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 Germanic-Speaking Countries near the Caribbean Sea
Few countries are similar to Guyana. The top 5 countries were all colonies of Great Britain (although Suriname was only a British colony for a short time before it was traded to the Netherlands in exchange for New York in 1667). They all have tropical climates and border the Caribbean Sea as well.
Please note that some of the other countries in the West Indies, Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, would all be candidates for this list, but they are too small in population and land area to have enough reliable data for this project.
Four of the five least similar countries are located in East Asia. Guyana’s culture and geography is especially from these countries. These countries all have more temperate climates and are also more mountainous. In addition, they do not use the Latin alphabet or speak languages related to English.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Guyana
- Suriname is the only other country in South America that speaks a Germanic language. Since it was a colony of the Netherlands its official language is Dutch. Suriname and Guyana border each other and have nearly exactly the same geography. They are two of the most forested countries by percentage in the world. In the few agricultural areas that they have both mostly grow rice. Both countries have many people with African and Indian ancestry, although Suriname has more Asians. In addition, Guyana did not adopt a parliamentary system of government, just like Suriname.
- Trinidad & Tobago has very similar demographics and culture with Guyana. Like Suriname and Guyana, their population is primarily made up of people with African and Indian heritage. Both countries are mostly Protestant, but also have significant percentages of Catholics, Muslims, and Hindus. The most popular sport in both countries is cricket. However, Trinidad is wealthier and it is a densely populated island.
- Jamaica is a tropical island in the Caribbean, like Trinidad and Tobago, although its people are almost entirely of African descent and Protestant. The diet of Jamaicans is similar to Guyana since both primarily eat chicken and fish with bread and rice, although Jamaica eats more yams. Both countries rely on oil to create electricity and use about the same amount of energy per capita.
- Belize is another former British colony in the Caribbean, but it is located on the mainland of North America. It has a similar tropical climate and standard of living. Despite English being its official language, more than 30% of its people natively speak Spanish. It also has far fewer people with African and Indian ancestry. Neither country has railroads, although Belize drives on the right, while Guyana drives on the left. Neither country has switched to a digital TV broadcast as well.
- Bahamas is yet another former British colony on this list. However, the Bahamas is much more wealthy than Guyana. Although both countries are quite flat and have little less agricultural land, the Bahamas is an island archipelago that mostly grows coconuts. Most of Guyana’s land, in contrast, is far from the coast.
- Nicaragua, 7. Fiji, 8. Colombia, 9. Dominican Republic, 10. Panama
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Guyana
- China‘s demographics and culture are far different from Guyana. While China does have some tropical rainforests in its southern region, it has a much greater diversity of landscapes and is also more mountainous and densely populated. While China has a huge amount of media and internet censorship, Guyana has very little. Its technology is also quite different since it drives on the right and primarily uses Type I electrical plugs.
- Japan has little demographic or cultural similarity to Guyana. In addition, while Japan is quite mountainous and densely populated, Guyana is relatively flat and sparsely populated. While Japan has one of the most advanced railroad networks in the world, Guyana does not even have a railroad. Still there are some similarities since both countries drive on left and use Type A, B electrical outlets.
- North Korea is also far different from Guyana, especially due to its authoritarian government. Although the infrastructure in both countries is not well developed, North Korea drives on the right, uses Type C, F electrical outlets, unlike Guyana. A far larger percentage of its population is in the military as well and its weapons are more advanced.
- Israel is a densely populated country in the Mediterranean. In contrast to the dry climate of Israel, Guyana is made up of lush tropical rainforest. It also has little infrastructure in comparison with Israel. The country is mostly Jewish and uses the Hebrew alphabet. It also has a parliamentary form of government, unlike Guyana.
- South Korea is yet another Asian country on this list. However, it does have a significant percentage of Protestant Christians, like South Korea. Furthermore, both countries use the presidential system of government. Still, its culture and geography are far different. The country is also much more developed and densely populated. Still, the primary crop in both countries is rice.
- Denmark, 7. Qatar, 8. Netherlands, 9. Luxembourg, 10. Saudi Arabia
Do you agree with the list?
Please leave any thoughts in the comments section.