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 no other countries
Israel is one of the most unique countries in the world, so very few countries are similar, since their people have a distinct religion and customs. Israel has some traits of countries in both Europe and the Middle East. Reflecting this, the top 5 countries feature Italy and Greece, but also Tunisia and Lebanon.
The least similar countries are primarily located in two regions: Melanesia and Central Africa. Both of these areas are quite poor and their infrastructure is not well developed. They are also heavily forested and get far more rainfall than Israel.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Israel
- Tunisia‘s climate and geography is quite similar to Israel, despite not bordering it. Both countries are mostly barren desert, but also have a significant portion of agricultural land. In addition, Israel and Tunisia have the most democratic governments in the Middle East. Although the countries do not have the most friendly relations, it is one of the few Muslim countries that allows Israelis to enter their country. However, the standard of living in Tunisia is lower.
- Italy is another highly developed, Mediterranean country. There is some evidence that a large portion of the Jewish population in Europe originated in Italy. Despite practicing different religions and speaking a vastly different language, the people of both countries do have cultural similarities. Both enjoy soccer and basketball as well. In addition, Italy’s agriculture is like Israel’s since they both grow predominately wheat and olives. However, it gets much more rainfall than Israel on average.
- Greece is another country that does not have the best relationship with Muslim countries in its vicinity. Both countries have unicameral parliaments with similar laws. Their populations also have similar ancestry. However, Greece is not as wealthy. Furthermore, Greece is more successful in sports and founded the Olympics, while Israel only has one Olympic gold medal.
- Cyprus was also a British controlled territory before it became partitioned between Muslims and another dominant ethnic group, like Israel. The countries have similar demographics. However, the technology in Cyprus is significantly different from Israel, since they drive on the left and use Type G electrical outlets, due to greater British influence. Its military is not very advanced either.
- Lebanon is just to the north of Israel. It is another densely populated country bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Israel and Lebanon have significant cultural similarities despite their religious differences. However, the standard of living in Lebanon is lower. Its government is also less democratic and much more corrupt.
- Jordan, 7. Montenegro, 8. Spain, 9. Croatia, 10. Turkey
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Israel
- Papua New Guinea is by far the least similar country to Israel. It is a tropical Christian country in the Pacific Ocean. In contrast to the dry climate of Israel, it is one of the wettest countries on Earth. While Israel is highly developed, Papua New Guinea has little infrastructure. It drives on the left and uses different electrical outlets.
- Solomon Islands is another tropical Christian country in the Pacific Ocean, like Papua New Guinea. It also has one of the lowest percentages of immigrants in the world. However, most of its population is close to the coastline and it has mountainous terrain, just like Israel. Both governments are also democratic, although the laws in Israel are significantly different.
- Uganda is a poor, landlocked country in Africa. It has a presidential system of government and more conservative laws than Israel. Furthermore, it is rated as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Still both countries are densely populated. Interestingly enough, most of the water in both countries drains to the Mediterranean Sea, since Lake Victoria is connected to the Nile River.
- Democratic Republic of Congo is a heavily forested tropical country with little coastline in the middle of Africa. In contrast to Israel, most of its people are subsistence farmers. The country is ruled by an authoritarian dictator and it is also quite poor, despite being rich in natural resources.
- South Sudan is one of the world’s newest countries. It is located in Africa, south of the Sahara Desert. Its geography bears little resemblance to Israel, since it is rural, landlocked, and relatively flat. Its infrastructure is also far less developed.
- Laos 7. Central Africa Republic, 8. Haiti, 9. Burundi, 10. Tanzania
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Israel
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