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 former British colonies in tropical locations
Few countries are similar to Trinidad & Tobago. The top five countries were once colonies of Great Britain, although Suriname was only briefly. Four of the five drive on the left, like the Britain, but all five use Type A, B electrical outlets, like the United States. Despite being located in the Caribbean, the populations of the top five countries all have a significant amount of African ancestry.
Some of the other countries in the West Indies, like Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, would be in contention for this list, but they are too small in population and land area to have enough reliable data for this project.
Trinidad & Tobago is relatively stable politically and also quite prosperous in contrast to the five least similar countries. Four of the five least similar countries are located in deserts. Four of the five least similar countries also have a large percentage of Muslims in their country.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Trinidad & Tobago
- Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago were briefly part of one country, the West Indies Federation, between 1958 and 1962. They have a similar diet consisting mostly of wheat, rice, chicken, and seafood, although Jamaica eats more yams. Trinidad also has a much higher population of Indians than Jamaica. So although its population is mostly Christian, about 20% practice Hinduism, unlike Jamaica.
- Bahamas has similar demographics to Jamaica, so it has less Indians and religious diversity. The Bahamas and Trinidad & Tobago are the two wealthiest countries per capita in the Western Hemisphere, besides the United States and Canada. They have a similar standard of living. Both countries use Type A,B electrical outlets, despite being former British colonies, but they both do drive on the left.
- Guyana is located in South America, but it has the most similar demographics and culture to Trinidad & Tobago. Both countries have many people with African and Indian ancestry. There are some big differences as well since Guyana is far less wealthy and much less densely populated. It is also more heavily forested and has a lower percentage of farmland.
- Belize is on the mainland of North America, but it has a similar tropical climate and beautiful beaches like Trinidad & Tobago. Although most people in both countries speak English, a significant portion of the population in Belize speaks Spanish. It also has a much greater percentage of Catholics. Furthermore, it drives
- Suriname was once a British colony before being ruled by the Netherlands. Although its official language is Dutch, English is widespread there and the lingua franca of its people, Sranan Tongo, is based on English. Both countries have many people with African and Indian ancestry. However, Suriname has a much higher percentage of people with Asian ancestry. Like Guyana, Suriname is far less wealthy and much less densely populated. It is also more heavily forested and has a lower percentage of farmland.
- Mauritius, 7. Panama, 8. Costa Rica, 9. Dominican Republic, 10. Fiji
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Trinidad & Tobago
- Afghanistan is a landlocked, conservative Muslim country that is far less wealthy than Trinidad & Tobago. Furthermore, the technology in Afghanistan is different from Trinidad & Tobago since it drives on the right, uses Russian broad gauge railroad tracks, and Type C, F electrical outlets with a different voltage. Afghanistan also relies on hydropower for electricity, while Trinidad & Tobago relies on gas.
- Eritrea is the only country on this list with a majority Christian population. However, they are mostly Oriental Orthodox. Its government has been a dictatorship for almost 20 years, while Trinidad & Tobago is more democratic. However, most of the land in both countries is near the coast and they both have hot climates. Still, Eritrea’s climate is much drier.
- North Korea is the least similar country in East Asia. The country has little religious, cultural, or demographic similarity to North Korea. It also has the least similar government to Trinidad, since North Korea is ruled by an authoritarian leader and a one-party communist government. While North Korea’s climate is much colder, they have a similar amount of forested and agricultural land. Furthermore, the land in both countries is close to the ocean.
- Yemen is in the Arabian Desert. Like Sudan, it is extremely poor and warn torn due to Civil War. It is another Muslim country with little demographic, cultural, or technological similarity to Trinidad & Tobago. The country is mostly Muslim and its people natively speak Arabic.
- Sudan is across the Red Sea from Yemen. It is located in the Sahara Desert. It is yet another conservative Muslim country on this list. In addition, its government is lead by the military, following a recent coup. However, both countries were under British administration in the past. Both countries also have a large amount of Sub-Saharan African ancestry.
- Mauritania, 7. Somalia, 8. Mali, 9. Laos, 10. China
Do you agree with the list?
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