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 Slavic countries that are Catholic
Although its language is completely different from most European countries, it is similar in many respects to the Slavic countries that surround it. The 4 of the top 5 countries were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, but no longer have monarchs. Due to its relatively central position in Europe, Hungary has a mix of different traits from both Eastern, Western, and also Northern Europe.
Four of the five least similar countries are close to the Red Sea. Their standard of living is much lower than Hungary. In addition, their governments are less democratic and more conservative. Four of the five least similar countries are also mostly desert and have a low percentage of farmland.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Hungary
- Slovakia is another landlocked country just to the north of Hungary. Around 10% of people in Slovakia speak Hungarian natively. Both countries are flawed democracies with relatively corrupt governments. Slovakia and Hungary also have a similar diet, which is heavy in chicken and pork. One difference is that Slovakians are more interested in ice hockey, while Hungarians are more interested in water polo.
- Slovenia lies to the west of Hungary. The countries have about the same standard of living. Both have generous welfare benefits for their citizens. Nuclear energy provides a significant portion of their electricity. However, Slovenia is much more mountainous and has a lower percentage of agricultural land than Hungary. In addition, the divorce rate is much higher in Hungary.
- Czechia‘s geography is similar to Hungary, although it does not border it. They are both landlocked and have a similar climate and terrain. Although both countries are predominately Catholic, Czechia has far more irreligious people.
- Poland is the only country in the top 5 that was not part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Both are relatively flat countries that have a high percentage of agricultural land. The countries also have similar laws. Both have legalized prostitution and no death penalty. However, unlike other countries on this list, Poland has a semi-presidential system of government, not a parliamentary system.
- Croatia is yet another Catholic, Slavic-speaking country on this list. Their agricultural areas predominately grow corn and wheat. One big difference is that Croatia borders the Mediterranean and it has many beaches in contrast to the landlocked Hungary. Still, both countries are excellent in water polo.
- Romania, 7. Serbia, 8. Bulgaria, 9. Austria, 10. Belgium
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Hungary
- Sudan is located in the Sahara Desert, across the Red Sea from Yemen. Due to civil war, the country recently lost some territory to the newly formed country of South Sudan. Sudan’s laws are much more conservative than Hungary. They do not allow abortion or homosexuality.
- Yemen is a mountainous country located on southern-most portion of the Arabian Peninsula. It is a conservative Muslim country that has poorly developed infrastructure, due to civil war. Their government is best described as anarchic, but it is supposed to use the semi-presidential system, unlike Hungary.
- Papua New Guinea is a predominately Christian country, but it is mostly Protestant and more religious than Hungary. It is a mountainous and sparsely populated island country with a low standard of living. Its technology is especially different since it drives on the left, uses Type I electrical outlets, and does not have any railroads.
- Eritrea is another country on this list near the Red Sea. Its government has been a dictatorship for almost 20 years. It also has a unique language and writing system are completely different from Hungarian. In addition, most of its land is in close proximity to the sea.
- Somalia is another poor Muslim country like Yemen and Sudan. Its climate is much drier and a low percentage of its land is used for agriculture. It also has a lot of beaches in contrast to Hungary. In addition, Somalia has no Olympic medals, while Hungary is one of the most successful countries in the Olympics per capita.
- Solomon Islands, 7. Cambodia, 8. Laos, 9. Niger, 10. Mali
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Hungary
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