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 Central American countries, especially Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua
There are many countries with a high degree of similarity with El Salvador. Latin American countries are especially similar to Guatemala since they are generally Catholic, speak Romance languages, and have similar governments. People in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua can move freely between their countries since there are no checkpoints at their shared borders.
The least similar countries all have a majority Muslim population and have Arabic as one of their official languages. Furthermore, they are all located in deserts. Since El Salvador’s standard of living is neither especially high or low, its least similar countries are some of the wealthiest countries and also some of the poorest countries.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to El Salvador
- Honduras is to the northeast of El Salvador. Although both are mostly Catholic, they also have many Protestants. The two countries have a similar diet, since they eat a lot of corn and their preferred meat is chicken. Both are quite mountainous and have a similar climate. One difference is that El Salvador is more densely populated and has a much higher percentage of agricultural land.
- Guatemala borders both Honduras and El Salvador. Both countries are among the most conservative Latin American countries since they do not allow gay marriage or abortion. Both their railroads uniquely use 3-foot gauge tracks. However, Guatemala has far more Mayan people.
- Nicaragua is also quite similar to El Salvador, even though they do not border each other. Although their geographies are still quite similar, Nicaragua has far more freshwater, since Lake Nicaragua is the second largest lake in Latin America, after Lake Titicaca. Their agriculture is incredibly similar as both countries grow a lot of corn, coffee, and beans, but Nicaragua has a lower percentage of agricultural land.
- Costa Rica is yet another Central American country in the top 5. However it has some significant differences with El Salvador. Costa Rica is more developed and wealthier than. Its population is older and has far fewer farmers. Furthermore, Costa Rica is much safer.
- Panama also has similar culture and demographics to El Salvador. Both countries were greatly influenced by the United States. They both use Type A, B electrical outlets and typically use US-made weapons. In addition, the US dollar is actually legal tender in both countries, unlike other Central American countries. However, Panama is more prosperous and its infrastructure is better developed.
- Dominican Republic, 7. Colombia, 8. Ecuador, 9. Mexico, 10. Peru
Top 10 Places Least Similar to El Salvador
- Sudan is located in the Sahara Desert. It is predominately Muslim country and most of its people speak Arabic natively. Its infrastructure and standard of living have suffered due to recent civil war. It recently lost some territory to the newly formed country of South Sudan. The country’s diet is especially dissimilar from Colombia since they mostly eat sorghum based food, while corn is the staple food in El Salvador.
- Bahrain is another Arabic speaking country on this list. It is an island in the Persian Gulf. Bahrain is highly developed, in contrast to El Salvador. It also has little agricultural land. Still, both countries are densely populated and their land is located close to the coast.
- Qatar is a small Arabian country. It is a peninsula in the Persian Gulf, connected to Saudi Arabia. It has one of the highest GDPs per capita in the world in contrast to El Salvador. In addition, its climate is much drier and its terrain is quite flat.
- Saudi Arabia is adjacent to Bahrain and Qatar. Its government is an absolute monarchy and the country does not even have a congress. Its laws are also far more conservative than in El Salvador. Same sex relationships and alcohol are not allowed there. Like the other two countries its climate is also much drier, although the weather in both countries tends to be quite hot.
- Somalia‘s governmental policies influenced by its Muslim population are extremely conservative, compared to more liberal El Salvador. It is also far less densely populated and also much less mountainous. Still, both countries do use the Latin alphabet, although their languages are completely unrelated. Furthermore, they are at similar latitudes.
- Yemen, 7. Afghanistan, 8. Japan, 9. United Arab Emirates, 10. North Korea
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to El Salvador
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