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 Dominican Republic, Central America, and French-speaking countries in Africa
Haiti is a unique country. It is located in the Caribbean, but it is the only French speaking country in the area (besides territories like French Guinea and Martinique). Furthermore, it is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. 4 of the top 10 countries most similar to Haiti are located in the Caribbean and Central America, while the other 6 are located in Africa.
The least similar countries are in East Asia and the Middle East. They are all quite wealthy countries. Their climates are also different from Haiti.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Haiti
- Dominican Republic is the only other country on the island of Hispaniola. Haiti actually ruled Dominican Republic for more than 20 years. Both countries are mostly Catholic. However, the countries have significant differences despite their proximity. Dominican Republic speaks Spanish and has a lower percentage of African ancestry. In addition, it is more developed. Its people are more interested in baseball than Haitians.
- Nicaragua is the country in Central America most similar to Haiti. After Haiti, Nicaragua is the next poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Both countries have endured devastating natural disasters and political instability. In addition, both had been occupied by the United States in the 20th Century. However, like Dominican Republic, it speaks Spanish and has a lower percentage of African ancestry.
- Burundi is a former Belgian colony in Africa so its official language is French and most people are Catholic, like Haiti. It is also one of the few countries in Africa where circumcision is not commonly practiced. Burundi and Haiti are among the poorest countries in the world. One significant difference is that Burundi is landlocked. A lower percentage of its land is used for agriculture as well.
- Madagascar is another former French colony located on a tropical island. It has a similar form of government and amount of democracy. While both countries are mostly Christian, Madagascar has more Protestants than Catholics. Their landscapes are similar since a lot of their land is devoted to agriculture. While both countries have mostly African ancestry, a significant portion of the ancestry of Malagasy people originates in Asia.
- Honduras is another country similar to Nicaragua, with natural disasters and political instability. Both Haiti and Honduras were heavily in debt to foreign powers, adding to their woes. The countries also have similar laws. They both prohibit abortion and do not allow gay marriage or polygamy.
- Rwanda, 7. Republic of Congo, 8. Ivory Coast, 9. El Salvador, 10. Cameroon
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Haiti
- Japan has little demographic or cultural similarity with Haiti. In addition, its infrastructure is extremely different as Japan drives on the left and has a high number of cars per capita. Japan has some of the busiest railroads in the world, while Haiti doesn’t even have a railroad. However, one big similarity is that they both have Type A,B outlets with a similar voltage.
- Saudi Arabia is an extremely wealthy Muslim country in the Middle East. In contrast to Saudi Arabia’s military strength, Haiti disbanded its army for many years. The country is an absolute monarchy with no congress. Its landscape is also quite different, since its climate is much drier, Saudi Arabia has little vegetation.
- Israel is one of the few countries in the world to allow Haitians visa free travel to their country. However, the countries are incredibly different. Israel is much more developed and has a drier climate. It also has a unique culture, due to its religious practices, language, and writing system.
- Qatar is another wealthy Arabian country, like Saudi Arabia, on this list. It is a flat peninsula located in the Persian Gulf. It has one of the highest GDPs per capita in the world in contrast to Haiti. Although both countries are densely populated, Qatar’s land is more developed and has many skyscrapers.
- South Korea is an Asian country with a relatively temperate climate. However, both countries have a significant amount of Christians, although in Korea they are mostly Protestant. Like Japan, it has far more cars and it has a dense network of trains. However, it is a little more similar since South Korea drives on the right side of the road.
- Bahrain, 7. Finland, 8. United Arab Emirates, 9. Kuwait, 10. Australia
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