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 India and Pakistan
There are relatively few countries with a high degree of similarity with Bangladesh. One reason is that Bangladesh has a unique geography. It is densely populated and its terrain is quite flat since it is situated on a river delta. Most of its land is used to grow rice. There are not many other Muslim countries with this type of geography.
The least similar countries are located in North America and Nordic countries. Their climates are much colder and their population is far less dense. They all have a higher standard of living and more democratic governments. Although the majority of the people in these countries are considered to be Caucasian, their ancestry is still significantly different from Bengalis.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Bangladesh
- India and Bangladesh were united until 1947, so the countries have significant similarities. The biggest difference is that Bangladesh is mostly Muslim. Both countries primarily speak Indic languages and use a similar writing system. There is also a significant percentage of Indians who speak Bengali.
- Pakistan is also similar to Bangladesh, since it is the only other country on the Indian subcontinent with a majority Muslim population. However, Pakistan uses an Arabic script, unlike India and Bangladesh. In addition, Pakistan’s geography is significantly different since its climate is much drier. Pakistan is also quite mountainous, while Bangladesh is incredibly flat since it is located in the Ganges river delta.
- Sri Lanka is another tropical country on the Indian subcontinent. Both countries primarily eat rice and fish. However, the religion of most Sri Lankans is Theravada Buddhism, although they also have a significant amount of Muslims as well. Although Sinhalese script is another writing system related to Brahmi script, Devanagari script is more closely related to Bangla script.
- Indonesia is the country most similar to Bangladesh outside of the Indian subcontinent. It is a tropical and densely populated Muslim country. Both countries drive on the left and primarily use one meter wide rail gauge. Like Pakistan, the country drinks very little alcohol. Like Sri Lanka, it also largely eats fish and rice. However, the ancestry of Indonesians comes mostly from East Asia. In addition, its language and writing system is totally unrelated to Bengali.
- Nepal has a much more mountainous terrain and temperate climate. Furthermore, its people mostly practice Hinduism, not Islam. The countries still do share many similar cultural points such as speaking Indic languages and having a similar writing system. In addition, both countries love to watch cricket. Neither country has won an Olympic medal as well.
- Myanmar, 7. Cambodia, 8. Sierra Leone, 9. Malaysia, 10. Afghanistan
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Bangladesh
- Canada was also a colony of Britain, but it is extremely different from Bangladesh. Its sparsely populated, highly urbanized population starkly contrasts Bangladesh’s dense but rural population. The country’s infrastructure is also quite different. It drives on the right, uses standard gauge railroad track, and Type A, B electrical outlets, unlike Bangladesh.
- United States, like Canada, is another former colony of Britain, but they quite different in almost every aspect as well. The diet of Bengalis is vastly different from Americans. In addition, while the United States is a sports powerhouse, Bangladesh has won few medals at the Olympics and their favorite sport is cricket.
- Iceland is a well developed, sparsely populated island. Not only are their people and culture quite different from Bangladesh, but also their geography. Iceland’s climate is much colder and hardly any of their land is used for agriculture.
- Finland is a heavily forested Nordic country. Although other countries on this list actually natively speak a Indo-European language that is distantly related to Bengali, Finland’s language is completely unrelated. Still, both countries are quite flat and have water taking up a significant portion of their land.
- Norway is another extremely wealthy country with little similarity to Bangladesh. While Norway is cold and mountainous, Bangladesh is flat and hot. Norway’s government is also far more liberal than Bangladesh. It is more democratic and has much less corruption.
- Sweden, 7. Switzerland, 8. Japan, 9. Germany, 10. Austria
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Bangladesh
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