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 Pacific Island nations and former British colonies in tropical regions
Fiji is quite a unique country. The top five most similar countries all have English as one of their official languages. They are also predominately Christian. In addition, they all have a tropical climate. Around 40% of its population has Indian ancestry, since they were brought to the island by the British to serve as indentured servants, so the country shares some traits with the Indian subcontinent as well.
The four least similar countries all have large Muslim populations, although about 5% of people in Fiji are Muslim. In addition, the four least similar countries are all deserts and have a low percentage of forested land. All five of the least similar countries do not use the Latin alphabet in their writing as well.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Fiji
- Samoa is to the east of Fiji. Although it is in Polynesia, it still has many similarities due to its shared Anglosphere influence. Their geographies are incredibly similar, since they are both mountainous islands with similar flora and fauna. Fiji and Samoa also have about the same standard of living and their diets are alike as well.
- Vanuatu is to the west of Fiji. Like Fiji, it is also inhabited by Melanesians. However, since it was jointly administered by both Great Britain and France, it has less of a British influence, so it drives on the right and is not a constitutional monarchy.
- Solomon Islands is even further to the west of Fiji. It is another Commonwealth realm nation, like Samoa and Fiji. Although the Solomon Islands poorer than Fiji, their technology is similar as well since both drive on the left, use Type I electrical outlets, and rely on oil to generate electricity. It also uses 911 as their emergency number, unlike Samoa and Vanuatu.
- Trinidad & Tobago is the most similar country not in the Pacific Ocean. However, it has some huge similarities to Fiji, since it has a mix of Protestants and followers of Hinduism. Just like Fiji, a large number of indentured servants from India were brought to the tropical island by the British in the 19th Century. However, unlike Fiji, the rest of the population is made up of people with African ancestry.
- Guyana is a South American country close to Trinidad & Tobago. It is yet another former British colony on this list. Both countries have a significant number of people with Indian ancestry. However, it is the only country in the top five that is not located on an island. It is also more heavily forested and less densely populated than Fiji.
- Mauritius, 7. Papua New Guinea, 8. Belize, 9. Jamaica, 10. Sri Lanka
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Fiji
- Yemen is located on the Red Sea. It is an Muslim country that, unlike other countries on the Arabian Peninsula, has little development of its infrastructure, in part due to an ongoing civil war. In addition, it climate is far drier than Fiji’s.
- Eritrea is located across the Red Sea from Yemen. It is the only country on this list with a majority Christian population, however most are part of the Oriental Orthodox denomination. The country also uses the unique Ge’ez script for its writing system. In addition, Eritrea has one of the world’s most authoritarian governments.
- Afghanistan is a landlocked and highly mountainous Muslim country. Its infrastructure is less developed than Fiji. Furthermore, the technology that Afghanistan has is different from Fiji since it drives on the right, uses Russian broad gauge railroad tracks, and has Type C, F electrical outlets with a different voltage.
- Saudi Arabia is another Arab country on this list, like Yemen, but it is far richer. It also has an autocratic government with extremely conservative Muslim policies. Furthermore, its government spends a lot of money on its military, while Fiji has little military capability.
- North Korea has obviously little political or cultural similarity to Fiji. Furthermore, its climate is much colder and a higher percentage of its land is used for agriculture. The biggest thing they have in common is that they both border the Pacific Ocean.
- Mauritania, 7. Sudan, 8. Niger, 9. Chad, 10. Turkmenistan
Do you agree with the list?
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