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 Sub-Saharan African countries not colonized by the British
The top 5 countries most similar to Angola were colonized by either France, Portugal, and Belgium. As a result, 4 of the 5 countries are mostly Catholic, although they also have a high percentage of Protestants. In addition, these countries all have authoritarian governments, usually lead by dictatorial presidents.
The 5 least similar countries are all located in Asia. The are also much more developed, have a higher standard of living, and are more densely populated. The top 4 all border the Pacific Ocean and have mostly East Asian ancestry.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Angola
- Mozambique is by far the most similar country to Angola. It is another former Portuguese colony in Southern Africa, so it also uses Portuguese as its lingua franca. Although Angola borders the Atlantic Ocean and Mozambique borders the Indian Ocean, the two countries have a similar climate. Both use a small percentage of their land to grow crops but most of their people are farmers and they primarily grow corn.
- Republic of Congo, like Angola, has many native KiKongo speaking people. During European colonization of Africa, these people were split up by France, Portugal, and Belgium. Both countries are members of OPEC and produce a lot of oil. However, Angola also creates a significant amount of power by hydroelectricity as well. The countries have a similar diet as well since they mostly eat cassava and also a lot of fish.
- Democratic Republic of Congo shares a long border with like Angola. Both countries have endured long periods of civil war. They also have similar technology since they use the same Type C, F electrical outlets, 3’6″ gauge railroad track, and drive on the right. They even are part of the same electrical grid, the Southern African Power Pool.
- Togo, like Angola, is another African country with an authoritarian government dominated by one party. However, in Togo, homosexuality is criminalized and its people can be imprisoned for life, unlike Angola. Another difference is that Angola has nearly 50% forest cover, while Togo has less than 10%, since a much higher percentage of its land is used for agriculture. Both countries do grow a lot of corn but also beans and cassava.
- Cameroon is yet another former colony of France on this list. Like Angola, it has a lot of forest cover and not a high percentage of agricultural land. However, Cameroon is mostly located in the rainforest, while Angola is drier. Both countries are members of the Economic Community of Central African States.
- Tanzania, 7. Zambia, 8. Zimbabwe, 9. Benin, 10. Guinea-Bissau
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Angola
- Japan is by far the least similar country to Angola. Not only is its geography significantly different, but also its demographics, culture, politics, and technology. There really isn’t much in common between the two, except that the both use the 3’6″ rail gauge.
- South Korea is similar to Japan, but it is lower on this list, since it has some traits of Continental European countries, which were picked up by Angola. They both use Type C, F electrical outlets and drive on the right. There also is a significant percentage of Christians in South Korea.
- Taiwan is yet another East Asian country on this list, but unlike the first two, it has a tropical climate, so its geography is somewhat similar to Angola. Its laws are also significantly more liberal, since Taiwan legalized prostitution and same-sex marriage.
- Singapore also borders the South China Sea. It is a tiny, densely populated island full of skyscrapers. Its infrastructure is especially different since the country drives on the left, uses Type G outlets, and a different rail gauge. However, the country’s official language is English so it does use the Latin alphabet, like Angola.
- Bahrain is the least similar country in the Middle East. Like Singapore, it is another densely populated island. Bahrain’s climate is also much drier than Angola, so its landscape is less vegetated. It is a Muslim country that has a much higher standard of living.
- Great Britain, 7. Israel, 8. Saudi Arabia, 9. Qatar, 10. Canada
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Angola
Do you agree with the list?
Please leave any thoughts in the comments section.