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 Armenia and the Balkans
Georgia is a unique country, especially linguistically. Only a few countries have a high degree of similarity. Three of the five most similar countries are located in the Balkans, while the other two are also countries that used to be part of the Soviet Union. In addition, four of the five most similar countries have populations that are primarily part of the Eastern Orthodox denomination.
Four of the five least similar countries are located in dry regions of Africa. All these countries have a lower standard of living than Georgia as well. The least similar countries have in common is that they use the Latin alphabet.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Georgia
- Armenia is another Christian country to the east of Georgia. Even before the USSR, there was a period of time where Armenia was a part of Georgia. Both countries are very mountainous, although Georgia borders the Black Sea, while Armenia is landlocked. Armenians and Georgians especially like wrestling and weightlifting, with both countries winning Olympic medals in these disciplines. One big difference is that their languages and writing systems are quite different.
- Bulgaria is located on the opposite side of the Black Sea, but it has many of the same characteristics as Georgia. Both countries are primarily Eastern Orthodox, but about 10 percent of their population is Muslim. In addition, they both have a federal holiday for St. George’s Day. Although Bulgaria was never part of the Soviet Union, both countries use Russian-made battle tanks and assault weapons.
- North Macedonia is just to the west of Bulgaria. It is yet another country in the Balkans that has some similarity to Georgia. One big difference is that North Macedonia is landlocked. Another is that it has a higher percentage of Muslims, since many Albanians live there. Still, the countries have a relatively similar standard of living.
- Moldova is another country that was once part of the Soviet Union. Their governments are especially similar. Both use the parliamentary system, but also have unicameral legislatures. In addition, same sex marriage and prostitution is not allowed there, while abortion and gambling are legal. There are also some big differences between these countries. Moldova is landlocked, mostly flat, and has a much higher percentage of agricultural land than Georgia.
- Montenegro is yet another country on this list that is mostly Eastern Orthodox, but also has a significant Muslim population. In addition, Georgia and Montenegro are both mountainous, but also have a coastline, although Montenegro does not border the Black Sea. The countries drink about the same amount of alcohol and primarily drink wine and spirits. According to the Lewis Model, their people both typically have an outgoing personality.
- Serbia, 7. Romania, 8. Ukraine, 9. Croatia, 10. Belarus
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Georgia
- Somalia is located in Africa on the Indian Ocean coast. It is conservative Muslim country with poorly developed infrastructure. It does not allow alcohol, abortion, or gambling. Its climate is much drier and hotter than Georgia. However, one similarity is that they are located at about the same longitude.
- Niger is a landlocked country in the middle of the Sahara Desert. It was once a French colony before becoming independent. Its population is much younger than Georgians and it is also far less educated. Like Somalia, it is almost 100 percent Muslim.
- South Sudan is a landlocked and sparsely populated country in Africa. It recently got its independence from Sudan. While both countries are landlocked and have a dry climate, South Sudan is much hotter and its terrain is quite flat. Still, one similarity is that much of the water in both countries eventually flows into the Mediterranean.
- Solomon Islands is tropical archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, in contrast to Georgia’s colder climate. The country was a colony of Great Britain until 1978. In addition, its infrastructure is quite different. The country drives on the left and uses Type I electrical outlets. Still, both countries are predominately Christian, although they are mostly Catholic and Protestant.
- Chad is located between Niger and Sudan. It is yet another country in the Sahara Desert that was once a colony of France on this list. Chad has been ruled by an authoritarian government for a long period. Still, both countries have a mix of Christians and Muslims, although Chad is mostly Muslim.
- Gambia, 7. Sudan 8. Papua New Guinea, 9. Singapore, 10. Sierra Leone
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