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 USSR countries and the Balkans
Armenia is a unique country, especially linguistically. Only a few countries have a high degree of similarity. Since it was part of the Soviet Union, the former countries share many of the same characteristics. It is also similar to some of the countries in the Balkans.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Armenia
- Georgia is another Christian country to the west of Armenia. Even before the USSR, there was a period of time where Armenia was a part of Georgia. Both countries are very mountainous, although Georgia borders the Black Sea, while Armenia is landlocked. Armenians and Georgians especially like wrestling and weightlifting, with both countries winning Olympic medals in these disciplines. One big difference is that their languages and writing systems are quite different.
- Kyrgyzstan‘s geography is extremely similar to Georgia. Both are very mountainous and landlocked. They also have similar flora and fauna. In addition, their agricultural areas grow a lot of wheat and barley. The spirits are by far the most preferred alcohol in both countries. Kyrgyzstan and Georgia are also both democratic countries, unlike many other former USSR countries, which have authoritarian governments. There are also some big differences since most of their people are Muslim and their language is Turkic, not Indo-European. Furthermore, their people have more East Asian ancestry.
- Moldova is yet another former USSR country on this list. The countries have a similar standard of living. Military service is mandatory in Moldova and Armenia. Both speak Indo-European languages, although Romanian is far different from Armenian. Moldova is also mostly flat land and has a much higher percentage of agricultural land than Armenia. Still, both countries are landlocked and have a similar population density.
- North Macedonia is the most similar country that was not part of the Soviet Union, although it was part of the Eastern Bloc. Their militaries both have Russian-made battle tanks. Like Armenia, it is also relatively poor. In addition, it is another mountainous and landlocked country. Their agricultural lands are alike since they both grow mostly barley and wheat, but also grapes. However, nearly 25% of its population is Muslim.
- Serbia is to the north of North Macedonia. Like Armenia and North Macedonia, it is also landlocked, although it is less mountainous. Serbia and Armenia both receive military aid from Russia and have Russian-made battle tanks. Both have historically had struggles with their Muslim neighbors.
- Albania, 7. Azerbaijan, 8. Montenegro, 9. Bulgaria, 10. Ukraine
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Armenia
- Somalia is a failed state, due to civil war. It is located in Africa on the Indian Ocean coast. It is conservative Muslim country with poorly developed infrastructure. Although both countries have a fairly dry climate, Somalia has a lot of coastline and is relatively flat, unlike Armenia. One similarity is that they are located at the same longitude.
- Sierra Leone is another Muslim country in Africa. It was colonized by the British and populated by formally enslaved people. It has a tropical climate, so it is extremely hot and has a lot of rainfall, unlike Armenia.
- Gambia is similar to Sierra Leone, since it is an African Muslim country that was colonized by the British. Since the country is located on a river, it is relatively flat and low-lying. The country has a much lower standard of living than Armenia as well.
- Brunei, in contrast to other countries on this list, is one of the richest countries in the world. It is a tropical country that borders the Pacific Ocean. Although its people have East Asian ancestry, they are mostly Muslim. It is an absolute monarchy with very conservative laws. It also drives on the left and uses a different railroad gauge.
- Sudan is located in the Sahara Desert. It another very conservative Muslim country in Africa, like Somalia. The country recently lost some territory to the newly formed country of South Sudan, due to civil war.
- Papua New Guinea, 7. South Sudan 8. Guinea-Bissau, 9. Yemen, 10. Niger
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