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 no other countries
East Timor is quite a unique country. It was once a colony of Portugal, but was also ruled by Indonesia for many years. The five most similar countries are also countries located on islands in the Pacific Ocean. They all have a similar climate. Furthermore, these countries all natively speak Austronesian languages and adopted the Latin alphabet.
Two locations are especially different from East Timor: North America and the Arabian Peninsula. These countries are far wealthier than East Timor. Four of the five were once ruled by Britain. Their climates are all significantly different from East Timor as well.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to East Timor
- Solomon Islands and East Timor are both quite mountainous and most of their land is near the coasts. However, East Timor is less densely forested. The countries have about the same standard of living. Still, Solomon Islanders are mostly Melanesian, and have less East Asian ancestry than people from East Timor. Their infrastructure is also similar. Both countries drive on the left and do not have railroads. They also both rely on oil to create electricity.
- Vanuatu is another island archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, like the Solomon Islands. It has less British traits since it was jointly administered by both Great Britain and France. Therefore, its legal system has elements of civil law, like East Timor. One difference in their infrastructure is that Vanuatu drives on the right side of the road.
- Philippines is the only other country with a majority Catholic population in Asia, since it was formerly a colony of Spain. Their geography is also quite similar. However there are some big differences too. The people of East Timor have less East Asian ancestry. Furthermore, their infrastructure is quite different since the Philippines drives on the right and uses Type A, B electrical outlets.
- Indonesia ruled over East Timor until its independence in 2002. Both countries cultivate a lot of rice and corn, although East Timor has a higher percentage of coffee fields. One big difference between the countries is that Indonesians are mostly Muslim. In addition, while Indonesia’s energy comes mostly from coal, East Timor relies on oil to create electricity. Still, both use Type C, F electrical outlets.
- Samoa is a tropical country located in Polynesia. Both countries have a mix of East Asian and Melanesian ancestry. In addition, both countries are mostly Christian, although Samoa has more Protestants and Mormons. Another difference is that Samoans are more interested in rugby than East Timor.
- Papua New Guinea, 7. Madagascar, 8. Guinea-Bissau, 9. Cape Verde, 10. Rwanda
Top 10 Places Least Similar to East Timor
- Canada is by far the least similar country to East Timor. The countries share little technological or geographic similarity. In addition, their climates are significantly different since Canada is one of the coldest countries with relatively little precipitation compared to East Timor. Still, both countries are mostly Christian and use the Latin alphabet.
- United States is similar to Canada, it also has little in common with East Timor in demographics, culture, politics, and technology. One thing the countries do share is that they have very lack gun restrictions. East Timor also has a relatively high gun ownership rate. In addition, there are also many Catholics in the United States.
- United Arab Emirates is a much wealthier country than East Timor. Its population density is much higher and its landscape is mostly barren desert, in stark contrast to East Timor. The country is mostly Muslim and its official language is Arabic.
- Saudi Arabia is another wealthy country on the Arabian peninsula. Unlike East Timor, it is not a democracy and it does not even have a parliament. It also has more conservative laws. It does not allow gambling or alcohol.
- Bahrain is similar to both Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. It is another wealthy country that is mostly Muslim and has Arabic as an official language. Like East Timor, it is located on an island and most of its land is close to the coast. Still, it is less mountainous, much more densely populated, and more urbanized.
- Finland, 7. Qatar, 8. United Kingdom, 9. Israel, 10. Iceland
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