Which Countries are Most Similar to Iraq? 2.0

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 Arab countries

Iraq is similar to many countries in the Middle East and North Africa. These countries generally speak Arabic with a majority of their population being Muslim. These countries also have a similar climate, since they are mostly sparsely populated deserts.

The five least similar countries to Iraq are all located on islands, four of which are in the Pacific Ocean. They also get much more rainfall. In addition, the five least similar countries have a higher standard of living than Iraq. Four of the five drive of the left side of the road.

Top 10 Places Most Similar to Iraq

  1. Jordan is to the west of Iraq. It was actually part of Iraq in 1958, when the two countries formed the Arab Federation, however it only lasted 6 months. In addition, both were colonized by Great Britain. This part of the reason why they both use Type D and G electrical outlets.
  2. Egypt is similar to Iraq since it is another country that is mostly desert, where most inhabitants live near a major river. Its flag is also extremely similar to Syria and Egypt as well, since they were all derived from the Arab liberation flag. However, there is a majority of Shia Muslims as well as a 15% proportion of Kurds in Iraq. 
  3. Syria is the next largest country in the Fertile Crescent. Both have had unstable situations recently due to war. ISIS, an acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, now controls significant territory in both countries. However, since Syria was once colonized by France, it developed some different traits from Iraq.
  4. Algeria is another Arab country that is largely desert. Both countries legal systems are mostly based in Civil law, but also Muslim law. However, Algeria is in Africa and their native Arabic is not mutually intelligible with the Arabic spoken in Iraq. Like Syria, it has more of a French influence than Iraq as well.
  5. Libya is to the east of Algeria. Like Iraq, it is another Arab country that has been unstable due to war. Both countries have huge oil reserves. However, Libya is in Africa and far less densely populated than Iraq. It was once an Italian colony, before becoming independent in 1952.
  6. Saudi Arabia, 7. Yemen, 8. Iran, 9. Kuwait, 10. Tunisia

Top 10 Places Least Similar to Iraq

  1. Japan is also technically in Asia, but other than that there is little similarity. Japan is a mountainous archipelago with a temperate climate in contrast to the hot, dry and nearly landlocked Iraq. Not only is its geography significantly different, but also its demographics, culture, politics, and technology.
  2. New Zealand is another wet and mountainous archipelago in the Pacific Ocean far away from Iraq. Their infrastructure also is very different as New Zealand uses Type I plugs, drives on the left. In addition, New Zealand is far more liberal than conservative Iraq.
  3. Bahamas is another country located on an archipelago, but it is located in the Atlantic Ocean. The country has a higher standard of living than Iraq. Its population has mostly African ancestry. Still, both countries have hot climates, although the Bahamas is more densely populated and forested.
  4. Taiwan is another Pacific Ocean country on this list. It has extremely different demographics and culture compared to Iraq. However, unlike Japan and New Zealand, it drives on the right. It also has a slightly lower standard of living than those two countries.
  5. Singapore is far more densely populated and wealthier than Iraq. Although a significant portion of its population is Muslim, the country has more Buddhists and Christians. Like the Bahamas and New Zealand, its official language is English and it has a parliamentary system of government. However, both countries use Type G electrical outlets.
  6. Solomon Islands, 7. South Korea, 8. Papua New Guinea, 9. Trinidad & Tobago, 10. North Korea

Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Iraq

Do you agree with the list?
Please leave any thoughts in the comments section.


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