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 Spanish-speaking countries bordering the Caribbean
Most Latin American countries have a high degree similarity with each other. However, Cuba is an exception, especially due to its unique political situation and government. Dominican Republic and Venezuela are the most similar, along with other countries in Central America.
The three least similar countries are all extremely mountainous landlocked countries in Asia. Their climate is also much colder. They also have very little in common culturally with Cuba. They are all much more religious and have more conservative laws.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Cuba
- Dominican Republic is another Spanish-speaking island nation in the Greater Antilles. Both countries share a similar culture, especially in regards to sports as they both produce many baseball players, but aren’t so great at soccer. Both countries have also won Olympic medals in the Olympics and Track. However, Cuba and Dominican Republic’s politics are quite different. While Cuba is a single-party socialist country, Dominican Republic is a multi-party democracy.
- Venezuela is more similar to Cuba than Dominican Republic in regards to politics. The country implemented many socialist policies under former president Hugo Chavez. They both have free college, universal healthcare, and generous pensions. In addition, the military equipment of both countries has been mostly supplied by Russia.
- Nicaragua is the country in Central America most similar to Cuba. Like Cuba, Nicaragua is largely ruled by a socialist party, the Sandinista National Liberation Front, however it is more democratic than Cuba, since other political parties are allowed. Both countries have tropical climates with similar flora and fauna, however Nicaragua has volcanos and more mountains.
- Panama and Cuba had both been occupied by the United States and subsequently gained their independence, although Panama has kept a closer relationship with the United States recently. In countries share significant cultural and demographic similarity. Panama has the highest amount of African ancestry of Spanish-speaking countries in Central America.
- Costa Rica is very similar to Panama. It is located just to its north and their geography is nearly identical. It has one of the highest standards of living in Central America. One difference is that Cuba relies on oil and gas imports to create electricity, while Costa Rica relies on sustainable energy like hydropower.
- Colombia, 7. El Salvador, 8. Mexico, 9. Honduras, 10. Ecuador
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Cuba
- Bhutan is a landlocked country on the opposite side of the world. In contrast to Cuba’s low-lying landscape, Bhutan has the highest average elevation in the world. The country has especially unique traditions since its people are mostly devout Buddhists. Cubans on the other hand are mostly Catholic and the government has an official policy of state atheism.
- Afghanistan is another Asian country that is mountainous and landlocked. It is a Muslim country that is much poorer than Cuba. However, one similarity the countries do share is that they both have received a lot of military aid from the Soviet Union and Russia over the years.
- Nepal is a similar country to Bhutan. It is also landlocked, extremely mountainous, and is quite rural. However Nepal differs from Bhutan in the fact that most its people practice Hinduism. Nepal also drives on the left of the road and uses different electrical outlets.
- Yemen is located in the Arabian Desert. Unlike other countries near it, it is not as affluent, in part due to on-going civil war. It is another impoverished Muslim country with little demographic, cultural, or technological similarity to Colombia.
- Niger is a predominately Muslim country located in the Sahara Desert. It is yet another landlocked country on this list. However, one similarity is that both countries use the Latin alphabet, since the official language of Niger is French.
- Japan, 7. Somalia, 8. Papua New Guinea, 9. Lesotho, 10. Chad
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Cuba
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