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 British colonies in Africa
The top 5 countries most similar to Kenya are all African countries that are former British colonies and have English as one of their official languages. Due this influence they all use Type G electrical outlets and drive on the left (with the exception of Nigeria), among other aspects.
The three least similar countries are located in East Asia. Not only are their cultures quite different, but also their infrastructure is much more developed. They have a higher standard of living than Kenya as well.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Kenya
- Tanzania was originally a German colony, until World War I, when it became a British colony. Like Kenya, it has both English and Swahili as its official language. Both border the Indian Ocean and have a similar climate. However, the percentage of Muslims is higher in Tanzania.
- Uganda along with Kenya was administered by the British East Africa Company, before it was transferred to the British government in 1894. Like Tanzania and Uganda, it has both English and Swahili as its official language. They also primarily use one meter wide railroad tracks. However, Uganda has more Catholics and far more diverse agricultural products than Kenya.
- Zambia is another former British colony. Zambia is especially similar politically to Kenya. Both are part of the COMESA free trade area. Their legal systems are both based on common law as well. They are also both democratic hybrid regimes with a low degree of rule of law.
- Zimbabwe is similar to Zambia. It also has a lot of British influence like Kenya. In addition, both countries mostly grow corn and have a similar percentage of agricultural area. However, Zimbabwe has a higher rate of poverty than Kenya.
- Nigeria is the only West African country on this list. Their climates are quite similar, with both countries have significant hot, semi-arid areas, but also areas with rainforest. However, Nigeria’s agriculture is mostly cassava and yams, while Kenya’s is mostly corn and beans. In addition, Nigeria has more Muslims.
- Ghana, 7. Malawi, 8. Botswana, 9. South Sudan, 10. Namibia
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Kenya
- Japan is by far the least similar country to Kenya. Not only is its geography significantly different, but also its demographics, culture, and technology. There isn’t much in common between the two, except that both drive on the left.
- Taiwan is another Asian country located in the Pacific Ocean. Like Japan, its demographics, culture are quite different from Kenya. Taiwan’s infrastructure and standard of living is not as high as Japan, so it lower on this list.
- South Korea is like Japan and Taiwan. It has little demographic or cultural similarity with Kenya. One thing that does make South Korea more like Kenya than Japan and Taiwan is that it has a much larger Christian population. Furthermore, most males in Kenya and South Korea are circumcised. However, Kenya has a higher prevalence of female circumcision.
- Luxembourg is a landlocked, extremely wealthy country in Western Europe. Although both countries are mostly Christian, Luxembourg is less religious and predominately Catholic. While both countries are democracies, Kenya uses the presidential system of government, while Kenya use the parliamentary system.
- Iceland is a sparsely populated country in the North Atlantic Ocean. Its climate is much colder than Kenya. In addition, Kenya’s governmental policies are far more conservative. Another difference is that Iceland drives on the right and does not even have an active railroad system.
- Norway, 7. Denmark, 8. Finland, 9. Belgium, 10. Netherlands
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