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 the Indian Subcontinent and the Middle East
There are relatively few countries with a high degree of similarity with Pakistan. It shares traits with the Indian subcontinent, but also traits with some of the poorer Muslim countries with dry climates. This gives Pakistan its unique character.
The least similar countries are located in Northern Europe and East Asia. They are not only more developed but also have less barren landscapes than Pakistan.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Pakistan
- India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, were originally all one country. However, after the partition of India in 1947, the country was separated on the basis of religion. The nations retain many similarities, despite the fact they are now on unfriendly terms with each other. Pakistan’s official languages English and Urdu (a dialect of Hindi using the Arabic writing system) mirror India’s. In addition, their infrastructure is similar since they both drive on the left and use the same rail gauge. They also use the same electrical outlet and voltage. However, unlike Pakistan its population is mostly Hindu.
- Afghanistan is located just to the north of Pakistan. Both countries are mostly desert and have high mountains. In addition, both are Muslim and their governments practice Sharia law. However, unlike Pakistan, it was never a full colony of Britain, so it has less of a British influence. It drives on the right side of the road and uses the Russian broad gauge railroad track. It also does not have a parliamentary system of government.
- Iraq is the most similar Arab country to Pakistan. Like Pakistan, it had also been ruled by Britain for a time. In fact, the Indian Rupee was even the currency there at one time. Iraq also has a parliamentary form of government similar to Pakistan. These two Muslim countries are also primarily deserts with major rivers flowing through them. However, although both countries use the Arabic script, the major languages in Pakistan are completely unrelated to Arabic.
- Iran‘s geography is very similar to Pakistan. Both countries are quite mountainous and dry. One big difference is that a majority of Iranians are Shi’ites. Their government is also unique since it is lead by religious leaders and is more authoritarian than Pakistan’s.
- Bangladesh was part of Pakistan up until 1971, so the countries have significant similarities. Although both countries have a majority Sunni Muslim majority population, Bangladesh’s language and writing system are both far different from Pakistan’s. In addition, Bangladesh’s climate is quite different from Pakistan. In contrast to Pakistan’s mountainous desert landscape, Bangladesh is low lying and wet, surrounding the Ganges River delta.
- Yemen, 7. Egypt, 8. Syria, 9. Sudan, 10. Morocco
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Pakistan
- Taiwan is a subtropical island in the Pacific that gets a lot of rainfall. The country drives on the right and uses different electrical outlets than Pakistan. Furthermore, there are few Muslims in Taiwan, since they follow Buddhism and traditional Chinese religions. The biggest similarity is that they are both located in Asia, although they are far apart.
- Finland‘s demographics are vastly different from Pakistan, in part due to the fact that of all European countries it has the least genetic similarity to Pakistan, since Finns have more Siberian genes. In addition, the country is quite flat and has many lakes, in contrast to Pakistan’s dry mountainous landscape.
- Japan, like Taiwan, is another island in the Pacific on the list. Still, there are a few similarities which make it more similar to Pakistan than Taiwan. Both countries drive on the left and are also quite mountainous. Furthermore, the average temperature of both countries is similar.
- South Korea is yet another East Asian country with little similarity to Pakistan. While both countries are mountainous, South Korea’s culture and demographics are quite different. In addition, its infrastructure is much more developed and its technology is quite different since it drives on the right and uses a different rail gauge.
- Netherlands is a highly developed country in Europe. Its average elevation is quite low in comparison to Pakistan. Its population density is much greater than Pakistan, but it also has a higher percentage of agricultural land. Furthermore, its government’s policies are extremely liberal.
- Iceland, 7. Denmark, 8. Norway, 9. Sweden, 10. Singapore
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Pakistan
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