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 near the Caribbean Sea
Few countries are similar to the Bahamas. The five most similar countries were all colonies of Great Britain and primarily speak English. The top four countries all have tropical climates. Furthermore, these four most similar countries all have a majority of their population with African ancestry.
Please note that some of the other countries in the West Indies, Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, would all be strong candidates for this list, but they are too small in population and land area to have enough reliable data for this project.
The five least similar countries to the Bahamas are all located in Asia. Since the Bahamas has a democratic government, they are all more autocratic or anarchic. There of the five have Muslim majority populations and are much more conservative. The other two countries are located in the Far East.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to the Bahamas
- Jamaica is another former British colony that still has the Queen of the United Kingdom as their head of state. They have extremely similar demographics since they are both over 90% black and mostly Protestant. Both countries have won many medals in Track and Field events at the Olympics. However, the Bahamas is much more wealthy than Jamaica. Furthermore, its landscape much more flat and has less agricultural land.
- Trinidad & Tobago is another group of islands in the Caribbean that has a relatively high standard of living. Most of the people in both countries work in the service sector. However, Trinidad has a much higher population of Indians than the Bahamas. So although its population is mostly Christian, about 20% practice Hinduism.
- Belize, unlike Jamaica and Trinidad, is located on the mainland of North America, but it has a similar tropical climate and beautiful beaches. Both countries grow a lot of sugarcane. Belize is more diverse than the Bahamas since more than 30% of its people natively speak Spanish. It also has an even mix of Catholics and Protestants.
- Guyana is located in South America, but it is still considered a Caribbean country. In fact, Georgetown is the headquarters of Caribbean Community. Like Trinidad and Tobago, it has a unique mix of Indians and Africans. It is one of the few countries in South America that drives on the left.
- United States is located just to the northwest of the Bahamas. After the independence of the United States from Britain, many Americans still loyal to Britain relocated to the Bahamas and formed plantations there. The United States has a huge influence on the country. In fact, its money is also called the dollar and is pegged to be worth the same amount as a US dollar. However, there are also huge differences. The people of the United States have mostly European ancestry. Furthermore, its average climate is more temperate and it has a wide variety of different biomes.
- Panama, 7. Dominican Republic, 8. Suriname, 9. Canada, 10. Ireland
Top 10 Places Least Similar to the Bahamas
- Afghanistan is a landlocked Muslim country that has very little in common with the Bahamas, apart from both countries speaking Indo-European languages and practicing Abrahamic religions. The technology that Afghanistan has is different from the Bahamas since it drives on the right, uses Russian broad gauge railroad tracks, and has Type C, F electrical outlets with a different voltage. Afghanistan also relies on hydropower for electricity, while the Bahamas relies on oil. While, Afghanistan is quite mountainous, the Bahamas is one of the flattest countries in the world.
- Yemen is another Muslim country that has a dry climate and a barren landscape. The country is extremely poor due to civil war. Although part of Yemen was a British protectorate, it did not have as much of an impact on it as the Bahamas. However, like the Bahamas, Yemen mostly relies on oil to produce energy.
- North Korea has obvious political differences from the Bahamas. North Korea has very strict drug and immigration laws, in contrast to Jamaica. In addition, military service is mandatory in North Korea and their military equipment is much more sophisticated than the Bahamas, since it does not have a army or an air force. Its climate is also much colder than the Bahamas. Still, both governments are primarily run by one party.
- Syria is yet another Muslim country on this list. While the Bahamas has a high rate of divorce, Syria has one of the lowest rates in the world. Syria was once ruled by France, so it has different colonial influences. Due to civil war, Syria’s standard of living has gone down significantly in recent years.
- Laos is a landlocked and mountainous country in Southeast Asia. Like Syria, it was another country that was once ruled by France. However, it is quite different, since its people are mostly Buddhist and have East Asian ancestry. Still, the climate in both the Bahamas and Laos is mostly tropical.
- China, 7. Sudan, 8. Eritrea, 9. Egypt, 10. Iran
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