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 objective 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 English-speaking countries in Africa
4 of the top 5 countries most similar to Botswana were once colonies of Great Britain, with the exception being Namibia, which was a German colony, later ruled by South Africa. They all have English as one of their official languages. In addition all of these countries have a majority Protestant population. They also have similar infrastructure, since the top 5 all drive on the left and use 3′-6″ gauge railroad tracks.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Botswana
- Namibia and Botswana are the two main countries where the Kalahari Desert is located. Its strong economy is also largely dependent on mining and tourism. This has contributed to these countries relatively high standard of living compared to most other Sub-Saharan African countries. One difference is language. Although both countries have English as their official language, many people in Namibia prefer to speak Afrikaans. In addition, many of its native people speak unique Khoisan languages that are completely different from Setswana.
- Zimbabwe is another landlocked country to the east of Botswana. It is quite different politically from Botswana, since its government is more unstable. In addition, it is also poorer and has less developed infrastructure. Still, there are many similarities. Although neither country has a lot of agricultural land since they have dry climates, both mainly produce corn. They also use Type D and G electrical outlets as well. Furthermore, their people have a similar level of education.
- South Africa planned to incorporate Botswana into South Africa, until Tswana leaders resisted them. Like South Africa, it is one of the wealthiest countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Its government’s structure also mirrors South Africa as it has a president elected by the country’s parliament. They also have similar judicial systems. In addition, the majority of electricity in both countries is created by coal power plants.
- Zambia is yet another former British protectorate on this list. It also gained its independence in the 1960s. Both countries ban the possession of pornography, but allow prostitution, so long as it is not organized. Zambia and Botswana are also two of the best locations for safaris. However, Zambia is poorer and its infrastructure is less developed. Furthermore, although both countries have few agricultural lands, Zambia has significantly more rainfall.
- Eswatini is located between South Africa and Mozambique. They are both part of the Southern African Customs Union. Their diets are both heavy in beef and corn. Both countries do not possess battle tanks, but a majority of their weapons are Belgian-made. However, Eswatini is poorer and less developed than Botswana. In addition, it is an absolute monarchy, in contrast to Botswana’s democratic government.
- Lesotho, 7. Kenya, 8. Ghana, 9. Tanzania, 10. Malawi
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Botswana
- Japan is an extremely mountainous and densely populated island, in contrast to Botswana. Not only is its geography significantly different, but also its demographics and culture. However, they do share some similar infrastructure, since both countries drive on the left and use 3’6″ gauge railroad tracks. Still, Botswana has a different electrical outlets that use a higher voltage than Japan.
- South Korea is another mountainous and densely populated Asian country like Japan. Its infrastructure is extremely dissimilar from Botswana, since it drives on the right, uses standard gauge railroad tracks, and Type C, F electrical outlets. Furthermore, most males in Botswana are not circumcised, unlike South Korea. One thing that they do have in common is that South Korea also has a significant Christian population.
- Taiwan is yet another East Asian country on this list. Its infrastructure is much more developed. In addition, its government is more liberal, since it allows gay marriage and legalized prostitution. The countries also have extremely dissimilar demographics.
- Switzerland is one of the world’s richest countries and has the most millionaires per capita with around 7.5%. In addition, its mountainous terrain and alpine climate contrast Botwana’s, although both countries are landlocked. However, both countries have a majority of Christians, although Switzerland is less religious.
- Kuwait is located in the Arabian Desert between Iraq and Saudi Arabia. It is an extremely wealthy, developed, and highly urbanized country. Its language and writing system are completely different from those used in Botswana. However, Botswana and Kuwait are both located in deserts and are relatively flat. Still, Kuwait is much more densely populated and most of the country is within an hour’s drive of the coast.
- Germany, 7. Qatar, 8. Netherlands, 9. Canada, 10. Bahrain
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Botswana
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