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 former British colonies in East Africa
The top 5 countries most similar to Malawi are all located in East Africa and were once colonies of Great Britain. All natively speak Bantu languages as well. The top 5 have a majority Christian population. In addition, their landscapes are similar since they are mostly savannas.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Malawi
- Zambia is to the west of Malawi. They were once part of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, before gaining independence from Great Britain. Around 30 percent of people in both countries natively speak Chewa. Both countries are landlocked and rely on hydropower to create electricity. However, Zambia is more sparsely populated. It also has a far lower percentage of agricultural land.
- Tanzania borders Lake Malawi as well. The countries have relatively the same climate and standard of living. However, Tanzania has a significantly higher percentage of Muslims. Despite this, Tanzania drinks more alcohol per capita than Malawi. It also relies more on fossil fuels than hydropower to create electricity.
- Zimbabwe, like Zambia and Malawi, was once part of Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, before gaining independence from Great Britain. It is another landlocked country in Southern Africa that also grows lots of corn. Both countries drive on the left and use 3′-6″ railroad gauge. They also do not allow polygamy or the sale of pornography. One difference is that Zimbabwe’s government is more volatile and less democratic.
- Uganda is another African country that is located in the Great Rift Valley near a large freshwater lake. Both countries have a high percentage of agricultural land and most people living there are farmers. In addition, they have about the same population density. While both countries are predominately Christian, Uganda has far more Catholics.
- Kenya is located next to Uganda. Both Malawi and Kenya are mostly Protestant, but they also have significant amounts of Catholics and Muslims. One difference is that Kenyans prefer to drink beer, while people from Malawi drink more liqueur, although neither country drinks a lot of alcohol. Kenya also has a deeper sporting tradition and has one far more Olympic medals due to their prowess in long distance running.
- Mozambique, 7. Ghana, 8. Rwanda, 9. Lesotho, 10. Burundi
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Malawi
- Japan is by far the least similar country to Malawi. Not only is its geography significantly different, but also its demographics, culture, and technology. There isn’t much in common between the two, except that they both drive on the left.
- Kuwait is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. It is also a monarchy, not a democracy, like Malawi. It climate is much drier although both countries are fairly hot. All of its land is close to the coast, unlike landlocked Malawi.
- South Korea is also located in Asia. It is another highly developed, country most of its land close to the coast. However, South Korea does have a significant Christian population. Still, Malawi has little else in common with it.
- Canada was also colonized by Great Britain, however other than having English as one of their official languages, the countries are quite dissimilar. Its climate is much colder than Malawi. In addition, it is more sparsely populated and highly urbanized.
- Taiwan is another Asian country located next to the Pacific Ocean on this list. Like Japan and South Korea, its demographics and culture are quite different from Malawi. However, Taiwan’s subtropical climate is more similar to Zambia than Japan or South Korea.
- Switzerland, 7. Denmark, 8. Netherlands, 9. Iceland, 10. Finland
Do you agree with the list?
Please leave any thoughts in the comments section.