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 Southeast Asian countries
There are few countries with a high degree of similarity with Myanmar. They are tropical countries located in Southeast Asia. They generally have mix of Indian and Chinese influences to varying degrees. Myanmar tends to be the most Indian influenced, since it is closer and also was part of British India.
The five least similar countries all happen to be countries where most people speak Germanic languages and are Christian. In addition, these countries have a much higher standard of living than Myanmar. Their climates are all much colder as well.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Myanmar
- Cambodia is another country that practices Theravada Buddhism. Both countries have about the same GDP per capita and a similar population density. They both purchase many of their weapons from China and use Chinese-made battle tanks. Like Laos, Cambodia was also once part of French Indochina, so it has a greater French influence than Myanmar.
- Laos is another rural and mountainous country in Southeast Asia. Both countries lack a high level of development and create most of their electricity using hydropower. Most of the people in Laos and Cambodia are farmers. The countries have different colonial influences, since Laos was part of French Indochina. While both countries practice Theravada Buddhism, many Laotians also practice local folk religions.
- Thailand borders Myanmar to the east. In the 1500’s, both countries were part of the Toungoo Empire. Thailand’s culture is significantly similar to Myanmar’s. However, Thailand is much more prosperous and developed. Both countries grow a lot of rice, although a far greater percentage of Thailand is used for agriculture, since it is not as mountainous.
- Vietnam is another Buddhist country in Southeast Asia, but it differs significantly from the top 3 countries since its people follow Mahayana tradition. In addition, its people are less religious than Burmese due to its Communist government’s influence. Vietnamese also uses the Latin script, instead of a Indic script, unlike the other Southeast Asian countries.
- Indonesia is another relatively poor tropical country whose people primarily have East Asian ancestry. Although Indonesia is Muslim, Myanmar’s government has fairly similar laws, which are neither especially liberal or conservative. Both countries are quite mountainous and grow a lot of rice. However, like Vietnam, there is no linguistic similarity between Indonesia and Myanmar.
- Sri Lanka, 7. Bhutan, 8. Malaysia, 9. Nepal, 10. Philippines
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Myanmar
- Iceland is much colder and it has a low percentage of forests and agricultural, unlike Myanmar. It also is much more sparsely populated. It is a mostly Protestant country, although it is not especially religious. However, both countries are quite mountainous. Another similarity is that both countries tend to eat a lot of fish.
- Luxembourg is a landlocked country in Europe. It is relatively flat and also quite densely populated. The country is one of the wealthiest in the world. A high percentage of its people are college graduates. It is mostly Catholic. The country has three official languages: Luxembourgish, German, and French.
- Canada has few traits in common with Myanmar, although both were territories of Great Britain in the past. It is one of the coldest countries on average, in contrast to Myanmar’s tropical climate. It is also much more sparsely populated.
- Finland is quite flat and has many freshwater lakes, unlike Myanmar. It is one of the most democratic countries in the world. Like Canada, it is sparsely populated and it is heavily forested. Their diet is especially different from Myanmar, since it is heavy in potatoes and wheat products.
- Netherlands is extremely flat, low-lying, and densely populated in contrast to Myanmar. The Netherlands is also far less religious and far more liberal than in Myanmar. While Myanmar uses the presidential system of government, the Netherlands is a parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarch as its head of state.
- Denmark, 7. Belgium , 8. United States, 9. Germany, 10. Australia
Do you agree with the list?
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