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 English-speaking countries in Southern Africa
4 of the top 5 countries most similar to Eswatini were once colonies of Great Britain, with the exception being Namibia, which was a German colony, later ruled by South Africa. They all have English as one of their official languages. In addition all of these countries have a majority Protestant population. They also have similar infrastructure, since the top 5 all drive on the left and use 3′-6″ gauge railroad tracks.
The five least similar countries are all far more developed and have a higher standard of living. Their governments are also more democratic. The three least similar countries are located in East Asia. They are especially different because they do not use the Latin alphabet, do not traditionally follow Abrahamic religions, and are also much less religious.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Eswatini
- Lesotho is another former colony of Great Britain that was planned to be incorporated into South Africa, but instead gained its independence. Still, both countries use the South African Rand as legal tender. Despite their close proximity to South Africa, their infrastructure is significantly less developed. Both countries primarily use Type M electrical outlets. They also primarily use hydropower to create electricity. However Lesotho is significantly more democratic than Eswatini.
- Zimbabwe and Eswatini both have a significant number of Nguni people. Both countries are not very democratic. Zimbabwe was ruled by dictators for a long period, while Eswatini is ruled by a monarch with extensive power over the government. Both countries criminalize same sex relations and also do not allow polygamy.
- Zambia is yet another landlocked former British colony on this list. Both countries are mostly Protestant, but also are about 20% Catholic. A majority of their agricultural lands are used to farm corn and it is a staple food in both countries. However, a greater percentage of its land area is freshwater lakes. It is also less mountainous.
- Botswana is located between Zimbabwe and Namibia. Both Botswana and Eswatini have a relatively high percentage of people working in industry, although Eswatini has a lower percentage of people working in agriculture. The diets of their people are quite similar, although people in Eswatini eat more fruits. Still, Botswana is more developed than Eswatini and its government is more democratic.
- Namibia is the only country that is not landlocked on this list. It also is mostly desert, unlike Eswatini. Another major difference is many of its people speak Khoisan languages, not Bantu languages. Still Namibia has a lot in common with Eswatini. The South African Rand is legal tender in both countries. They are also both part of the South African Customs Union. In addition, they both predominately use Type M electrical outlets. Furthermore, both countries rely on hydropower to create electricity.
- Malawi, 7. South Africa, 8. Kenya, 9. Uganda, 10. Tanzania
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Eswatini
- Japan is an extremely densely populated island, in contrast to landlocked Eswatini. Not only is its geography significantly different, but also its demographics and culture. They use a different writing system and their religions are unrelated. However, they do share some similar infrastructure, since both countries drive on the left and use 3’6″ gauge railroad tracks. Still, Eswatini has a different electrical outlets that use a higher voltage than Japan.
- Taiwan is another island in East Asia on this list. Like Japan, its infrastructure is much more developed than Eswatini. In addition, its laws are a lot different. Taiwan allows gay marriage and legalized prostitution. Also unlike Eswatini, it does not allow gambling. The countries also have extremely dissimilar demographics and culture. Although both countries have a hot climate, Taiwan gets far more rainfall.
- South Korea is yet another densely populated East Asian country on this list. Its infrastructure is extremely dissimilar from Botswana, since it drives on the right, uses standard gauge railroad tracks, and Type C, F electrical outlets. One thing that they do have in common is that South Korea also has a significant Christian population. In addition, most of the males in both countries are circumcised. Still, its language and system of writing are completely different.
- Israel is technically on the African continental plate, but it has little else in common with Eswatini. Its people are mostly Jewish and they use the Hebrew alphabet. In addition, most of its land is close to the sea, unlike landlocked Eswatini.
- Finland is another mostly Protestant country, but it is significantly less religious. Other than that trait, the countries have little in common, except that they both use the Latin alphabet. Finland is one of the most democratic countries in the world and has a very high standard of living. Its climate is also much colder than Eswatini and it is more heavily forested.
- Saudi Arabia, 7. Iceland, 8. Qatar, 9. Bahrain, 10. Canada
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Eswatini
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