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 Orthodox Christian countries
The top 5 countries most similar to Ukraine all are Orthodox Christian, although they are not especially religious. They were also part of the the former USSR or the Eastern Bloc. Four of the top 5 countries speak Slavic languages and use the Cyrillic alphabet.
The two least similar countries to Ukraine are located in Melanesia, but it also has little similarity to several countries with a Muslim majority. All the countries least similar to Ukraine have a low percentage of farmland and either have more forest or more barren land. They also have higher birth rates and a lower average age.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Ukraine
- Belarus is by far the most similar country to Ukraine. It is another former member of the Soviet Union, located just to the north of Ukraine. Both countries are mostly farmland, although their crops are slightly different since Belarus is colder and wetter. Belorussian is the most similar language to Ukrainian and both countries still have a high percentage of Russian speakers. However, while Belarus has maintained close ties to Russia, Ukraine has a more strained relationship.
- Moldova is between Ukraine and Romania. Like Ukraine, it was also part of the USSR, so it has similar technology and standard of living. Its agriculture is almost identical as well, since they both have over 50% of their land being used as farmland and grow a mix of corn, sunflower, and wheat. The biggest difference between Moldova and Ukraine is their language. Moldovans do not natively speak a Slavic language or use Cyrillic. Still, the Russian language understood by most people in Moldova.
- Russia has close ties to Ukraine, since the Russian Empire ruled Ukraine for over 100 years, even before it became part of the Soviet Union. Their demographics, culture, and technology are all quite similar. However Russia is far more sparsely populated and has a colder climate. It also has a much higher percentage of forested area and a much lower percentage of agricultural land.
- Bulgaria is another country that borders the Black Sea, speaks a Slavic language, and also uses Cyrillic. Like Moldova, they also grow a mix of corn, sunflower, and wheat. However, Bulgaria was never a part of the USSR, so it has less of a Russian influence.
- Serbia is a Slavic-speaking Orthodox Christian country that has recently experienced civil war, like Ukraine. The countries also have a similar standard of living. Still, there are a few differences. While Serbia and Ukraine have about the same marriage rate, Ukraine’s divorce rate is much higher than Serbia’s. Furthermore, a lower percentage of Serbians complete college.
- Romania, 7. Slovakia, 8. Lithuania, 9. Poland, 10. Montenegro
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Ukraine
- Solomon Islands is a tropical archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. The country has little cultural or demographic similarity, other than the fact that most countries are mostly Christian. Still, they are mostly Protestants and are more religious. Unlike Ukraine, which has a developed military with conscription, Solomon Islands doesn’t even have a military. The islands also need to import all their energy in the form of oil, while Ukraine uses mostly nuclear power.
- Papua New Guinea is very similar to the Solomon Islands. It is one of the hottest and wettest countries in the world. The country is much more mountainous than Ukraine and has a low percentage of agricultural land. Furthermore, its infrastructure is quite different. It drives on the right and uses Type I electrical outlets. In addition, the country does not have a railroad.
- Somalia is a failed state located in Africa on the Indian Ocean coast. It is conservative Muslim country with poorly developed infrastructure. In contrast to Ukraine’s farmlands with a temperate climate, Somalia is located in a tropical desert.
- Yemen is a conservative Muslim country that unlike other countries on the Arabian Peninsula, is poorly developed. It also has very little agricultural land, in contrast to Ukraine. Still, both countries have Caucasian people, although their ancestry is significantly different. The country also uses the Arabic script and its language is completely different from Ukrainian.
- Bhutan is a landlocked and mountainous Buddhist country between China and India. It shares few cultural, demographic, or technological traits with Ukraine. A high percentage of the country is forested. The country relies on hydroelectric power, rather than fossil fuels or nuclear power to create electricity. Furthermore, its people are mostly of East Asian ancestry.
- Sudan, 7. Chad, 8. Central African Republic, 9. South Sudan, 10. Niger
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Ukraine
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