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
The top 5 most similar countries to Kyrgyzstan were all once part of the USSR. They are also landlocked and have a relatively dry climate. 4 of the top 5 have a majority Muslim population. Azerbaijan did not make the top 5 because it is not a democracy and it is also much wealthier. Furthermore, unlike Kyrgyzstan, most of its people are Shi’ites.
Appropriately, the five least similar countries are islands that get far more rainfall. Four of the five least similar countries have English as an official language. Furthermore, they all drive on the left side of the road. Since Kyrgyzstan does not have an especially high or low standard of living, the five least similar countries are either much wealthier or poorer.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Kyrgyzstan
- Kazakhstan‘s language has a high degree of mutual intelligibility with Kyrgyz. In addition, both countries cultures have been significantly influenced by Russia. However, Kazakhstan has more Russians, who are Orthodox Christian. In addition, Kazakhstan is far wealthier due to significant natural resources. Unlike Kyrgyzstan, the majority of its energy is created by coal power plants.
- Tajikistan is another landlocked and extremely mountainous country to Kyrgyzstan’s south. They are the two of the poorest and least developed countries of the former USSR. Both countries rely on hydropower to create electricity. Although many people in both countries speak Russian and use the Cyrillic alphabet, one big difference is that Tajiks speak a Persian language, not Turkic.
- Uzbekistan is just to the west of Kyrgyzstan, but it is much less mountainous. The countries have similar demographics, culture, and infrastructure. In fact, there are many Uzbeks living in Kyrgyzstan. One difference is that Uzbekistan grows far more cotton and uses a lot more water to irrigate its crops.
- Turkmenistan is very similar to Uzbekistan. One big difference between Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan is politics. Turkmenistan has an authoritarian government, which has some of the most censorship in the world. In contrast, Kyrgyzstan is one of the few democracies in the region, although both governments are quite corrupt.
- Armenia is the only Christian country in the top five. However neither country is especially religious since they both have high rates of atheism. Armenia’s geography is especially similar to Kyrgyzstan, since they are both extremely mountainous and landlocked countries. In addition, they have similar amounts of rainfall. However, linguistically they are extremely different since Armenians use a different alphabet and speak an Indo-European language.
- Azerbaijan, 7. Turkey, 8. Georgia, 9. Mongolia, 10. Russia
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Kyrgyzstan
- Bahamas was colonized by Great Britain and highly influenced by the United States, so its infrastructure is quite different Kyrgyzstan. It drives on the left and uses Type A,B outlets with a lower voltage. Furthermore, its people are of mostly African ancestry. In addition, the country is quite prosperous, due to tourism and the banking industry, unlike Kyrgyzstan. Furthermore, the landscape of the Bahamas is essentially the opposite of Kyrgyzstan, since the country made up of many low-lying islands in the Western Hemisphere.
- Singapore is a densely populated tropical island city-state, unlike the more rural and mountainous landscape of Kyrgyzstan. It is also far more prosperous. One similarity is that about 15% of people in Singapore are Sunni Muslims. In addition, although both countries have unicameral legislatures, Singapore is a one-party state, while Kyrgyzstan is a multiparty democracy.
- Japan is technically on the same continent as Kyrgyzstan and it is also quite mountainous. Furthermore, their ancestry is similar albeit distant. However other than these aspects it is extremely 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 Kyrgyzstan.
- Solomon Islands is a heavily forested archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. Its people have mostly Melanesian ancestry. Furthermore, it is mostly Christian. Its technology is especially different from Kyrgyzstan, since it drives on the left side of the road, uses Type I electrical outlets, and creates most of its electricity using oil, not hydropower.
- Papua New Guinea is very similar to the Solomon Islands. It is another country in the South Pacific with English as one of their official languages. Its people are not as well educated as Kyrgyzs. Their poverty rate is also much higher. However, both Papua New Guinea and Kyrgyzstan are quite mountainous. In addition, both countries are sparsely populated.
- Trinidad & Tobago, 7. Jamaica, 8. Taiwan, 9. United States, 10. Rep. of Congo
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Kyrgyzstan
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