatures and two major parties. They also create electricity using mix of coal, gas, and nuclear energy. However, their language and writing system is quite different.
- China is extremely similar in demographics and culture, however it also has some big differences. Its one-party, authoritarian government is vastly different from Taiwan’s. Its electrical system is also different since it uses a higher voltage. Furthermore, its railroad tracks are 3’6″ gauge like Japan, not standard gauge. Finally, Taiwan’s geography is quite different. It is a wet subtropical island, in contrast to mainland China’s colder and dryer climate.
- Japan ruled Taiwan for 50 years, until the end of World War II. Both countries are mountainous islands in the Pacific Ocean, although Taiwan is more tropical. While Taiwan doesn’t drive on the left, it does use 3′-6″ railroad tracks and Type A, B electricity with 110 voltage, just like Japan. While Japanese is quite different from Chinese, a lot of Japanese writing still uses traditional Chinese characters.
- Vietnam is a lot less similar to Taiwan than the top three countries. However, there are some distant similarities. Their geography is the biggest similarity, since both are mountainous countries with a lot of coastline that border the South China Sea. In addition, their agricultural lands predominately grow rice. Also, both countries practice Mahayana Buddhism. However, Vietnam’s standard of living is much lower than Taiwan’s. Furthermore, it has an one-party, authoritarian government.
- Singapore like Taiwan, is a tropical island in the Pacific Ocean with mostly ethnic Chinese people. Nevertheless, Singapore was colonized by Britain, so it has many British traits like driving on the left side of the road, using common law, and speaking English. Furthermore, it is much more religiously diverse.
- Thailand, 7. Malaysia, 8. Philippines, 9. France, 10. Brunei
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Taiwan
- Somalia is an anarchic, Muslim country in Africa with poorly developed infrastructure, due to civil war. Its culture and demographics are completely different from Taiwan. Somalia also has a a dry climate in contrast to Taiwan’s wetter climate. Still, both countries are hot and have a lot of coastline.
- Chad is a landlocked, sparsely populated country located in the Sahara Desert. It has a mix of Christian and Muslims. It is quite poor and has little infrastructure.
- Yemen is located across the Gulf of Aden from Somalia. It is another conservative Muslim country that, unlike other countries on the Arabian Peninsula, is poorly developed. Its government is also anarchic and far less liberal.
- Niger has the youngest population in the world. It also has one of the highest birthrates in the world. Taiwan is on the opposite end of the spectrum in these statistics. Furthermore, Niger is a landlocked, sparsely populated desert country, in contrast to Taiwan.
- Sudan is yet another country on this list located in the Sahara Desert. It is another conservative Muslim country, that is not well developed. It recently lost some territory to the newly formed country of South Sudan.
- Burundi, 7. South Sudan, 8. Mauritania, 9. Ethiopia, 10. Central African Republic
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Taiwan
Do you agree with the list?
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