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 Southeast Asian countries
There are few countries with a high degree of similarity with Cambodia. They are tropical countries located in Southeast Asia. They generally have mix of Indian and Chinese influences to varying degrees.
Four of the five least similar countries are former British colonies. A majority of their people speak English and are Christian. These countries also have a much higher standard of living than Cambodia. Their governments are also more democratic.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Cambodia
- Laos and Cambodia were both part of the Khmer Empire and more recently, French Indochina, so the countries have significant demographic and cultural similarities. They have similar public holidays, like New Year’s Day in April, Vesak Day, and Women’s Day. They are also some of the least developed countries in the region. However, Laos is landlocked and more mountainous.
- Thailand and Cambodia were part of the Khmer Empire before the kingdom declined. Their people have relatively similar culture, although their languages are unrelated. In addition, both countries are constitutional monarchies and have similar laws. Furthermore, their geography is nearly identical. Both countries are not very mountainous and they also a lot of agricultural land. However, Cambodia is poorer and less developed than Thailand.
- Myanmar is yet another country that practices Theravada Buddhism. The countries have similar demographics. Both countries have a similar population density and are not very urbanized. One big difference is that Myanmar was once part of British India, so it has a greater British and Indian influence than Laos.
- Vietnam, like Cambodia and Laos, was part of French Indochina. It is another Buddhist country, but it differs significantly from the top 3 countries since its people follow Mahayana tradition. In addition, its people are less religious due to its Communist government’s influence. Both countries’ agricultural areas almost exclusively grow rice and their diets are based on it.
- Indonesia is significantly less similar to Cambodia than other countries on this list. Most people there are Muslim, not Buddhist. Furthermore, they drive on the left and use a different railroad gauge than Cambodia. Still, both countries have a tropical climate and East Asian ancestry. Furthermore, their diets are both primarily made up of rice and fish.
- Philippines, 7. Malaysia, 8. Bangladesh, 9. Sri Lanka, 10. Cameroon
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Cambodia
- United States is vastly different from Cambodia in all five factors: demographics, culture, politics, technology, and geography. One thing they do share is that they were both European colonies at some point, however Cambodia was colonized by the French, unlike the United States which has a contrasting British influence.
- Iceland is one of the coldest countries in the world. It is also quite mountainous, unlike Cambodia. There is also little in common culturally, since Cambodians send to be really religious, while Iceland is Christian and has many atheists. Its government is also much more liberal than Cambodia.
- Canada, like the United States, has few traits in common with Cambodia. However, one similarity is that they are both are constitutional monarchies. Canada also has less guns per capita and stricter gun laws, making it more similar to Vietnam in these respects than the United States.
- Australia unlike other countries on this list, is relatively close in distance to Cambodia. While Cambodia is mostly tropical seasonal forests, Australia is mostly desert and has completely different flora and fauna. In addition, its technology is quite different since it drives on the left and uses Type I electrical outlets, although the voltage is the same.
- Ireland is a mostly Catholic country located on an island in the North Atlantic Ocean. While both countries are not especially mountainous, Ireland’s climate is colder and the country has a much lower percentage for forested land. While Cambodia grows mostly rice, Ireland’s agricultural fields are mostly devoted to growing barley.
- New Zealand, 7. United Kingdom, 8. Luxembourg, 9. Finland, 10. Switzerland
Do you agree with the list?
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