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 Taiwan, Vietnam, and North Korea
China is a developing nation so it has traits that both developed nations and undeveloped nations have. There are few countries with similarity to China, except for Vietnam, Taiwan, and North Korea. Vietnam is quite similar politically and shares a lot of the same culture, despite speaking a completely different language. Taiwan is pretty much just a more developed and democratic version of China. North Korea is also shares similar politics and geography with China. In addition, as a secular authoritarian socialist state, China shares some traits with countries of the former USSR.
All of the least similar countries to China happen to have populations with mostly African ancestry, although they are all quite different from each other. With the exception of the Bahamas, they all are located in Africa as well.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to China
- Taiwan is Chinese both in ethnicity and shared culture, however it also has some big differences. Its liberal, democratic government is vastly different from China’s. Furthermore, its standard of living is higher. Finally, Taiwan’s geography is quite different. It is a wet subtropical island, in contrast to mainland China’s colder and dryer climate.
- Vietnam had been ruled by China several times in history, most recently in 15th Century. So its culture is more similar to China than other Southeast Asian countries. As a result, China and Vietnam have similar religious traditions as well. They both have high rates of atheism but also practice Mahayana Buddhism. One reason for the high rate of atheism is that the governments of both countries are totally controlled by the Communist Party. Still, Vietnam’s does not have any desert or temperate regions. In addition, its language is completely unrelated and it uses the Latin alphabet, which replaced Chinese characters in the early 20th century.
- North Korea, like Vietnam and China, is ruled by an authoritarian Communist Party, albeit a more extreme version. In addition, Korean culture has been highly influenced by its close proximity to China. However, North Korea is much poorer than China and its infrastructure is not as well developed.
- South Korea‘s culture and demographics are similar to China, however unlike both North Korea and China, its government is democratic. The country also has a higher standard of living. Even so, the average diet of both countries is similar. They both tend to eat alot of pork and seafood, along with rice and noodles.
- Japan has been greatly influenced by Chinese culture, due to its proximity. Although their languages countries are completely different, Japan still uses many Chinese characters in their writing. Both countries also practice Mahayana Buddhism, but also have a significant amount of irreligious people. However, Japan’s infrastructure is completely different, as it drives on the left and uses 3′-6″ rail gauge. In addition, it has a different electrical system and a different TV broadcast standard than China.
- Kazakhstan, 7. Mongolia, 8. Thailand, 9. Singapore, 10. Uzbekistan
Top 10 Places Least Similar to China
- Central African Republic has very little in common with China. It is a sparsely populated, landlocked, and heavily forested country. It is also not very mountainous. The country’s infrastructure is not nearly as well developed as China. It does not even have a working railroad. In contrast to China, Central African Republic’s government is highly unstable, since it has been subject to coups and civil war. Still, one interesting similarity is that they both have “central” in their names, since 中国 literally means central country.
- Somalia is an anarchic, Muslim country in Africa with poorly developed infrastructure, due to civil war. The country also has little demographic or cultural similarity to China. In addition, China is quite mountainous, while Somalia is fairly flat. Still, a large portion of China is desert, although it is much colder than Somalia’s climate.
- Malawi is a small democratic country in Southern Africa. The majority of its population is Christian. It is also one of the least developed in the world. The country drives on the left, uses a 3′-6″ gauge railroad, and has Type G electrical outlets, although the voltage is the same. Furthermore, a high percentage of this landlocked country’s area is freshwater and the country gets more rainfall.
- Bahamas has a completely different geography from China, since it is a low-lying group of islands in the Western Hemisphere. In addition, it shares almost no cultural or political similarity. Furthermore, it drives on the left and uses Type A, B electrical outlets with a different voltage than China. Unlike other countries on this list, it has a higher standard of living than China.
- Niger has the least similar demographics to China. It has the highest birthrate in the world, while for several decades, China limited its people to having only one child. Although a large portion of China is barren desert landscape, like Niger, China’s climate is much colder. In addition, Niger’s government is more democratic, but also more unstable.
- Guinea-Bissau, 7. South Sudan, 8. Solomon Islands, 9. Papua New Guinea, 10. Trinidad and Tobago
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to China
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