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 Latin American countries
There are many countries with a high degree of similarity with Mexico. Latin American countries are especially similar to Mexico since they are generally Catholic, speak Romance languages, and have similar governments. The case could be made for a number of different countries being most similar to Mexico, as the top ones have similar scores.
One surprising country that did not make the top 5 is Guatemala. One reason is that Guatemala has a much greater Native American influence. Around 30% of its people natively speak a Mayan language instead of Spanish. Furthermore, it has one of the highest percentage of Protestants in Latin America, although Catholics are still in the majority there. It is also less affluent than Mexico.
The four of the five least similar countries are all located around the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. Although these countries also have dry climates like Mexico, but their landscapes are more barren. They also have significantly different in culture and demographics. All have have significant populations of Muslims.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Mexico
- Colombia is the only South American country to border both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. It shares similar culture and demographics with Mexico. Both countries have a presidential system of government with civil law legal systems. Colombia’s electrical system is also very similar to Mexico since it uses Type A, B and uses a similar voltage. In addition, Colombia and Mexico have the most prominent drug trafficking cartels in history.
- Costa Rica was originally part of the Mexican Empire but later became independent. Like Colombia, it too has similar demographics and culture with Mexico. In addition, Mexico and Costa Rica have similar GDP per capita. However, Costa Rica is a safer and more peaceful country. It is one of the few countries that does not have a standing army. Furthermore, it gets much more rainfall on average than Mexico.
- Ecuador is yet another Spanish speaking country, similar to Mexico. It has particularly similar demographics, with a high percentage of Mestizos, however it has a larger percentage of Africans. Although, Ecuador is more tropical, both countries are quite mountainous and have about the same percentage of agricultural land.
- El Salvador‘s agriculture is similar to Mexico. Both countries grow a lot of beans and corn. Although its culture and demographics are generally similar to Mexico, it is less wealthy and has less developed infrastructure. Furthermore, its government is more religious. While abortion is completely legal in Mexico, El Salvador is more conservative. It is one of the few countries that has banned abortion without any exceptions. El Salvador is also more densely populated.
- Venezuela is another Spanish speaking country that country that borders the Caribbean Sea. It also has similar sports culture. Both countries have won Olympic medals in Boxing, Taekwondo, and Track & Field. In addition, both countries love soccer, but also have interest in baseball and basketball. However, its government is significantly less democratic and more anarchic.
- Dominican Republic, 7. Honduras, 8. Panama, 9. Guatemala, 10. Peru
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Mexico
- Sudan is a predominately Muslim country in the Sahara Desert, with very little infrastructure. It recently lost some territory to the newly formed country of South Sudan. Its conservative governmental policies are quite unlike Mexico’s. The country is also much less democratic.
- Somalia is another African country with little similarity with Mexico. Its governmental policies influenced by its Muslim population are extremely conservative, compared to more liberal Mexico. In addition, its diet is quite different since Somalians drink very little alcohol and eat little meat. The biggest similarity between the two countries is that they have dry climates. They also both use the Latin alphabet.
- Yemen is located in the Arabian Desert across the Gulf of Aden from Somalia and Sudan. It is another Muslim country with little demographic, cultural, or technological similarity to Mexico. Its government is also less democratic and more anarchic. Yemen also has significantly more firearms and its gun control laws are much less restrictive. Still, both countries are fairly mountainous and have lots of coastline.
- Bangladesh is yet another Muslim country on this list that is very conservative, unlike Mexico. In addition, Bangladesh is located in a low-lying wet river delta landscape and is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. In comparison, Mexico is dry, mountainous, and sparsely populated. Their cuisine is also far different. While Mexico’s is heavily based in corn, Bangladesh’s is based in rice. Their sports culture is especially different, since Bangladesh is much more interesting in cricket than soccer.
- Eritrea is located on the Red Sea, close to Somalia. Its government is a totalitarian one-party dictatorship. Like other countries on this list it has poorly developed infrastructure. Although its population is about 50% Christian, they are part of the unique Oriental Orthodox denomination. The other 50% are Muslim. Linguistically, Eritrea has no similarity as well since they speak Afroasiatic languages and use the Ge’ez script. Still, the country is has a dry climate like Mexico and it is also quite mountainous.
- Niger, 7. North Korea, 8. Chad, 9. Mauritania, 10. Bahrain
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Mexico
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