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 Somalia and predominately Muslim, former French colonies in Africa
Four of the top five most similar countries to Djibouti were once colonies of France. They are all mostly Muslim countries located in dry regions of the Sahel and the Horn of Africa. Most of these countries are quite poor and do not have well developed infrastructure.
Two types of countries have especially little in common with Djibouti: former British colonies and East Asia. These countries all have a much higher standard of living. Four of the five least similar countries have more temperate climates and they all get more rainfall. As a result, these countries all have a much higher percentage of forested land.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Djibouti
- Somalia is to the south of Djibouti. It is the only other country with a majority of Somali-speaking people. While Somalia was created from the former British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland colonies, Djibouti was created from French Somaliland. However, Djibouti is a much smaller country and is more developed. Its government is also less anarchic.
- Mauritania is another country that has a confluence of Muslim and Sub-Saharan African traits. In addition, both countries were once colonies of France, although French is no longer an official language there. Still, the people in both countries natively speak Afroasiatic languages. One big difference is that Mauritania is located on the Atlantic Ocean, while Djibouti borders the Indian Ocean. Still, their diets are fairly similar.
- Niger is yet another predominately Muslim country that was colonized by France. Djibouti and Niger also have a similar climate, although Niger is landlocked and more sparsely populated. Furthermore, most of the people in both countries natively speak Afroasiatic languages, although some people speak languages from the Nilo-Saharan and Niger-Congo families. These countries also have some of the lowest literacy rates in the world. However, the diet in Niger is far different from that in Djibouti, since they mostly eat millet and sorghum products.
- Senegal, like Mauritania, is a former French colony on the Atlantic coast. However, most of its people speak languages from the Niger-Congo family. Furthermore, while both Djibouti and Senegal have dry climates, Senegal’s landscape is less barren and has more tropical savannas. Still, both countries use the presidential form of government. Abortion is not allowed in both countries, but gambling, alcohol, and polygamy are legal. One big difference in their laws is that prostitution is allowed in Senegal.
- Mali is very similar to Senegal, except that is landlocked and a greater portion of its land is in the Sahara Desert. Since both countries were once French colonies, they use Type C, E electrical outlets. Mali and Djibouti also tend to eat beef, lamb, and fish, but Mali consumes more corn, millet, and sorghum products.
- Sudan, 7. Guinea, 8. Egypt, 9. Chad, 10. Eritrea
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Djibouti
- Japan not only has the least similar culture and demographics to Djibouti, but also infrastructure. Japan drives on the left and has a completely different electrical system, using 100 volts with Type A,B outlets. Their climates are far different as well. Still, both countries are major ports and have a lot of shipping infrastructure. Most of the land in both countries is close to the coast as well.
- Taiwan is another densely populated Asian country on this list. Like Japan, its demographics and culture are quite different from Djibouti. Its infrastructure is also far more developed as well. Both countries do have a hot climate, but Djibouti is much drier.
- New Zealand is another country on this list located in the Pacific Ocean. Like Japan, it is another country with infrastructure that is far different from Djibouti. The country drives on the left and uses 3’6″ railroad gauge, and Type I electrical outlets, although the voltage and frequency are the same.
- Canada is one of the coldest countries and most sparsely populated countries, in contrast to Djibouti. Both countries do have French as one of their official languages, although English is more commonly used in Canada. Politically they are also far different. Canada uses the parliamentary system of government and has far different laws.
- United States is another North American country with little similarity to Djibouti. Still, there are also some parts of the United States that are desert. Its technology is especially different from Djibouti, since it has so many guns per capita and its military is much more sophisticated. However, both countries do use the standard gauge and drive on the right side of the road.
- Ireland, 7. South Korea, 8. United Kingdom, 9. Finland, 10. Germany
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Djibouti
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