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 English-speaking countries in East Africa
The top five countries most similar to Malawi are all located in East Africa and have English as one of their official languages. All natively speak Bantu languages as well. The top five also have a majority Christian population. In addition, their landscapes are similar since they are mostly tropical savannas.
The least similar countries are located in two locations: East Asia and the Middle East. The five least similar countries all have a much higher standard of living.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Malawi
- Zambia is to the west of Malawi. They were once part of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, before gaining independence from Great Britain. Around 30 percent of people in both countries natively speak Chewa. Both countries are landlocked and rely on hydropower to create electricity. However, Zambia is more sparsely populated. It also has a far lower percentage of agricultural land.
- Zimbabwe, like Zambia and Malawi, was once part of Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, before gaining independence from Great Britain. It is another landlocked country in Southern Africa that also grows lots of corn. Both countries drive on the left and use 3′-6″ railroad gauge. They also do not allow polygamy or the sale of pornography. One difference is that Zimbabwe’s government is more volatile and less democratic.
- Uganda is another African country that is located in the Great Rift Valley near a large freshwater lake. Both countries have a high percentage of agricultural land and most people living there are farmers. In addition, they have about the same population density. While both countries are predominately Christian, Uganda has far more Catholics.
- Tanzania borders Lake Malawi as well. The countries have relatively the same climate and standard of living. However, Tanzania has a significantly higher percentage of Muslims. Despite this, Tanzania drinks more alcohol per capita than Malawi. It also relies more on fossil fuels than hydropower to create electricity.
- Rwanda is located next to Tanzania and Uganda. It is another country located in the Great Rift Valley. It is the only country in the top five that was not a British colony. It was once a Belgian colony, so it has more Catholics that Malawi. Still, English is widely used in both countries.
- Ghana, 7. Kenya, 8. Mozambique, 9. Lesotho, 10. Sierra Leone
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Malawi
- Japan is by far the least similar country to Malawi. Not only is its geography significantly different, but also its demographics, culture, and technology. There isn’t much in common between the two, except that they both drive on the left.
- South Korea is also located in Asia. It is another highly developed, country most of its land close to the coast. However, South Korea does have a significant Christian population. Still, Malawi has little else in common with it.
- Taiwan is another Asian country located next to the Pacific Ocean on this list. Like Japan and South Korea, its demographics and culture are quite different from Malawi. However, Taiwan’s subtropical climate is more similar to Malawi than Japan or South Korea.
- Saudi Arabia has a sparsely populated desert landscape, in contrast to Malawi, which has some of the highest percentage of surface freshwater in the world. The country is predominately Muslim and its people primarily speak Arabic. While Saudi Arabia creates most of its electricity using fossil fuels, Malawi primarily uses hydropower. Its government is also an absolute monarchy, while Malawi is more democratic.
- Bahrain is a small densely populated island, near Saudi Arabia. The country has many skyscrapers, while Malawi does not have any skyscrapers in the entire country. Everyone is close to the coast in Bahrain, in contrast to landlocked Malawi. Its population is also far wealthier as well. Furthermore, Bahrain has a much higher percentage of males.
- Iceland, 7. Russia, 8. Qatar, 9. Finland, 10. Kuwait
Do you agree with the list?
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