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 the Baltic states and Catholic Slavic countries
Many European countries are similar to Lithuania. The top 5 countries are all in Eastern Europe. The two most similar are also countries that were part of the Soviet Union, before later becoming part of the European Union. However unlike those two countries, it is mostly Catholic, so it is also similar to countries like the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Poland.
The four least similar countries are all clustered around the Red Sea and have hot, dry climates. Four of the five least similar countries are also predominately Muslim. Furthermore, these countries have a much lower standard of living than Lithuania.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Lithuania
- Latvia is just north of Lithuania. Latvian is the most similar language to Lithuanian. In addition, among former Soviet countries, it has the next most Catholics, comprising roughly 25% of the population. The countries also have extremely similar geography. Both countries grow mostly wheat, but also barley, oats, and rapeseed.
- Poland and Lithuania were united for over 200 years, before being split up by Austria, Prussia, and Russia. They are both Catholic countries that speak Balto-Slavic languages. However, since Lithuania became part of the USSR, it has a greater Soviet influence than Poland. In addition, Lithuanians are more interested in basketball than soccer, unlike most other European countries. In addition, both use the semi-presidential system of government.
- Estonia is another former country Soviet country that borders the Baltic Sea. However, there are some significant differences as well. Estonian is not an Indo-European language. Furthermore, the country is mostly Protestant, however neither country is particularly religious. Both countries have very little air traffic, but have a relatively high number of vehicles per capita.
- Czechia is located to the south of Poland. While both countries are Catholic, Czechs are less religious. Both countries tend to drink a lot of alcohol, however Lithuanians drink more spirits. Another big culture difference is that Czechs are much more interested in soccer and ice hockey than basketball.
- Slovakia is also located to the south of Poland. It is another Catholic country that speaks a Balto-Slavic language. However it is landlocked and more mountainous than Lithuania, so it has more coniferous forests.
- Slovenia, 7. Croatia, 8. Ukraine, 9. Hungary, 10. Bulgaria
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Lithuania
- Somalia is by far the least similar country to Lithuania. It is an anarchic, Muslim country that has poorly developed infrastructure. In addition, its hot desert climate contrasts Lithuania’s cool temperate forest landscape. Furthermore, pork is by far the most consumed meat in Lithuania, while in Somalia, it is forbidden. Still, one similarity is that both of their languages use the Latin alphabet.
- Eritrea is located on the Red Sea to the northwest of Somalia. Its government has been a dictatorship for almost 20 years, unlike the current stable democracy in Lithuania. Its also has a unique language and writing system that is completely different from Lithuanian. However, over half of the people in the country are Christian, although they are part of the unique Oriental Orthodox denomination.
- Sudan is in the Sahara Desert, next to Eritrea. The country recently lost some territory to the newly formed country of South Sudan, due to civil war. It is mostly Muslim and has far more conservative laws. A majority of its people speak Arabic.
- Yemen is located on the Arabian Peninsula, across the Red Sea from Eritrea. It is another conservative Muslim country that has poorly developed infrastructure, due to civil war. The country is also quite mountainous and its landscape is mostly barren, in contrast to Lithuania.
- Niger is a landlocked, predominately Muslim country in the middle of the Sahara Desert. The country has the youngest population in the world, in stark contrast to Lithuania, which is much older. It also has one of the highest birthrates in the world, while Lithuania has one of the lowest.
- Ethiopia, 7. Chad, 8. Bhutan, 9. Papua New Guinea, 10. Solomon Islands
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Lithuania
Do you agree with the list?
Please leave any thoughts in the comments section.