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 countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council
The top five countries most similar to the United Arab Emirates are all part of the Gulf Cooperation Council. The GCC is similar to the European Union in that people and goods are allowed to flow freely between their countries. Furthermore, while these countries do not have a shared currency, all of their currencies have a fixed exchange rate with the US dollar. They are also all monarchies and are some of the richest Arab countries.
The five least similar countries are not concentrated in one geographic location, although they all have tropical climates. These countries have a lower standard of living than Qatar. They are also countries with a majority Christian population.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Qatar
- United Arab Emirates and Qatar are two of the most similar countries in the world. It is another country on the Persian Gulf Coast that was once a British protectorate. Both countries are highly developed and have a massive amount of male immigrants, especially from India. However, political relations between the United Arab Emirates and Qatar have broken down recently. The UAE government had even banned travel to it. Despite this, these countries have an incredibly high degree of similarity.
- Bahrain is an island in the Persian Gulf, next to Qatar. Its flag is extremely similar to Qatar. Both countries are densely populated and have a lot of skyscrapers. One difference is that most Bahrainis are Shi’tes, not Sunnis. The country also has less immigrants than Qatar or the United Arab Emirates.
- Kuwait is a small oil-rich country between Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Like Bahrain, it has many Shi’ites, although they are not the majority. Both countries are both heavily reliant on desalination to provide tap water. Kuwait relies more on oil than gas to generate electricity, unlike the other countries on this list. Furthermore, its geographical features are nearly identical to Qatar, with the biggest difference being that Qatar is a peninsula.
- Oman is more conservative than Qatar and has less foreigners. In stark contrast to other countries on this list, it does not have any skyscrapers. In fact, they are illegal. Furthermore, most of its people are Ibadis, not Sunnis. Another difference is that Oman is more mountainous.
- Saudi Arabia is another oil-rich Muslim country with a high level of development. However, Qatar is far more cosmopolitan than Saudi Arabia. Its laws are more liberal and far fewer of its residents are immigrants. In addition, Qatar is much more densely populated.
- Jordan, 7. Iraq, 8. Egypt, 9. Libya, 10. Syria
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Qatar
- Democratic Republic of Congo, is a former Belgian colony that is extremely poor. In contrast to Qatar, a vast majority of its land is forested. While Qatar is a peninsula, the Democratic Republic of Congo has little coastline. In addition, it also has little demographic or cultural similarity to Qatar as well. Its people are mostly Christian.
- Papua New Guinea is a tropical Christian country in the Pacific Ocean with little cultural or demographic similarity. In contrast to the deserts of Qatar, it is one of the wettest countries on Earth. It is also more mountainous. Its infrastructure is very different from Qatar as well, since it drives on the left and uses Type I electrical outlets. One similarity is that both were controlled by Britain in the past, so English is widespread in these countries.
- Mozambique, despite also bordering the Indian Ocean, is far different from Qatar as well. The country gets a lot of rainfall and It was a colony of Portugal before its independence. Although it is mostly Christian, it has the highest percentage of Muslims on this list with around 20%. Its technology is also far different from Qatar, since it drives on the left and uses Type C, F, and M outlets.
- Lesotho is another poor Christian country on this list. Not only is it completely surrounded by South Africa, it is also more mountainous than Qatar. Although both countries are monarchies, Lesotho’s monarch only has ceremonial powers and the government is mostly democratic.
- Haiti is the least similar country in the Western Hemisphere. Its people are mostly Catholic and have African ancestry. Although there is little forest cover in both countries, Haiti’s climate is wetter and it has a much higher percentage of farmland. Most of its people are farmers, in contrast to more urbanized Qatar. However, most of the land in both countries is close to the coast and they are at a similar latitude.
- Burundi, 7. Madagascar, 8. Central African Republic, 9. Laos, 10. East Timor
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Qatar
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