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 Southern Slavic countries
The top 5 countries most similar to Bosnia & Herzegovina were occupied (at least in part) by the Ottomans at some point. In addition, the top 4 were all part of Yugoslavia also. Slovenia is further down on the list because it is more prosperous and has more of a Western European influence.
Few countries are extremely different from Bosnia & Herzegovina, in part because it has a mix of Christians and Muslims. It also is neither an extremely wealthy or poor country. Three of the least similar countries are located in the Pacific Ocean, while two border the Red Sea.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Bosnia & Herzegovina
- Montenegro is to the south of Bosnia. Both countries speak Serbo-Croatian and have a mix of Christians and Muslims. However, Montenegro’s agriculture is quite different, since a large portion of their land is devoted to growing figs and grapes. In addition, their people drink much more wine than Bosnians.
- Serbia is yet another country that speaks Serbo-Croatian. Like Bosnia, it uses both Cyrillic and Latin writing systems. A large part of Bosnia is made up of Republika Srpska, a large autonomous region that has most of the country’s ethnic Serbs. However, Serbia has a far lower percentage of Muslims.
- Croatia, unlike other countries in Yugoslavia, was never completely taken over by the Ottomans, so it has less of a Middle Eastern influence. Both countries are mountainous, although Croatia has far more coastline. It also has less of an Eastern European influence, since it is mostly Catholic and does not use Cyrillic. Still, there is a large percentage of ethnic Croats living in Bosnia.
- North Macedonia has the next highest percentage of Muslims of former Yugoslavian countries, with around 30%. Although the Macedonian language is similar to Serbo-Croatian, it is not mutually intelligible. Still, both countries generate power mostly with coal. Due to their mountainous terrain, they both also have many dams, which are used as water reservoirs and also create electricity.
- Bulgaria is the only country that was not part of Yugoslavia in the top 5. It is another Slavic country that was occupied by the Ottoman Empire. One big difference is in sports. Bosnia has never won an Olympic medal, while Bulgaria has many. Bulgaria also isn’t as interested in handball or basketball as much as Bosnia. Bulgarians drink much more alcohol per person as well.
- Slovenia, 7. Slovakia, 8. Albania, 9. Romania, 10. Poland
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Bosnia & Herzegovina
- Solomon Islands is located in Melanesia. The tropical rainforest nation shares few things in common with Bosnia, since its demographics and culture are vastly different. In addition, their technology is quite different since they drive on the left, use Type I electrical outlets, and have no railways in use, unlike Bosnia & Herzegovina.
- Papua New Guinea is another country similar to the Solomon Islands. It is one of the hottest and wettest countries in the world, in contrast to Bosnia. A large portion of the country is forested. However, both countries are quite mountainous and do not have skyscrapers.
- Singapore is another country located on a tropical island in the Pacific, so its geography is vastly different from Bosnia, which is nearly landlocked and quite mountainous. While Singapore is densely populated and filled with skyscrapers, Bosnia does not have any. However, there is a significant percentage of both Muslims and Christians living in Singapore.
- Eritrea has a much hotter and drier climate than Bosnia & Herzegovina. In addition, most of its land is in close proximity to the Red Sea. Its government has been a dictatorship for almost 20 years. It also has a unique language and writing system are completely different from Serbo-Croatian. Still, both countries have a mix of Muslims and Christians, although it does not have many Catholic or Orthodox Christians.
- Sudan borders Eritrea and the Red Sea to the east. Most people in the country speak Arabic natively. Like Eritrea, its landscape is mostly barren desert. The country recently lost some territory to the newly formed country of South Sudan.
- Laos, 7. Cambodia, 8. Myanmar, 9. Yemen, 10. South Sudan
Do you agree with the list?
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