Which Countries are Most Similar to East Timor?

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 Christian countries in the Pacific Ocean

East Timor is quite a unique country, although it does have a few similar similar countries in its vicinity. The top 4 are all other countries in its vicinity that have adopted Christianity. They are also quite mountainous and relatively poor.

Top 10 Places Most Similar to East Timor

  1. Papua New Guinea is another country that shares a island with Indonesia. Like East Timor, it has a mix of Austronesian and Melanesian cultures. However, since it is a former Australian colony, it has more Protestants than Catholics. In addition, it has significantly more rainfall.
  2. Solomon Islands is extremely similar to Papua New Guinea. Like East Timor, it is quite mountainous and most of its land is near the coasts. The countries have about the same standard of living. In addition, the majority of people in both countries speak an Austronesian languages. However, Solomon Islanders are mostly Melanesian, and have far less East Asian ancestry than people from East Timor.
  3. Vanuatu is another island archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, like Solomon Islands. However, Vanuatu has less British traits since it was jointly administered by both Great Britain and France. Therefore, its legal system has elements of civil law, like East Timor. In addition, it does not have a monarch as its head of state. Still, Vanuatu is less developed than East Timor.
  4. Philippines is the only other Catholic country in Asia, since it was formerly a colony of Spain. Their geography is also quite similar. However there are some big differences too. The people of East Timor have less East Asian ancestry. Furthermore, their infrastructure is quite different since the Philippines drives on the right and uses Type A, B electrical outlets.
  5. Indonesia ruled over East Timor until its independence in 2002. Both countries cultivate a lot of rice and corn, although East Timor has a higher percentage of coffee fields. The biggest difference between the countries is that Indonesians are mostly Muslim. In addition, while Indonesia’s energy comes mostly from coal, East Timor relies on oil to create electricity.
  6. Samoa 7. Madagascar, 8. Guinea-Bissau, 9. Nicaragua, 10. Haiti

Top 10 Places Least Similar to East Timor

  1. Canada is by far the least similar country to East Timor. The countries share little demographic, cultural, or technological similarity. In addition, their climates are significantly different since Canada is one of the coldest countries with relatively little precipitation compared to East Timor. 
  2. United States is similar to Canada, it also has little in common with East Timor in demographics, culture, politics, and technology. One thing the countries do share is that they have very lack gun restrictions. East Timor also has a relatively high gun ownership rate. In addition, there are also many Catholics in the United States.
  3. Netherlands is one of the world’s most developed countries. It is extremely densely populated and flat, unlike East Timor. The countries are also very different politically as Netherlands is much more liberal. For example, in the Netherlands abortion is completely legal, while in East Timor it is allowed if the mother’s life is in danger.
  4. United Kingdom is another European country on this list. Its political system is especially dissimilar since it is constitutional monarchy with parliamentary style government, unlike East Timor, which uses the semi-presidential system. Furthermore, its legislature is bicameral not unicameral. Still, both countries drive on the left and are located on islands, although it is much colder.
  5. Finland‘s geography has little similarity to East Timor, since it is quite cold, relatively flat, and has a lot of freshwater lakes. It also has a much higher standard of living. Although both countries are Christian, Finland is much less religious.
  6. Qatar, 7. Denmark, 8. United Arab Emirates, 9. Israel, 10. Switzerland

Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to East Timor

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


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