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 Southern Slavic countries
The top 5 countries most similar to Albania were occupied (at least in part) by the Ottomans at some point. In addition, the top 5 were all part of Yugoslavia as well. Even though Albania is not a Slavic country, the top 5 most similar are. Although Albania is a mostly Muslim country, its government is secular and many of its people are not practicing Muslims. Kosovo was not included in this list because many major statistics gathering organizations include it with Serbia.
Few countries are extremely different from Albania since it is not especially poor or wealthy. Its climate is also not extremely cold or hot. Three of the least similar countries are island nations in the Pacific Ocean, while two others are located in Africa.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Albania
- North Macedonia is another mountainous country to the east of Albania. About 25% of its people have Albanian ethnicity and are Muslim, so its demographics and culture are very similar. As a result, Albanian is actually one of North Macedonia’s official languages. In addition, both countries grow a lot of wheat and corn, but Albania grows more olives, while North Macedonia grows more barley, due to a slightly cooler and drier climate.
- Bosnia & Herzegovina is the only other European country with a majority Muslim population, although it has far more Christians. Unlike Albania, Bosnia does not have much coastline, but it is also quite mountainous. The countries also have a similar standard of living.
- Montenegro is just to the north of Albania. Montenegro’s government is especially like Albania’s since they are both secular multi-party democracies with extremely similar laws. They both do not allow same-sex marriage, criminalize polygamy, and prohibit prostitution. One big difference is that Montenegro’s agriculture is quite different. They grow a lot of fruits, especially grapes, and tend to drink more wine.
- Croatia, like Montenegro, is another Slavic country that borders the Mediterranean. Both countries use the Latin alphabet, unlike several former Yugoslavian countries which still use Cyrillic in some capacity. In addition, about 10% of Albanians are Catholic, although neither country is especially religious.
- Serbia is another country that has a significant that has a significant Albanian population, if Kosovo is included as part of Serbia. Both countries are multi-party democracies with similar laws. However, Serbia’s military and medical infrastructure is more developed.
- Turkey, 7. Greece, 8. Bulgaria 9. Romania, 10. Portugal
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Albania
- Singapore is a small tropical island city-state, near Malaysia, so its geography is vastly different from Albania, which is sparsely populated and quite mountainous. While Singapore is filled with skyscrapers, Albania does not have any, although it does have many high-rises. In addition, Singapore’s infrastructure is extremely different from Albania, since they drive on the left and use Type G electrical outlets.
- Solomon Islands is located in Melanesia. The tropical rainforest nation shares few things in common with Albania, since its demographics and culture are vastly different. In addition, their technology is quite different since they drive on the left, use Type I electrical outlets, and have no railways in use, unlike Albania.
- Eritrea is an African country with a majority Christian population, although they do have some Muslims as well. It is totalitarian one-party dictatorship and has poorly developed infrastructure. Linguistically, Eritrea has no similarity as well since they speak Afroasiatic languages and use the Ge’ez script.
- Papua New Guinea is another country very similar to the Solomon Islands, so its demographics and culture are also vastly different. It is one of the hottest and wettest countries in the world. However, both countries are quite mountainous.
- South Sudan is a primarily Christian country located in East Africa. It is landlocked and quite flat, unlike Albania. It is quite poor and its infrastructure is not well-developed. However, the countries are actually located in the same time zone and much of the water in South Sudan drains into the Mediterranean.
- Japan, 7. Cambodia, 8. Sudan, 9. Chad, 10. Democratic Republic of Congo
Do you agree with the list?
Please leave any thoughts in the comments section