Variance in Entitlements by Country

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. 20% of the index is based on politics. 10% of a country’s politics score (2% of the overall Country Similarity Index score) is allocated for any entitlements a country’s government might give their citizens. This includes citizenship, heath care, education, welfare, and retirement pension. The following is an explanation on how they were considered:

Birthright Citizenship

The vast majority of countries in the Western Hemisphere have birthright citizenship, allowing anyone born in the country citizenship. In Australia and the United Kingdom, the parent does not necessarily need to be a citizen, but they could be a permanent resident. Furthermore, if a child has grown up in the country then they can qualify for citizenship as well. There are also many countries that grant citizenship in only one of these two situations. In Portugal and South Africa, not only does your parent need to be a permanent resident, but the child needs to grow up in the country. However, in most countries in the Eastern Hemisphere, one of the child’s parents needs to be a citizen of the country, in order to obtain citizenship.

The Library of Congress and the CIA Factbook are the main sources of the data:
https://www.loc.gov/law/help/birthright-citizenship/global.php
https://www.indexmundi.com/factbook/fields/citizenship

Countries were categorized into the following general groups:
Birthright citizenship
Citizenship to children of permanent residents
Citizenship to children who grow up in the country,
Citizenship to children who grow up in the country with permanent resident parents
No birthright citizenship

Health Care

Some countries have more entitlements to health care than others. In South America, Europe, and Australia, publicly funded health care is generally free and accessible to all, except for a nominal fee. This is done through a variety of methods. In Canada and many European nations, the government pays the medical bills. This is known as single payer health care. There are also many countries that have a public insurance system instead. Furthermore, some countries have free health care, but access to health care is not guaranteed. In addition, the United States and Ghana guarantee their citizens access to health care, but it is not free. Furthermore, generally in many less developed nations, the government guarantees neither access to health care nor free health care. China is the most notable of these countries, despite the fact that their government is run by the Communist Party.

The Global Residence Index and Wikipedia are the sources of the data:
http://globalresidenceindex.com/hnwi-index/health-index/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_systems_by_country

Countries were categorized into the following general groups:
Single Payer Health Care, Free & Universal Health Care, Free Health Care, Universal Health Care, Health Care neither Free nor Universal

Free Education

In the vast majority of countries, public school is free up until college. In addition, many countries also have tuition free college. This is most common in Latin America, Nordic and Eastern European countries, as well as the Middle East and North Africa. However, the students in Papua New Guinea and five countries in Africa must pay a tuition, even for primary school. Still, governments often exempt the poorest students from paying.

World Policy Center is the source of the data:
https://www.worldpolicycenter.org/policies/is-education-tuition-free/is-primary-education-tuition-free

Countries were categorized into the following groups:
Free College, Free until College, Free until High School, Free Primary School, Schools not Free

Unemployment Protection

Governments usually provide benefits to workers if they lose their jobs. Some countries, especially in Eastern Europe, provide benefits even if the person is self-employed. But many countries do not provide benefits if the person is self-employed. There is usually a limited time period in which people can collect their benefits, although in Australia and New Zealand it is unlimited. While some governments do not provide continual benefits, they do guarantee severance pay. Haiti, Somalia, Bhutan, and North Korea are among the few countries that do not provide benefits during unemployment.

World Policy Center is the source of the data:
https://www.worldpolicycenter.org/policies/is-income-protection-during-unemployment-available
https://www.worldpolicycenter.org/policies/for-how-long-is-financial-assistance-available-during-unemployment

Countries were categorized into the following groups:
Welfare for self-employed and employees, Welfare for employees (More than 30 Weeks), Welfare for employees (Less than 30 Weeks), Severance Pay, No Welfare

Retirement Pension

In the Western Hemisphere, Europe, and Australia, governments provide a pension to the elderly, regardless of whether they contributed to the fund through working. The minimum age is usually higher countries with longer life expectancies. South Korea is one exception, which has its minimum age set at 55. In Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia, governments generally only provide pensions to people who contributed to the fund. There are also a few countries with no government provided pension, including Afghanistan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Somalia, and North Korea.

The World Policy Center and the World Bank are the main sources of the data:
https://www.worldpolicycenter.org/policies/are-there-income-protections-for-the-elderly
https://wbl.worldbank.org/en/data/exploretopics/getting-a-job#Retirement%20ages

Countries were categorized into the following groups:
Pension for everyone, Pension for everyone (only 65+), Pension for contributors, Pension for contributors (only 65+), No Government Pension

Obviously there is no one clear way to determine how similar one country is to another. How would you quantify how similar one country is to another?
Please leave any thoughts in the comments section.

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