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 Eastern European countries that are Catholic
Many European countries are similar to Poland. The top 5 countries are all in Eastern Europe. All five speak Balto-Slavic languages and practice Catholicism. They are all currently part of the European Union and members of NATO.
The four least similar countries are all clustered around the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. These countries are significantly poorer than Poland. Their demographics and culture are also quite different. Their climate is much drier and a low percentage of their land is used for agriculture.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Poland
- Czechia is located to the south of Poland. Besides their demographic and cultural similarities, Czechia’s technology is extremely similar to Poland as well. They both produce most of their energy from coal. In addition, they also have similar electrical, road, and railroad infrastructure. However, although both countries are Catholic, Czechia is much less religious, in fact it is one of the least in the world.
- Slovakia is extremely similar to Czechia, since the two were part of the same country until 1993. The exact border between Slovakia and Poland has changed several times in the past hundred years. The countries also have a similar standard of living. However, Slovakia is more mountainous and has a higher percentage of forest land. Another big difference is that ice hockey is more popular in Slovakia.
- Croatia is another Slavic-speaking country on this list. Both countries are also predominately Catholic and fairly religious. However, Croatia borders the Mediterranean and is much more mountainous than Poland. Its beaches make it much more of a scenic tourist destination. Croatia’s climate is warmer than Poland, although they have similar flora and fauna.
- Slovenia is similar to Croatia, except it is slightly more prosperous and has few beaches. Unlike Poland, its electricity is created by hydroelectric dams and nuclear power plants. In addition, its agricultural production is different. It produces much more corn and grapes than Poland.
- Lithuania is another country bordering the Baltic Sea. The two countries were united for over 200 years, before being split up by Austria, Prussia, and Russia. However, since Lithuania became part of the USSR, it has a much greater Soviet influence than Poland. In addition, Lithuanians are more interested in basketball than soccer, unlike most other European countries.
- Romania, 7. Hungary, 8. France, 9. Belgium, 10. Latvia
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Poland
- Sudan is located in the Sahara Desert. The country recently lost some territory to the newly formed country of South Sudan. Due to civil war, its infrastructure is much less developed than Poland. The country is predominately Muslim and speaks Arabic. Still, one similarity between Poland and Sudan is that they are both in the same time zone.
- Somalia is another war-torn, Muslim country that has poorly developed infrastructure, due to civil war. In addition, its hot desert climate contrasts Poland’s much cooler climate. As a result, Somalia has a far lower percentage of farmland. Still, both countries use the Latin alphabet, although Somali is completely unrelated to Polish.
- Yemen is located on the Arabian Peninsula, across the Gulf of Aden from Somalia. It is another conservative Muslim country on this list. Unlike other countries on the Arabian Peninsula, it is in a state of civil war and has poorly developed infrastructure. The country is also much more mountainous.
- Eritrea is located on the Red Sea across from Yemen. Its government has been a dictatorship for almost 20 years. Its unique language and writing system are completely different from Polish. Furthermore, most of the country is close to the beach, in contrast to Poland.
- Papua New Guinea, like Poland, is a Christian country, however they are mostly Protestant. Apart from their religion, the countries have very little similarity. Papua New Guinea is a sparsely populated, mountainous tropical island, in contrast to Poland’s more densely populated relatively flat landscape. Still, it is more democratic than other countries on this list.
- Niger, 7. Laos, 8. Chad, 9. Solomon Islands, 10. Cambodia
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Poland
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