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 English-speaking African countries with tropical climates
The top four countries most similar to Ghana are African countries which have English as one of their official languages and use it as their lingua franca. In addition, all of the countries in the top 5 have tropical climates. Another thing the most similar countries have in common is significant populations of both Christians and Muslims.
The least similar countries all have a much higher standard of living. East Asia and Nordic countries are especially different. All these countries are less religious than Ghana. Furthermore, few people with African ancestry live in these countries.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Ghana
- Nigeria is another former British colony on the Gulf of Guinea. Both countries are mostly tropical savannas but also have some areas of desert and rainforest. Both speak English, have similar electric outlets, and use common law. There has also been some immigration between the two countries after their independence. Nigeria has more Muslims however.
- Sierra Leone was a British colony, despite its Italian sounding name. It was founded to resettle freed African slaves. However, it has a higher Muslim population than both Ghana and Nigeria and it is also less developed. Still, the countries both have governments that modeled after the United States. They are both presidential system with bicameral legislatures. Furthermore, there are only two major parties in these countries.
- Liberia is another English-speaking African country similar to Nigeria. It is mostly Protestant, but it also does have a significant percentage of Muslims, just like Ghana. Like Sierra Leone, it was settled by freed slaves. However, since it was settled by Americans it uses Type A, B electrical outlets, uses 911 for its emergency number, and has not converted to the metric system.
- Tanzania was originally a German colony, until World War I, when it became a British colony. Like some other countries on this list, it has more Muslims than Ghana. Another difference is that it is located on the Indian Ocean, instead of the Atlantic Ocean. Still, the countries have a similar climate and are mostly tropical savanna.
- Ivory Coast is the only French-speaking country on this list. Despite not speaking the same lingua franca, many people in both countries natively speak the Akan language. Like Ghana, it has a mix of Christians and Muslims, but it has more Catholics and less protestants. The countries have significantly similar geography since they are both located next to each other on the Gulf of Guinea. Their typical diets both consist of yams and cassava.
- Zambia, 7. Cameroon, 8. Uganda, 9. Kenya, 10. Benin
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Ghana
- Japan is by far the least similar country to Ghana. 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 they are both democracies. Another interesting connection is that they use same same railroad gauge, but obviously Japan’s network of railroads is much more widespread.
- Taiwan is another East Asian country on this list. Like Japan, its demographics, culture are quite different from Ghana. Its infrastructure is much more developed as well. Their diets have especially little in common. Taiwanese eat more meat and rice. However, both countries do have tropical climates and are densely populated.
- South Korea is like Japan and Taiwan. It has little demographic or cultural similarity with Ghana. One thing that does make South Korea more like Ghana than Japan and Taiwan is that it has a much larger Christian population. Furthermore, most males in Ghana and South Korea are circumcised.
- Iceland‘s geography is especially different from Ghana, except for the fact that they both border the Atlantic Ocean. It is a mountainous island with a sparse vegetation and a low population density. It is also one of the coldest countries in the world. One big similarity is that both countries are mostly Protestant, although Iceland is far less religious.
- Finland is another highly developed, mostly Protestant country on this list. The country has many freshwater lakes. Its climate is also much cooler than Ghana. However, neither country is very mountainous. Still, its government has much more liberal laws. It uses a parliamentary system of government with a unicameral legislature, unlike Ghana. The typical personality of Finnish people is also much different from Ghanaians. According to the Lewis Model, they are far less outgoing.
- Switzerland, 7. Norway, 8. Saudi Arabia, 9. China, 10. North Korea
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Ghana
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