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 countries that border the African Great Lakes
Rwanda is similar to many Sub-Saharan African countries. The top 5 countries most similar to Rwanda are all located around the African Great Lakes. The top four countries all have significant numbers of people natively speaking Northeast Bantu languages as well. In addition, 4 of the top 5 have English as one of their official languages. They also all have a majority Christian population.
The least similar countries are much more developed than Rwanda. The three least similar countries are located in East Asia. In addition, the four least similar countries do not use the Latin alphabet.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Rwanda
- Burundi is extremely similar to Rwanda in every aspect. The two countries were once a single territory ruled by Belgium called Ruanda-Urundi until 1960. The languages they natively speak there are mutually intelligible. Their geography is also incredibly similar. They are both densely populated countries with about the same amount of land and climate. One difference is that most signs in Burundi are in French, not English, although Rwanda also has French as one of its official languages.
- Uganda is located to the north of Rwanda. Both countries have nearly an equal mix of Protestants and Catholics. Furthermore, a high percentage of the land in both countries is used for agriculture and they both grow beans, corn, sorghum, and sweet potato. Uganda and Rwanda have also received significant military aid and equipment from Russia. However, Rwanda was not a British colony so it did not adopt driving on drive the left side of the road or common law in its legal system. Still, both have English as one of their official languages.
- Tanzania is another country that has English and Swahili as official languages. The countries were both part of German East Africa before World War II. Their people also drink a relatively large amount of homemade liqueur. However, Tanzania is not landlocked. It also has a much higher percentage of Muslims.
- Democratic Republic of Congo is another former colony of Belgium. Both countries use Type C electrical outlets and drive on the right side of the road. There are some political similarities as well. Both countries have bicameral legislatures ruled by one party and are not very democratic. They also have essentially the same legal system. However, the country is much more sparsely populated and is more heavily forested.
- Malawi is another densely populated, landlocked country located in the Great Rift Valley. Both countries have English as one of their official languages. However, Malawi is far more democratic than Rwanda. It also has a higher percentage of Protestants.
- Republic of Congo, 7. Cameroon, 8. Togo, 9. Zambia, 10. Central African Republic
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Rwanda
- Japan is by far the least similar country to Rwanda. Its demographics, culture, and infrastructure are especially different. There just isn’t much in common between the two, except that they are both mountainous and get about the same amount of rainfall.
- South Korea is another country with a temperate climate also located in East Asia. It is a highly developed country with a lot of coastline. However, unlike Japan, South Korea does have a significant Christian population. It also drives on the right and uses Type C electrical outlets. Still, these countries have little else in common.
- Taiwan is yet another Asian country located in the Pacific Ocean on this list. Like Japan and South Korea, its demographics and culture are quite different from Rwanda. However, Taiwan’s subtropical climate is more similar to Rwanda than Japan and South Korea.
- Saudi Arabia has a sparsely populated desert landscape, in contrast to Rwanda, which has a high percentage of surface freshwater and is also densely populated. The country is predominately Muslim and its people primarily speak Arabic. Its government is also an absolute monarchy with more conservative laws than Rwanda.
- Finland is the least similar country that is mostly Christian. Still, it is much less religious than Rwanda. Both countries have a lot of their territory taken up by freshwater lakes. Still, it is much more sparsely populated and heavily forested than Rwanda. Its government is also far more liberal and democratic. Furthermore, its climate is much colder.
- Canada, 7. Israel, 8. Norway, 9. Iceland, 10. Sweden
Do you agree with the list?
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