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 with Orthodox Christians in Eastern Europe
Many Eastern European countries are similar to Moldova. The top five most similar countries were all members of the Eastern Bloc or part of the Soviet Union, until the end of the Cold War. Most people in the top countries are Eastern Orthodox Christians. In addition, these countries have temperate climates and high percentage of farmland.
There are two geographic areas where the least similar countries are located: the Red Sea and the Pacific Ocean. These countries have drastically different landscapes than Moldova. They all have a low percentage of their land used for agriculture. In addition, most of their land is close to the coast, unlike Moldova.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Moldova
- Romania had ruled Moldova until the end of World War II, when it became part of the Soviet Union. Both countries speak Romanian and have similar customs and traditions. However, it is larger and more developed. It also borders the Black Sea and is fairly mountainous unlike Moldova. Furthermore, it now has closer ties to the European Union than Russia.
- Ukraine is the only country in the former Soviet Union that borders Moldova. It has similar technology and standard of living. Its agriculture is almost identical as well, since they both have over 50% of their land being used as farmland and grow a mix of corn, sunflower, and wheat. The biggest difference between Moldova and Ukraine is their language. Still, the Russian language understood by a large percentage of people in Moldova. Another difference is that most of Ukraine’s electricity comes from nuclear power.
- Serbia was not in the Soviet Union, but it also many similar traits with Moldova. Both countries are landlocked and have a similar climate. In addition, both countries use the Latin alphabet, although Cyrillic is also used there. Both countries have a coat of arms displayed on their flag with an eagle. The countries also have a parliamentary system of government with a unicameral legislature.
- Belarus is another country in the former Soviet Union that is landlocked and quite flat, with a high percentage of its land devoted to agriculture. In addition, both countries rely on natural gas to create electricity. However, one big difference is that Belarus is not a democracy. Its climate is also colder.
- Bulgaria is another Orthodox Christian nation, although it is less religious. It is just to the south of Romania, across the Danube River. However, like other countries on this list, linguistically Bulgaria and Moldova are far apart since Bulgaria speaks a Slavic language and uses the Cyrillic script. Its climate is also warmer, since it is further south.
- Hungary, 7. Slovakia, 8. Lithuania, 9. North Macedonia, 10. Croatia
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Moldova
- Yemen is located on the Arabian Peninsula, from Somalia. It is a conservative Muslim country whose infrastructure is underdeveloped due to civil war. The country has extremely loose gun control laws and only the United States has more guns per capita. However, the people in both countries are considered to be Caucasian.
- Somalia is across the Gulf of Aden. It is another anarchic, Muslim country that has poorly developed infrastructure. In addition, its hot desert climate contrasts Moldova’s temperate fields of agriculture. The country is also more sparsely populated and has a long coastline.
- Solomon Islands, like Moldova, is a Christian country, however they are mostly Protestant. Apart from their religion and writing system, the countries have little similarity, especially geographically. Solomon Islands is a sparsely populated, tropical island, with a small percentage of agricultural land. Most of its people have Melanesian ancestry. The country’s infrastructure is also quite different. It drives on the left and use Type I electrical outlets.
- Eritrea is located on the Red Sea, across from Yemen. The country is primarily desert and also quite mountainous. Its government is a totalitarian one-party dictatorship. Like the first three countries on this list it has poorly developed infrastructure. Although its population is about 50% Christian, they are part of the unique Oriental Orthodox denomination. Linguistically, Eritrea has no similarity as well since they speak Afroasiatic languages and use the Ge’ez script.
- Brunei, unlike other countries on this list, is a much wealthier nation than Moldova. The country is mostly Muslim. Its land is almost entirely forested and much of its land is close to the coast. In addition, its government is not democratic.
- Papua New Guinea, 7. Sudan, 8. Bhutan, 9. Myanmar, 10. Laos
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to the Moldova
Do you agree with the list?
Please leave any thoughts in the comments section.