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 Eritrea, Somalia, and other Sub-Saharan African countries
Ethiopia is a relatively unique country. Like many African countries, Ethiopia has a mix of Christians and Muslims, although most Christians are part of the unique Oriental Orthodox denomination. It also uses a unique writing system. The country is also very rural and its infrastructure is not well developed. Four of the five most similar countries border it.
Two groups of countries have little similarity to Ethiopia: East Asian countries and Germanic-speaking countries. These countries have a higher standard of living than Ethiopia. They also have little demographic or cultural similarity to Ethiopia. The four least similar countries all have much cooler climates.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Ethiopia
- Eritrea is by far the most similar country to Ethiopia. It was annexed by Ethiopia in 1962, but it regained its independence in the 1990s. Both countries have a mix of Sunni Muslims and Oriental Orthodox Christians. In addition, both countries use the unique Ge’ez script. They also speak Afroasiatic languages, although Amharic is not widely spoken in Eritrea.
- Somalia is also on the Horn of Africa. Somalia and Ethiopia are among the poorest countries in the world. The Somali language used to use the Ge’ez script before they switched to the Latin alphabet. However, Somalia has very few Christians. In addition, while Ethiopia is landlocked, Somalia has many beautiful beaches.
- Chad is another African country that uses a Semitic language as its lingua franca. In addition, it has large amounts of both Muslims and Christians. One big difference is their landscape. Although both countries are landlocked, Chad’s landscape has a far greater percentage of desert. It is also less mountainous.
- Kenya is located to the south of Ethiopia. Both countries are mountainous and famous for their excellent long-distance runners. However, they have little in common linguistically, since their languages are not from the same family and they use different writing systems. Kenya also has a higher standard of living.
- South Sudan is another country landlocked country, located just to the west of Ethiopia. These countries are two of the least developed countries in the world. However, like Kenya, South Sudan has little in common linguistically with Ethiopia. Although both countries have many Christians, South Sudan is mostly Protestant.
- Tanzania, 7. Uganda, 8. Burkina Faso, 9. Benin, 10. Mozambique
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Ethiopia
- Japan has obvious demographic and cultural differences with Ethiopia. In addition, their technology is far different, since they drive on the left and have a completely different electrical system, using 100 volt Type A,B outlets. Furthermore, there are far more planes, trains, and airplanes in Japan.
- Canada is one of the coldest countries and one of the most sparsely populated countries with a high rate of urbanization, whereas Ethiopia has one of the hottest places on Earth and is much more rural. They also share little cultural or demographic similarity.
- Iceland is a highly developed island country, which has much more liberal policies than Ethiopia. Although it is mostly Christian, Iceland is mostly Protestant and not particularly religious. In addition, while Ethiopia is totally reliant on oil to produce its electricity, Iceland uses mostly renewable energy sources.
- New Zealand is another temperate and mountainous group of islands in the Pacific Ocean, like Japan. It is also one of the most liberal countries, unlike Ethiopia. Although both countries are mostly Christian, like Iceland, New Zealand is not particularly religious.
- Taiwan is another densely populated country in the Pacific Ocean on this list. Like Japan, its demographics and culture are quite different from Ethiopia. Its infrastructure is far more developed as well. However, it does have a warmer climate than others on this list.
- Ireland, 7. South Korea, 8. Singapore, 9. Finland, 10. United Kingdom
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