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 Trinidad & Tobago
Very few countries are similar to Mauritius, since it has a unique history. The top five countries all are located in tropical climates. In addition, they all have a significant percentage of people who have ancestry in the Indian subcontinent. Another thing these countries have in common is that they all drive on the left side of the road. The top four countries have English as one of their official languages.
If the island of Reunion was considered a sovereign nation, then it would be by far the most similar country. It is another French speaking island in the Indian Ocean close to Mauritius, although it has a lower percentage of people with Indian ancestry.
Mauritius is relatively stable politically and also quite prosperous in contrast to the five least similar countries. Four of the five least similar countries are located in deserts. Four of the five least similar countries also have a large percentage of Muslims in their country.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Mauritius
- Trinidad & Tobago is another British colony where around half of the population has African ancestry and the other half has Indian ancestry. Both countries have a religiously diverse population as well, although Trinidad has more Christians, while Mauritius has more Hindus. Another difference is that its people natively speak English and not French Creole.
- Fiji is located in the Pacific Ocean. While both countries have a significant amount of people with Indian ancestry, Fiji also has many Melanesian people. Also the Indian people in Fiji generally speak Hindi natively, while those in Mauritius generally no longer do. The primary crop in both countries is sugarcane. One difference is sports, Fijians are much more interested in rugby and less interested in soccer than Mauritius.
- Sri Lanka is another densely populated tropical island located in the Indian Ocean, although it is much closer to India. Despite their similar climates, most of their farms produce rice, not sugarcane. In addition, most of its people are Buddhist, not Hindu. Furthermore, Sri Lankans tend to be more interested in cricket than soccer. Sri Lanka also does not have a parliamentary system of government, like others on this list, but both countries have tuition free college and a single payer healthcare system.
- Guyana is located in South America, but it has very similar demographics and culture to Trinidad & Tobago. Both countries have many people with African and Indian ancestry. However, Guyana is far less wealthy and much less densely populated. It is also more heavily forested and has a lower percentage of farmland than Mauritius.
- Suriname was once ruled by the Netherlands, so its official language is Dutch, but English is still widespread. Both countries have many people with African and Indian ancestry. However, Suriname has a much higher percentage of people with Asian ancestry. Like Guyana, it is also more heavily forested and has a lower percentage of farmland. Suriname’s public holidays are very similar to Mauritius. They both celebrate the Lunar New Year, Indian Arrival Day, Christmas, Diwali, and Eid al-Fitr.
- Belize, 7. Panama, 8. Dominican Republic, 9. Costa Rica, 10. Jamaica
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Mauritius
- Afghanistan is a landlocked, conservative Muslim country that is far less wealthy than Mauritius. Furthermore, the infrastructure in Afghanistan is different from Mauritius since it drives on the right, uses Russian broad gauge railroad tracks, and Type C, F electrical outlets. Afghanistan also relies on hydropower for electricity, while Trinidad & Tobago relies on coal and oil.
- North Korea is the least similar country in East Asia. Mauritius has little religious, cultural, or demographic similarity to North Korea. It also has the least similar government to it, since North Korea is ruled by an authoritarian leader and a one-party communist government. While North Korea’s climate is much colder, they have a similar amount of forested and agricultural land. Furthermore, the land in both countries is close to the ocean.
- Yemen is in the Arabian Desert. Like Afghanistan, it is extremely poor and warn torn due to Civil War. It is another Muslim country with little demographic, cultural, or technological similarity to Mauritius. The country is mostly Muslim and its people natively speak Arabic. However, both countries do border the Indian Ocean.
- Eritrea is the only country on this list with a majority Christian population. However, they are mostly Oriental Orthodox. Its government has been a dictatorship for almost 20 years, while Mauritius is more democratic. However, most of the land in both countries is near the coast and they both have hot climates. Still, Eritrea’s climate is much drier.
- Sudan is located in the Sahara Desert. It borders Eritrea and the Red Sea. It is yet another conservative Muslim country on this list. In addition, its government is lead by the military, following a recent coup. However, both countries were under British administration in the past. Both countries also have a large amount of Sub-Saharan African ancestry.
- Laos, 7. Mongolia, 8. China, 9. Japan, 10. Mauritania
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