Variance in Habitation 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 geography. 10% of a country’s geography score (2% of the overall Country Similarity Index score) is allocated for the country’s population distribution and wildlife. The following are the factors that were included:

Population Density

Singapore and Bahrain are essentially city-states, so they have extremely high population densities. Besides those outlier countries, Bangladesh has the highest population density in the world, with over 1,000 people per sq. km. The least densely populated countries tend to be mostly located in inhospitable deserts. Mongolia, Namibia, and Australia all have less than 4 people per sq. km.

The World Bank is the source of the data:

Countries were categorized into the following groups by population per square kilometer:
0-31.25, 31.25- 62.5, 62.5-125, 250-500, 500-1000, 1000-2000

Urbanization Rate

In some countries, most people live in rural areas, not cities. Although a country may have a high population density, it still might not have many people living in cities. For example, only 35% of people in Bangladesh reside in urban areas. Burundi is another densely populated country, but just 10% of the people there live in cities. Although, Iceland is one of the world’s least densely populated countries, it has one of the highest urbanization rates in the world.

Our World in Data is the source of the data:

Countries were categorized into the following groups by percentage of population living in urban areas:
10-25, 25-40, 40-55, 55-70, 70-85, 85-100

Zoogeographic Region

Some regions of the world have vastly different animals than others. These regions largely correspond with the different continents. The Nearctic Region is most of North America, while the Neotropical Region is most of South and Central America. The Afrotropical Region is most of Sub-Saharan Africa. Interestingly enough, Madagascar has its own region. Europe, Turkey, Central Asia, and Northern Asia are part of the Palearctic Region. The Indian Sub-Continent and Southeast Asia forms the Oriental Region. Australia and New Zealand also form one region. Finally, Oceania, including New Guinea, Fiji, Vanuatu, and the Solomon Islands, are a distinct region as well.

Science Magazine is the source of the information:

Vertebrate Species Richness

There is a greater diversity of animals in some regions of the world. Tropical places on continents, especially those in rainforests, have the greatest amount of vertebrate species richness. In contrast, deserts tend not to have a lot of different species by comparison. Another location where there is a low amount of species richness is small, isolated islands, likely due to the fact that it is difficult for animals to migrate to islands.

The Daily Mail is the source of the data:

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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