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 countries on the border between Sub-Saharan Africa and the Arab world
Somalia is like other Muslim countries that are located on the border between the Arabic world and Sub-Saharan Africa. These countries are all located in sparsely populated deserts. Most are quite poor and do not have well developed infrastructure. In addition, they also have unstable governments. Although South Sudan was recently part of Sudan, it is not even one of the top 10 most similar countries, reflecting the reason South Sudan felt the need to become independent.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Sudan
- Mauritania is another Arabic-speaking and predominately Sunni Muslim country. Both of their people have a significant mix of Sub-Saharan African and Middle Eastern ancestry. Both countries are in the Sahara Desert, although Mauritania borders the Atlantic Ocean, not the Red Sea. In addition, their governments both have had several military coups. Mauritania and Sudan establish Islam as their state religion and also practice Sharia law.
- Chad is directly to the west of Sudan. Both countries have Arabic as one of their official languages. However, since Chad was once a French colony, it also has French as one of its official languages. One big different is that Chad has a much higher percentage of Christians with nearly 40%. The agriculture in Chad is very similar to Sudan too. Both countries produce a significant amount of sorghum, peanuts, and millet.
- Yemen is another country that borders the Red Sea, although it is on the Arabian Peninsula. Like Sudan, it was also once a British colony. A vast majority of the people in both countries are farmers. Both of their governments are extremely conservative and have many years of civil war. However, Yemeni people have less Sub-Saharan African ancestry than the Sudanese. In addition, Yemen has a higher percentage of Shi’ites. It also has less strict gun laws.
- Somalia is located across the Gulf of Aden from Yemen. Both Sudan and Somalia are predominately Sunni Muslim have experienced civil war in recent years, leading to their poverty. In addition, they both have some of the highest rates of male and female circumcision in the world. One big difference is that Somali, not Arabic, is the lingua franca there. In addition, it uses the Latin script, not the Arabic script. Still Somalia also has Arabic as one of its official languages.
- Niger is another Sunni Muslim country located in the Sahara Desert. Like Sudan, it has one of the youngest populations in the world. However, unlike other countries on this list, it does not have Arabic as one of its official languages, although most people speak Hausa, another Afroasiatic language.
- Egypt, 7. Mali, 8. Eritrea, 9. Djibouti, 10. Libya
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Sudan
- Switzerland is one of the world’s richest countries and has the most millionaires per capita with around 7.5%. In addition, its mountainous alpine geography contrasts Sudan’s relatively flat desert landscape. Politically they are also far different. For example, while Switzerland has civil unions for its gay and lesbian citizens, Sudan is one of the few countries with the death penalty for same-sex intercourse, although it is not typically enforced.
- Japan has the least similar geography to Sudan, since it is a mountainous archipelago, which has a much more temperate climate and far more rainfall. In addition, Japan has different infrastructure, since they drive on the left and have a completely different electrical system, using 100 volt Type A,B outlets. However, one interesting similarity is that both predominately use 3’6″ gauge railroad tracks, although Japan has far more railroad infrastructure.
- Canada is one of the coldest countries and one of the most sparsely populated countries with a high rate of urbanization, whereas Sudan is one of the hottest countries and much more rural. They also share little cultural or demographic similarity as well. The biggest similarity is that both have English as one of their official languages, although it is not widely spoken in Sudan.
- Netherlands is a densely populated country, in contrast to the sparsely populated Sudan. Netherlands also has a fairly temperate climate and grows completely different types of crops. Very few people are farmers in the Netherlands, despite having a higher percentage of farmland. Furthermore, while Sudan has very conservative laws, while the Netherlands is one of the most liberal countries.
- Belgium is very similar to the Netherlands. It is another extremely densely populated country. While Sudan relies on hydropower to create electricity, while Belgium uses natural gas and nuclear power. There are very few things they have in common politically, except that they have very restrictive gun laws.
- United States, 7. Germany, 8. Norway, 9. Denmark, 10. Iceland
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Sudan
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