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 Latin countries in South America
There are many countries with a high degree of similarity with Uruguay. Latin American countries are especially similar to Argentina since they are generally Catholic, speak Romance languages. Furthermore, their governments also generally have similar liberal policies.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Uruguay
- Argentina is located across the Rio de la Plata from Uruguay. It is the most similar country in demographics, culture, politics, and geography. Both countries are primarily Catholic, although Uruguay is slightly less religious. However, Uruguay and Argentina have slightly different infrastructure. Argentina’s railroads most often use the Iberian gauge. Furthermore, while both countries use Type C electrical outlets, Argentina also uses Type I, while Uruguay also uses Type L.
- Chile is another South American country with a high standard of living. Chile and Uruguay have extremely similar diets. Their geography is quite different however, since Uruguay is far less mountainous and it grows far more soybeans. Chile is also on the Pacific Coast, not the Atlantic. Still, both countries are highly urbanized and sparsely populated.
- Spain is the most similar country in Europe. It also speaks Spanish and has a relatively similar subtropical climate. Both countries have liberal governments. They allow same sex marriage as well as abortion. However, Spain is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary government.
- Paraguay is another relatively flat country in South America. Its landscape is virtually identical to Uruguay, although it does not have any coastline. Both countries border Brazil and Argentina. The countries have a similar climate and devote most of their agricultural land to growing soybeans. However, Paraguayans speak the Guarani language, in addition to Spanish. It also has a slightly lower standard of living.
- Brazil used to rule the area that is now Uruguay, before it gained its independence in 1828. Its geography is quite similar to the southern portions of Brazil. In addition, both countries share the same electrical grid, which uses mostly hydroelectric power. Both countries celebrate Carnival and excel at soccer. They are also both part of the Mercosur trade bloc. The biggest difference is that Brazilians speak Portuguese, not Spanish.
- Colombia, 7. Peru, 8. Venezuela, 9. Portugal, 10. Mexico
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Uruguay
- Sudan is a Muslim country in Africa, south of Egypt. Its conservative governmental policies are quite unlike Uruguay’s. In addition, its government is lead by the military, following a recent coup. It country recently lost land during civil war to South Sudan.
- Eritrea is located on the Red Sea, next to Sudan. The country is primarily desert and also quite mountainous. Its government is a totalitarian one-party dictatorship. Although its population is about 50% Christian, they are part of the Oriental Orthodox denomination. Linguistically, Eritrea has no similarity as well since they speak Afroasiatic languages and use the Ge’ez script.
- Yemen is located in the Arabian Desert across the Red Sea from Eritrea. It is a Muslim country with little cultural or technological similarity to Uruguay. Its government is unstable and anarchic, in contrast to Uruguay’s relatively stable democratic government. Uruguay has more liberal drug laws, while Yemen has less gun control.
- Bhutan is extremely mountainous and has the highest average elevation in the world, while Uruguay is fairly flat. In addition, Bhutan has unique traditions since its people are mostly Buddhist. Its language and writing system are completely different from Spanish.
- Somalia is far poorer and less developed than Uruguay, due to civil war. Its policies, influenced by its Muslim population are extremely conservative, compared to the much liberal Uruguay. However, despite Somali and Spanish being completely unrelated languages, both use the Latin script.
- Niger, 7. Bangladesh, 8. Papua New Guinea, 9. Cambodia, 10. Myanmar
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Uruguay
Do you agree with the list?
Please leave any thoughts in the comments section.