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 former countries of French West Africa
The top four countries most similar to Senegal all were colonized by France and use French as their lingua franca. In addition, 4 of the top 5 countries have Islam as their most common religion. However, these countries have secular governments, unlike many Arab countries.
The least similar countries are either located in East Asia or former British colonies. In addition, all these countries have much higher standards of living and they are also more developed. Unlike Senegal, these countries are also quite mountainous as well.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Senegal
- Guinea is just to the south of Senegal. It is another former French colony on the Atlantic Ocean. Although Senegal’s main ethnic group is Wolof, it also has a significant percentage of Fula people like Senegal. They have a similar standard of living and development of infrastructure. However, Guinea does not have a large percentage of desert land, like Senegal.
- Mali and Senegal were actually one country briefly in 1960, but much earlier in history Senegal was part of the Mali Empire. The countries use the same currency: the West African CFA franc. Their flags are also incredibly similar. Furthermore, their agriculture is similar as well since they both grow millet, rice, sorghum, and corn, but Mali grows less peanuts.
- Burkina Faso‘s technology is especially similar to Senegal. Both countries rely on oil to create electricity. In addition, both their militaries are not well equipped, neither have battle tanks. Both countries are secular democracies after Burkina Faso’s dictator was overthrown in 2014. However, only 60% of its citizens are Muslim.
- Benin is the only country in the top 5 with a majority Christian population, but it also has a significant number of Muslims as well. As a result, it drinks significantly more alcohol and polygamy is not allowed. Still, both countries have a similar standard of living.
- Gambia is almost entirely surrounded by Senegal, so it is no wonder it is so similar. Both countries are primarily Muslim and they natively speak similar languages. However, there is one big difference between these countries. Gambia was a British colony, not a French colony, so its official language is English and it follows other British conventions.
- Ivory Coast, 7. Niger, 8. Guinea-Bissau, 9. Togo, 10. Cameroon
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Senegal
- Japan‘s geography significantly different from Senegal. It is a mountainous archipelago with a temperate climate and a lot of rainfall. Its demographics, culture, and technology are also quite different. There isn’t much in common between the two, except that they are both democracies.
- Canada is the least similar country to Senegal in the Western Hemisphere, despite both countries having French as one of their official languages and using the same writing system. It is one of the coldest countries, in contrast to Senegal’s hot desert climate. In addition, its politics are extremely different, since it is much more liberal.
- Taiwan, like Japan, is another country in the Pacific Ocean with little in common with Senegal. They do not share a common language, writing system, or religion. However Taiwan is a little more like Senegal than Japan, since it drives on the right and its climate is hotter than Japan.
- New Zealand is even further to the south of Taiwan. It is a mountainous, temperate island with developed infrastructure, in contrast to Senegal’s relatively flat and undeveloped desert landscape. Like Canada, it is much wealthier and more liberal.
- South Korea is another East Asian country on this list. The countries have little in common culturally. However, they do share some similarity in technology. They both use the same electrical outlets and drive on the right. However, Senegal’s infrastructure is less well developed.
- Norway, 7. Iceland, 8. United States, 9. Singapore, 10. United Kingdom
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Senegal
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