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 Arab countries
Jordan is similar to many countries in the Middle East and North Africa. These countries generally speak Arabic with a majority of their population being Muslim. These countries also have a similar climate, since they are mostly sparsely populated deserts. It is one of the most average Arab countries, since it is neither especially poor or rich. Its government is still a monarchy, but it does have more democratic elements than some other countries in the region.
The four least similar countries are located on islands in the Pacific Ocean. These countries get a lot more rainfall than Jordan and also are more heavily forested. Their governments are also more democratic than Jordan as well. Furthermore these countries have little in common culturally with Jordan.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Jordan
- Egypt is another Arab country that was occupied by Great Britain. Both countries border the Red Sea, although Egypt is mostly in Africa. The countries have a similar standard of living. They also share the same electrical grid. Both countries have conservative laws, however Egypt is currently a military dictatorship.
- Syria is another country in the Levant. After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the area was partitioned. While Syria was colonized by France, Jordan was colonized by Britain. Still, the countries have deep historical ties. Their agricultural lands both grow olives and barley. However, due to the on-going civil war there, Syria has significantly more poverty.
- Saudi Arabia is another Sunni Muslim country next to Jordan. Jordan’s royal family, the Hashemites, once ruled the Kingdom of Hejaz, which comprises both Mecca and Medina, but were taken over by the Saudis in the 1920s. Therefore, Jordan’s demographics are similar to Saudi Arabia. Their currencies both have a hard peg to the US Dollar. However, Jordan’s economy is not nearly as advanced. In addition, its laws are less conservative.
- Iraq was actually part of Jordan in 1958, when the two countries formed the Arab Federation, however it only lasted 6 months. Both were colonized by Great Britain. This part of the reason why they both use Type D and G electrical outlets. Iraq is also significantly more diverse, since it has more Shi’ites and Kurds.
- Algeria is another North African country on this list. The countries have a similar standard of living. Still, there are some significant differences as well. Algerian Arabic is significantly different from the Arabic spoken in Jordan. Algeria also has a significant population of Berbers. In addition, Algeria was colonized by France, not Great Britain.
- Libya, 7. Tunisia, 8. Morocco, 9. Kuwait, 10. Oman
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Jordan
- Japan is also technically in Asia, but other than that there is very little similarity. Japan is a mountainous archipelago with a temperate climate in contrast to the dry and nearly landlocked Jordan. Not only is its geography significantly different, but also its demographics, culture, politics, and technology.
- Papua New Guinea is another country in the Pacific Ocean, although it is much less developed than Japan and Jordan. In contrast to the deserts of Jordan, it is one of the wettest countries on Earth. It is also Christian, although both countries are fairly religious. In addition, its people are Australo-Melanesians and have relatively little genetic similarity to Arabs.
- Solomon Islands is very similar to Papua New Guinea. It is a heavily forested archipelago in Pacific Ocean. Most of its land is within 100 km of the coast. Its government is quite democratic, compared to Jordan. The country also does not have an active military.
- New Zealand is another wet and extremely mountainous archipelago in the Pacific Ocean far away from Jordan. Their infrastructure also is very different as New Zealand uses Type I plugs, drives on the left. In addition, New Zealand is far more liberal than Jordan.
- Haiti is the least similar country in the Western Hemisphere. The county is far less developed than Jordan. Its people are mostly Catholic and French-speaking. In addition, most have African ancestry. The country has a much higher percentage of agricultural land, in contrast to Jordan’s barren landscape.
- Taiwan, 7. Malawi, 8. Canada, 9. Madagascar , 10. North Korea
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