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 countries on the border between Sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa
Eritrea is quite a unique country. Like many African countries, Eritrea has a mix of Christians and Muslims, although most Christians are part of the unique Oriental Orthodox denomination. It also uses a unique writing system, the Ge’ez script. The five most similar countries are all located on the border between North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Four of the five least similar countries are places where most people natively speak Germanic languages. Furthermore, all five of the least similar countries have much colder climates with more rainfall. These countries have a higher standard of living and are much more democratic than Eritrea as well.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Eritrea
- Ethiopia is by far the most similar country to Eritrea. The country took over Eritrea in 1962, but it regained its independence in the 1990s. Both countries have a mix of Sunni Muslims and Oriental Orthodox Christians. In addition, both countries use the unique Ge’ez script. They also speak Afroasiatic languages, although Amharic is not widely spoken in Eritrea. Still, Tigrinya is an official language in both countries.
- Sudan is the only other country in Africa that only has coastline on the Red Sea. It is another country that speaks a Semitic language, although they use different systems of writing. In addition, the agriculture of both countries is quite similar. They both grow sorghum, millet, and sesame. However, Sudan has far fewer Christians than Eritrea.
- Chad is to the west of Sudan. It is another African country that uses a Semitic language as its lingua franca, although French is another official language there. In addition, it has large amounts of both Muslims and Christians. Furthermore, both countries have been ruled by authoritarian governments for many years. Still, Chad is landlocked and its population is not as dense as Eritrea.
- Somalia is another country on the Horn of Africa. The Somali language used to use the Ge’ez script before they switched to the Latin alphabet. Although Somali is an Afroasiatic language, it is not part of the Semitic branch. However, like Sudan, Somalia has far fewer Christians than Eritrea. It is also less mountainous.
- Mauritania is located on the Atlantic Coast, but it is another country that has a confluence of Muslim and Sub-Saharan African traits. Its people natively speak a Semitic language as well. Like Eritrea, sorghum is the main agricultural product grown there. One difference is that Mauritania is less densely populated. Another difference is that it relies on natural gas, not oil to create electricity.
- Niger, 7. Djibouti, 8. Mali, 9. Yemen, 10. South Sudan
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Eritrea
- Japan has obvious demographic and cultural differences with Eritrea. In addition, their technology is far different, since they drive on the left and have a completely different electrical system, using 100 volt Type A,B outlets. Furthermore, there are far more planes, trains, and airplanes in Japan. Still, both countries are mountainous and most of their land is close to the coast.
- Canada is one of the coldest countries and one of the most sparsely populated countries with a high rate of urbanization, whereas Eritrea is one of the hottest places on Earth and is much more rural. They also share little cultural or demographic similarity. Its government is far more democratic and also has more liberal laws. Although both countries have many Christians, Canada is less religious.
- United Kingdom is much more densely populated and far less mountainous than Eritrea. In addition, their technology is far different, since they drive on the left and use Type G outlets. According to the Lewis Model, its people are also less outgoing than Eritreans. Its parliamentary form of government and bicameral legislature is also quite different from Eritrea.
- New Zealand is another island based country located in a temperate climate on this list. It is also one of the most liberal countries, unlike Eritrea. New Zealand is also extremely far away from Eritrea. It is located in the Southern Hemisphere, in the Pacific Ocean.
- Netherlands is yet another Germanic-speaking country on this list. The country is quite flat and densely populated, in contrast to Eritrea, although the land in both countries is located close to the coast. Still, the countries both use Type C, F electrical outlets and drive on the right side of the road, although the infrastructure in the Netherlands is far more developed.
- Ireland, 7. Germany, 8. Luxembourg, 9. Denmark, 10. Switzerland
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