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 Malaysia & Brunei
There are very few countries that are similar to Singapore. Although most of its people are East Asian, its lingua franca is English, and it is one of the most religiously diverse countries in the world. It also retains many British traits from over a century of colonization. Furthermore, its geography is extremely different from most countries, since it is essentially a city-state with little agricultural land.
The five least similar countries all have a majority Muslim population, despite the fact that 15% of people in Singapore are Muslim. These countries are far poorer than Singapore and their infrastructure is extremely different. Their climates are also much drier and their population density is quite sparse.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Singapore
- Malaysia and Singapore were briefly united in the 1960s, before Singapore became independent. A significant number of Malay people are in Singapore. Two big differences are that Singapore’s lingua franca is English, not Malay, and it is also much more religiously diverse. Furthermore, Malaysia is not as wealthy or developed. Still, both countries were once British colonies and both have significant numbers of Chinese immigrants.
- Brunei is another small country that borders Malaysia, which recently gained its independence from Britain. Singapore and Brunei are also two of the wealthiest countries in East Asia. However, there are significant differences between them as well. While Singapore is a secular state with a diversity of religions, Islam is the predominant faith and state religion of Brunei. It is also not as densely populated as Singapore and most of its land is covered by rainforest.
- Taiwan, like Singapore, is a tropical island in the Pacific Ocean with mostly ethnic Chinese people. They also have a similar standard of living. Nevertheless, Taiwan was not colonized by Britain, so it does not have British traits like driving on the left side of the road, using common law, and speaking English.
- Trinidad & Tobago is a surprising country on this list, since in many ways, it is quite different from Singapore, especially since most people in Trinidad are of African ancestry. Still, there are some undeniable similarities as well. Both are densely populated tropical countries with a lot of religious diversity. Both were also once part of the British Empire and speak English. In addition, Trinidad & Tobago is relatively prosperous, like Singapore. It is the third wealthiest country in the Western Hemisphere, behind the United States and Canada.
- Philippines is another densely populated tropical country located in Southwest Asia. Both countries have English as one of their official languages, although Philippines was colonized by the United States, not Britain, so it drives on the right and uses Type A, B electrical outlets. One big difference is that the standard of living is lower in the Philippines.
- South Korea, 7. Vietnam, 8. United Kingdom, 9. Indonesia, 10. Mauritius
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Singapore
- Niger is a landlocked country located in the Sahara Desert. It was a colony of France, so it drives on the right and uses Type C,E electrical outlets, unlike Singapore. The country has little demographic similarity as well since it has the youngest population in the world and the ancestry of its people is completely different.
- Yemen is located on the Arabian Peninsula, but unlike other countries there, it is poorly developed, due to continued civil war. Like Niger, it is another conservative Muslim country that has little rule of law, in contrast to Singapore. Furthermore, the country is quite mountainous.
- Afghanistan is another landlocked country, like Niger, but it is extremely mountainous as well. Although both Singapore and Afghanistan are technically in Asia, there is little cultural or demographic similarity between the two countries as well.
- Somalia is an anarchic, Muslim country in Africa with poorly developed infrastructure, due to civil war. It is a sparsely populated desert with little demographic or cultural similarity to Singapore. While part of Somalia was a British protectorate, Britain had far less of an influence on Somalia than Singapore.
- Mali is yet another country African country with a predominately Muslim population on this list. The country is quite similar to Niger. It was also a French colony before becoming independent. However, Mali’s standard of living is higher than Niger.
- Eritrea, 7. Chad, 8. Sudan, 9. Mauritania, 10. Burkina Faso
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Singapore
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