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 South Korea
North Korea is very unique. Of course, in some respects, South Korea is extremely similar to North Korea since it speaks Korean and uses the Korean writing system. However, its politics and standard of living are far different from South Korea.
Four of the five least similar countries to North Korea are former British colonies. Their governments are all democratic. They all have a higher standard of living and a completely different culture.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to North Korea
- South Korea is the only other country that speaks Korean and uses its unique writing system, Hangul. It is also located on the same peninsula so its geography is similar as well. However, there are huge political and technological differences between South Korea and North Korea. While South Korea is a two-party democracy, North Korea is a one-party authoritarian dictatorship. In addition, North Korea is far poorer and has less developed infrastructure.
- China is another East Asian country ruled by an authoritarian communist party, albeit a less extreme version. As a result of being in countries that practice state atheism, both countries are not particularly religious. However, China is much more prosperous and is completely different linguistically. China also has a much more diverse landscape, including large areas of both desert and rainforest.
- Vietnam, like China and North Korea, has an authoritarian communist government. Both countries have been highly influenced by China historically. However, Vietnam has a tropical climate. Furthermore, its agriculture and diet is based far more on rice. North Korea’s diet and crops are more diverse. The country grows a lot more corn and potato than Vietnam.
- Laos is yet another Asian, authoritarian one-party state on this list. Both countries are quite poor and their infrastructure is not well developed. Although both countries are mountainous, Laos is landlocked and has completely different flora and fauna. It also has a far lower percentage of agricultural land.
- Cambodia borders both Laos and Vietnam. Cambodia is a little different politically, since it is a constitutional monarchy. Still, it is a one-party, authoritarian state. While their crops are quite different, Cambodia has about the same percentage of agricultural and forested land. However, it is also less mountainous. Another difference is that historically Cambodia has been much more influenced by India than China.
- Thailand, 7. Myanmar, 8. Belarus, 9. Taiwan, 10. Japan
Top 10 Places Least Similar to North Korea
- Australia is much more democratic than North Korea and far more liberal. In addition, while both countries border the Pacific Ocean and are at the same longitude, Australia’s climate is much hotter and drier. Australia’s technology is very different as well since it drives on the left, has Type I electrical outlets, and uses a different rail gauge.
- Iceland is a highly developed island in the Atlantic Ocean. Like Australia, it has liberal policies and culture, which contrast North Korea. While North Korea has the highest percentage of people in the military, Iceland does not even have a military. Still, one thing that both countries have in common is that they have many atheists.
- Bahamas is another country located in the Atlantic Ocean, although it is far different from Iceland. The country is mostly Protestant and the majority of its people have African ancestry. Unlike North Korea, the Bahamas is much flatter and it has a tropical climate. Still, the Bahamas is not as wealthy as the other countries on this list.
- Canada is colder and less densely populated than North Korea. It also has a much lower percentage of agricultural land. Although North Korea and Canada create most of their energy through hydropower, Canada creates far more per capita.
- United States is yet another North American country on this list. The culture of each country couldn’t be more different. While North Korean has a collectivist culture, the United States is individualist. North Korea has few foreigners, whereas the United States is a melting pot of different races and cultures.
- Ireland, 7. Trinidad & Tobago, 8. New Zealand, 9. Saudi Arabia, 10. Oman
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to North Korea
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