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 Afghanistan and former republics of the USSR
The four of the top five most similar countries to Tajikistan were once part of the USSR. They all have a majority Muslim population and tend to be ruled by authoritarian leaders. Although Tajiks are Persian, they have a lot in common with Turkic countries as well, due to their proximity.
The least similar countries are all located on islands. Three are in East Asia, while the two others are in the Caribbean. These countries all get far more rainfall than Tajikistan. They also have a higher standard of living. Three of the five least similar were once British colonies.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Tajikistan
- Kyrgyzstan is another landlocked and extremely mountainous country to Tajikistan’s north. They are the two of the poorest and least developed countries of the former USSR. Both countries rely on hydropower to create electricity. One big difference is that Kyrgyzstan is the only multi-party democracy in Central Asia, in stark contrast to Tajikistan, whose president has been in power for over 25 years.
- Uzbekistan is to the west of Tajikistan. Over 10% of people in Tajikistan have Uzbek ethnicity. In fact, it had been over 20% in the past. The countries have incredibly similar laws. In addition, both countries have won Olympic medals in boxing, wrestling, and judo. However, Uzbekistan is far less mountainous.
- Afghanistan is the only country in the top five that was not part of the Soviet Union. However, both countries speak varieties of Persian, however Tajik is officially written in Cyrillic, not the Arabic script. In addition, both countries are landlocked and extremely mountainous.
- Azerbaijan is another country that has a mix of Persian, Turkic, and Russian influences. Both countries are landlocked and mountainous, although Azerbaijan does border to Caspian Sea. Moreover, Azerbaijan has mostly Shia Muslims, unlike the other countries in the top 5.
- Kazakhstan is similar to both Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, especially demographically and culturally. However, Kazakhstan has far more Russians than Tajikistan. In addition, its economy is much more prosperous. It also has a higher percentage of agricultural land than Tajikistan, but the main crop of both countries is wheat.
- Turkmenistan, 7. Iran, 8. Armenia, 9. Turkey, 10. Syria
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Tajikistan
- Japan is technically on the same continent as Tajikistan and it is also quite mountainous, however other than these two aspects it is extremely different. One reason is that Japanese do not follow an Abrahamic religion. Furthermore, its language and writing system are completely different. Their diet is also quite different since they eat a lot of pork fish, and rice in contrast to Tajiks.
- Singapore is a densely populated tropical island city-state, unlike the more rural and mountainous landscape of Tajikistan. It is also far more prosperous. One similarity is that about 15% of people in Singapore are Sunni Muslims. In addition, both countries are one party states, although Singapore is more democratic.
- Bahamas was colonized by Great Britain and its people are of mostly African ancestry. In addition, the country is quite prosperous, due to tourism and the banking industry, unlike Tajikistan. Furthermore, the landscape of the Bahamas is essentially the opposite of Tajikistan, since the country made up of many low-lying islands in the Western Hemisphere.
- Taiwan is yet another country located in the Pacific Ocean on this list. There is little that Tajikistan has in common with it culturally. The country is more democratic and also has a higher standard of living.
- Trinidad & Tobago is a densely populated country located in the Caribbean. Its people are more outgoing than Tajiks, according to the Lewis Model. However, it does have a significant Muslim population, although Trinidad is mostly Christian.
- Solomon Islands, 7. South Korea, 7. New Zealand, 8. United Kingdom, 9. Australia, 10. Canada
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Tajikistan
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