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 Mediterranean countries in the European Union
Many countries are similar to Greece. The top 5 countries are all in the European Union and 4 of them border the Mediterranean Sea. They are known for their scenic beaches and are also quite mountainous. In addition, the top 5 are all Christian countries that are some of the most religious in Europe.
Four of the five least similar countries are located in Africa. Their climates are generally hotter and drier than Greece. They also have little cultural or demographic similarity. They are all predominately Muslim nations with much more conservative laws and less democracy.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Greece
- Cyprus has the most similar culture and demographics to Greece. It is the only other country where a majority of the population speaks Greek. It even has the same national anthem. However there are also some significant differences, as Cyprus has some significant differences from Greece and the rest of continental Europe since it was ruled by Great Britain for over 50 years. They use British electrical outlets, drive on the left, and their legal system practices common law. Further contrasting Greece, about 20% of the population are Muslim Turkish-speaking people.
- Portugal has a similar economic situation to Greece, as one of the less wealthy countries in the European Union. They have the same amount of cars and air traffic. Their electrical production is similar as well since they both are primarily powered by coal, but also use gas, hydro, and wind power. In addition, the countries share a similar climate, although Portugal doesn’t actually border the Mediterranean Sea.
- Italy is another mountainous peninsula in the Mediterranean Sea. Both Italy and Greece were the two epicenters of classical civilization. They were both part of the Roman Empire. The two countries share similar politics, technology, and geography. However, Italy is Catholic and Greece is Orthodox. In addition, their languages are writing systems, while distantly related, are different.
- Spain is another country on the Iberian peninsula with a troubled economy. Both countries are big tourist destinations and have similar climates. In addition both Spain and Greece have been occupied by Muslim powers in their past. Spain was ruled by the Moors, while Greece was much more recently ruled by the Ottomans.
- Croatia is yet another Catholic country on this list, despite Greece being Orthodox. It borders the Mediterranean and is quite mountainous, just like Greece. It is also a scenic tourist destination. Both countries are quite interested in basketball and excel at the Olympics.
- Bulgaria, 7. Slovenia, 8. Montenegro, 9. Romania, 10. North Macedonia
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Greece
- Somalia is by far the least similar country to Greece. It is an anarchic, Muslim country that has poorly developed infrastructure. Its conservative policies contrast Greece’s much more liberal society. However both countries have relatively long coastlines and fairly close in distance.
- Sudan is a poor Muslim country in the Sahara Desert. It recently lost some territory to the newly formed country of South Sudan. Its conservative Muslim policies and authoritarian government make it quite different from Greece.
- Niger is mostly barren desert, sparsely populated and landlocked. It is yet another Muslim country with poor infrastructure on this list. In contrast to Greece’s aging population, Niger has the youngest population in the world.
- Yemen is located on the Arabian Peninsula, across the Gulf of Aden from Somalia. Unlike other countries in its vicinity it is much less affluent. It is another conservative Muslim country that has poorly developed infrastructure, due to civil war.
- Chad is located to the east of Niger. It is another landlocked country in the Sahara Desert that has very little in common with Greece. However, about 40% of the population is Christian.
- Gambia, 7. Mauritania, 8. Mali, 9. Democratic Republic of Congo, 10. Cambodia
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Greece
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