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 countries in Africa
4 of the top 5 countries most similar to Botswana were once colonies of Great Britain, with the exception being Namibia, which was a German colony, later ruled by South Africa. They all have English as one of their official languages. In addition all of these countries have a majority Protestant population. They also have similar infrastructure, since the top 5 all drive on the left and use 3′-6″ gauge railroad tracks.
The four least similar countries are located in East Asia. These countries have more temperate climates than Botswana and have more forested land. They are also more mountainous. Their people generally less religious, with the exception of South Korea, do not have many Christians. Furthermore, these countries do not use the Latin alphabet.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Botswana
- Zimbabwe is another landlocked country to the east of Botswana. It is quite different politically from Botswana, since its government is more unstable. In addition, it is also poorer and has less developed infrastructure. Still, there are many similarities. Although neither country has a lot of agricultural land since they have dry climates, both mainly produce corn. They also use Type D and G electrical outlets as well. Furthermore, their people have a similar level of education.
- Namibia and Botswana are the two main countries where the Kalahari Desert is located. Its strong economy is also largely dependent on mining and tourism. This has contributed to these countries relatively high standard of living compared to most other Sub-Saharan African countries. One difference is language. Although both countries have English as their official language, many people in Namibia prefer to speak Afrikaans. In addition, many of its native people speak unique Khoisan languages that are completely different from Setswana.
- South Africa planned to incorporate Botswana into South Africa, until Tswana leaders resisted them. Like South Africa, it is one of the wealthiest countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Its government’s structure also mirrors South Africa as it has a president elected by the country’s parliament. They also have similar judicial systems. In addition, the majority of electricity in both countries is created by coal power plants.
- Zambia is yet another former British protectorate on this list. It also gained its independence in the 1960s. Both countries ban the possession of pornography, but allow prostitution, so long as it is not organized. Zambia and Botswana are also two of the best locations for safaris. However, Zambia is poorer and its infrastructure is less developed. Furthermore, although both countries have few agricultural lands, Zambia has significantly more rainfall.
- Lesotho is another landlocked country on this list. The native languages of Lesotho and Botswana, Sesotho and Setswana, are closely related, and English is an official language of both countries. One big difference is that Lesotho has a more temperate climate, due to its high average elevation. It is also wetter and more mountainous.
- Eswatini, 7. Kenya, 8. Ghana, 9. Malawi, 10. Tanzania
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Botswana
- Japan is an extremely mountainous and densely populated island, in contrast to landlocked Botswana. Not only is its geography significantly different, but also its demographics and culture. However, they do share some similar infrastructure, since both countries drive on the left and use 3’6″ gauge railroad tracks. Still, Botswana has a different electrical outlets that use a higher voltage than Japan.
- Taiwan is yet another East Asian country on this list. Its infrastructure is much more developed. In addition, its government is more liberal, since it allows gay marriage and legalized prostitution. The countries also have extremely dissimilar demographics and culture. Although both countries have a hot climate, Taiwan gets far more rainfall.
- South Korea is another mountainous and densely populated Asian country like Japan and Taiwan. Its infrastructure is extremely dissimilar from Botswana, since it drives on the right, uses standard gauge railroad tracks, and Type C, F electrical outlets. Furthermore, most males in Botswana are not circumcised, unlike South Korea. One thing that they do have in common is that South Korea also has a significant Christian population.
- North Korea is the fourth straight East Asia country on this list. However, it has a much lower standard of living and its government is far less democratic than the others. While Botswana does not have much of a military, North Korea has the high percentage of people in the military in the world. One similarity is that a significant portion of the farmland in both countries is used to grow corn, despite their different climates.
- Saudi Arabia is another country that has a desert climate, but it is even drier so its land is barren, while Botswana’s land is mostly small shrubs. The country has a higher standard of living than Botswana. Their people are mostly Muslim and natively speak Arabic.
- Germany, 7. Qatar, 8. Bahrain, 9. Netherlands, 10. Cambodia
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Botswana
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