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 republics of the USSR
It’s no surprise that the most similar countries to Uzbekistan were all once part of the USSR. They all have a majority Muslim population but their governments are secular. Four of the top five also speak Turkic languages. These countries also have quite dry climates and are landlocked as well.
As a double-landlocked country, it is appropriate that the five least similar countries to Uzbekistan are all located on islands. These countries also get far more rainfall than Uzbekistan. All five countries drive on the left and do not use Type C, F electrical outlets as well. In addition, four of the five least similar countries have English as one of their official languages.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Uzbekistan
- Turkmenistan is located to the south of Uzbekistan. Both countries are sparsely populated deserts that rely on a lot of irrigation to water their crops, which consist mostly of wheat, but also cotton. Both countries also have a similar diet. They mostly eat beef and lamb meat. In addition, both countries have presidents that are dictators, although Turkmenistan’s is more extreme.
- Kazakhstan is directly to the north of Uzbekistan. Their governments are quite similar. Both are autocracies that use the semi-presidential form of government. They are also some of the least religious countries with a majority Muslim population. However, Kazakhstan has more Russians. In addition, its economy is more prosperous. Its climate is not as dry, but it is colder on average.
- Kyrgyzstan is another landlocked and dry country, however it is much more mountainous. Its demographics and culture are very similar to Turkmenistan. One big difference is that Kyrgyzstan is the only multi-party democracy in Central Asia, in contrast to Uzbekistan.
- Tajikistan is another country in Central Asia with a dictator as president. Uzbekistan and Tajikistan also have similar laws and regulations. Over 10% of people in Tajikistan have Uzbek ethnicity as well. Both countries have won Olympic medals in boxing, wrestling, and judo. However, Uzbekistan is far less mountainous. It is also unique among former USSR countries, since its native people have mostly Persian ancestry, not Turkic.
- Azerbaijan yet another former Soviet Union republic on this list. It is just across the Caspian Sea from Uzbekistan. Due to abundant reserves of natural gas in the region, both countries rely on it to create most of their electricity. Both countries speak Turkic languages, although its people have less East Asian admixture than in Uzbekistan. Another difference is that Azerbaijan’s population is mostly Shia Muslims, not Sunni.
- Turkey, 7. Mongolia, 8. Iran, 9. Armenia, 10. Egypt
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Uzbekistan
- Papua New Guinea is a mountainous island country in the Pacific Ocean. It has a high percentage of forested area and one of the highest rainfall amounts in the world. It is also less developed an its standard of living is lower than Uzbekistan. It has little in common demographically or culturally with Uzbekistan as well.
- Solomon Islands is another country similar to Papua New Guinea in the Pacific Ocean. It is a tropical island archipelago, but it is also more mountainous than Uzbekistan. In addition, it is a parliamentary democracy, in stark contrast to Uzbekistan.
- Japan is technically on the same continent as Uzbekistan, but it is extremely different. Its culture is especially different. One reason is that Japanese do not follow an Abrahamic religion. Furthermore, its language and writing system are completely different. Their diet is also quite different since they eat a lot of pork, fish, and rice in contrast to Uzbeks.
- Bahamas is the least similar North American country. Like New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, it was colonized by Great Britain. Its people are of mostly African ancestry, unlike Uzbeks who typically have a mix of European and East Asian ancestry. Furthermore, it is a highly developed tropical island group.
- Trinidad & Tobago, like the Bahamas, is another former British colony with predominately African ancestry in the Caribbean. Although most people in Trinidad & Tobago are Christian, it does have a significant Muslim population as well.
- New Zealand, 7. Jamaica, 8. Canada, 9. Singapore, 10. Taiwan
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Uzbekistan
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