Which Countries are Most Similar to Colombia? 2.0

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 Latin American countries

Latin American countries are especially similar to Colombia. They are generally Catholic, speak Romance languages, and have similar governments. Panama, Ecuador and Venezuela are especially similar and have virtually the same scores. It makes sense since they were all part of the same country at one time.

Four of the five least similar countries are predominately Muslim. These countries all happen to be located in barren deserts as well. Their governments are also less democratic than Colombia’s.

Top 10 Places Most Similar to Colombia

  1. Ecuador gained its independence from Colombia in 1830. Its flag is also nearly identical to Colombia, except it has a coat of arms on it. However, Ecuador has a larger percentage of indigenous people.
  2. Panama was the last country to break away from Colombia, achieving independence in 1903 with the help of the United States. Like Colombia, it borders both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. It also shares similar culture and demographics.
  3. Venezuela would easily be the most similar to Colombia if politics were not a factor. Venezuela is less democratic and isn’t an ally of the United States. Colombia and Venezuela’s demographics and culture are especially similar. In addition, they both are mostly tropical forests and border the Caribbean Sea.
  4. Peru is further south than Ecuador. While both countries are in the Andes Mountains, Peru has some desert areas. In addition, it has many more indigenous people and less people with African ancestry. Still, Colombia and Peru have a lot of traits in common.
  5. Costa Rica‘s agriculture is more similar to Colombia than any other country. Both produce a lot of coffee and sugar. One big difference is that Costa Rica has no active military, while Colombia has the third largest army in the Western Hemisphere. Like Panama, it also borders both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean.
  6. Dominican Republic, 7. Mexico, 8. El Salvador, 9. Brazil, 10. Honduras

Top 10 Places Least Similar to Colombia

  1. Somalia is the least similar country to Colombia. Its governmental policies influenced by its Muslim population are extremely conservative, compared to more liberal Colombia. In addition, the countries are on opposite ends of the precipitation scale, as Colombia is a rainforest, while Somalia is a desert. Still, both countries do use the Latin alphabet, although their languages are completely unrelated.
  2. Yemen is located in the Arabian Desert across the Gulf of Aden from Somalia. Unlike other countries in on the Arabian peninsula, its infrastructure is far less developed in part due to on-going civil war. However, both countries are mountainous.
  3. Sudan is yet another Muslim country on this list. Its conservative governmental policies are quite unlike Colombia’s. In addition, its government is lead by the military, following a recent coup. The country’s diet is especially dissimilar from Colombia since they mostly eat sorghum based food.
  4. Japan is the only non-Muslim country on this list. It is a much more densely populated country and it has a higher standard of living than Colombia. Obviously, their culture and demographics is quite dissimilar. One thing they do have in common is that they are both quite mountainous and have a high percentage of land that is forested. In addition, both countries use Type A, B electrical outlets. Still, Japan drives on the left and uses a different standard rail gauge.
  5. Afghanistan is a landlocked country with a barren landscape due to its high elevation and low average rainfall. While both countries natively speak Indo-European languages, they use different writing systems. The country’s favorite sport is cricket and it does not have a successful soccer team, in contrast to Colombia.
  6. North Korea, 7. Bahrain, 8. Qatar, 9. Mauritania, 10. Kuwait

    Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Colombia

Do you agree with the list?
Please leave any thoughts in the comments section.


  1. Thanks, very interesting. The headline of the email that was sent was “which countries are most similar to mexico” so you should fix it. Still waiting for Israel list.


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