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 countries on the border between Sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa
Somalia is like other Muslim countries located in dry regions of the Sahel and the Horn of Africa. Most of these countries are quite poor and do not have well developed infrastructure. The native people of the top 5 countries all speak Afroasiatic languages.
The three least similar countries are located in East Asia. Their economies are much better and their infrastructure is highly developed. They are democratic countries with a high degree of rule of law. There are also few cultural similarities that these countries share with Somalia. Another big difference is that East Asia gets much more rainfall and has a greater percentage of forested land.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Somalia
- Djibouti is to the north of Somalia. It is the only other country with a majority of Somali people. While Somalia was created from the former British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland colonies, Djibouti was created from French Somaliland. However, Djibouti is a much smaller country and is more developed.
- Mauritania is another country that has a confluence of Muslim and Sub-Saharan African traits. Like Somalia, sorghum is the main agricultural product grown there. Both countries are also members of the Arab League. One big difference is that Mauritania is located on the Atlantic Ocean, while Somalia borders the Indian Ocean.
- Sudan is located just below Egypt. Both Somalia and Sudan have experienced civil war in recent years, leading to their poverty. In addition, the countries have some of the highest rates of male and female circumcision in the world. While both countries speak Afroasiatic languages, Sudan primarily uses the Arabic script, while Somali uses the Latin script.
- Niger is another Muslim country located in the Sahara Desert on this list. Like Somalia, it has one of the youngest populations in the world. However one big difference is that Niger was colonized by France.
- Chad is another former French colony to the east of Niger. However, it is slightly less similar to Somalia than Niger since it has a significant Christian population. Although the governments of both countries are not very democratic, Chad’s government had been ruled by an authoritarian dictator for decades.
- Ethiopia, 7. Mali, 8. Senegal, 9. Eritrea, 10. Gambia
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Somalia
- Japan not only has the least similar culture to Somalia, but also quite different geography. In addition, Japan has different infrastructure, since they drive on the left and have a completely different electrical system, using 100 volt Type A,B outlets. Still, there are a few similar laws. Both countries do not allow gambling or same sex marriage.
- Taiwan is another densely populated Asian country on this list. Like Japan, its demographics and culture are quite different from Somalia. Its infrastructure is far more developed as well. Both countries have a hot climate, but Somalia is much drier.
- South Korea is similar to Japan and Taiwan. It is one of the most well educated countries in the world and has the highest percentage of college graduates. There is very little it has in common with Somalia. However, both countries do drive on the right and use Type C, F electrical outlets.
- Canada is one of the coldest countries and one of the most sparsely populated countries with a high rate of urbanization, whereas Somalia is one of the hottest countries and much more rural. They also share little cultural or demographic similarity. Politically they are also far different. For example, while Canada allows same-sex marriage, Somalia is one of the few countries that imposes the death penalty for same-sex intercourse.
- Switzerland is one of the world’s richest countries and has the most millionaires per capita with around 7.5%. In addition, its mountainous alpine and landlocked geography contrasts Somalia relatively flat and barren desert land. The country is also much less religious and its people are less outgoing according to the Lewis Model.
- New Zealand, 7. Luxembourg, 8. Norway, 9. Netherlands 10. Denmark
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Somalia
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