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 way to measure this. It weighs equally five major aspects of countries: their demographics, culture, politics, infrastructure, and geography. The methodology is exactly the same for each country. The research combines 1,000 different data points to arrive at the conclusions.
Similar to other Continental West European countries
The top 5 countries most similar to Germany are all countries in the European Union. In fact, there are many countries similar to Germany that don’t make this list, since many European countries are relatively similar. These countries are have a high level of development and their governments also have relatively liberal policies.
One surprising county not to make the top 5 is Switzerland. While 60% of people in Switzerland speak German, Switzerland has many significant differences. Swiss German is actually not mutually intelligible with High German. Switzerland is also not in the European Union and has a unique form of government. Furthermore, its mountainous landscape is also significantly different from Germany.
The four least similar countries to Germany all border the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. Although they are relatively in close proximity to Germany, they all have a hot desert climate. In addition, these countries are much poorer and have very different cultures.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Germany
- Austria is another German-speaking country to its south. However its geography is somewhat different, being an alpine landlocked country with a relatively rural landscape. Furthermore, it is mostly Catholic, although neither country is especially religious.
- Netherlands is also also very similar to Germany. Both countries were originally part of the Holy Roman Empire. They both have a mix of Catholics and Protestants but also have a high number of atheists and a minority population of Muslims.
- Belgium is another country that was originally part of the Holy Roman Empire. However, unlike Germany and Netherlands, they are mostly Catholic and furthermore approximately half of the country speaks French, a non-Germanic language. Still, German is one of its official languages, although few people speak it natively there.
- Luxembourg had been part of the German Confederation before and up until 1919 had also been a member of the German Customs Union. Luxembourg is one of the richest countries in the world and has a high level of development. Like Belgium, one of its official languages is German, although few people speak it natively there.
- Denmark is directly north of Germany. Both are Germanic speaking countries which share similar demographics and culture. However, Denmark does not use the Euro. It also uses a slightly different electrical outlet. Furthermore, it has a much larger percentage of coastline.
- France, 7. Switzerland, 8. Slovenia, 9. United Kingdom, 10. Czechia
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Germany
- Eritrea has been a dictatorship for almost 20 years. Eritreans speak an Afro-Asiatic language and use the unique Ge’ez script. The country is quite mountainous and has little arable land. In addition, most of the land in the country is close to the coast. Although about half of the country is Christian, they are Oriental Orthodox and tend to be much more religious.
- Sudan is in the Sahara Desert, next to Eritrea. The country recently lost some territory to the newly formed country of South Sudan, due to civil war. The country is mostly Muslim and has far more conservative laws.
- Yemen is another predominately Muslim country on this list. Unlike other countries on the Arabian Peninsula, it has poorly developed infrastructure due to civil war. It is also the country with most guns per capita, besides the United States. However, Yemeni people are considered to be Caucasian, although their ancestry is significantly different.
- Somalia is located in Africa across the Gulf of Aden from Yemen. It is another anarchic, Muslim country with poorly developed infrastructure due to civil war. Although Somali is an Afro-Asiatic language, it does use the Latin alphabet.
- Laos is the only East Asian country on this list. This tropical country is landlocked and quite mountainous. It is also significantly poorer than Germany. In addition, most Lao people are Buddhist.
- Niger, 7. Chad, 8. Mauritania, 9. Papua New Guinea, 10. Mali
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Germany
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