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 Guyana and Trinidad
Few countries are similar to Suriname. It is one of the most racially and religiously diverse countries in the world, like Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago. The use of English is widespread there, although it is the only other country, other than the Netherlands to have Dutch as their official language.
Because Suriname is so religiously diverse, its standard of living is not especially high or low, and its government is not that democratic or authoritarian, few countries are extremely dissimilar to it. Its geography is one of the most extreme features. It is one of the most forested countries in the world. It is also is not very mountainous. Therefore, four of the five least similar countries are mostly desert and have little forested land. Four of the five least similar countries are also far more mountainous.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Suriname
- Guyana is the only other country in South America that speaks a Germanic language. Since it was a colony of the Britain its official language is English. Suriname and Guyana border each other and have nearly exactly the same geography. They are two of the most forested countries by percentage in the world. In the few agricultural areas that they have, both mostly grow rice. Both countries have many people with African and Indian ancestry, although Suriname has more Asians. In addition, Guyana did not adopt a parliamentary system of government, like Suriname.
- Trinidad & Tobago is a small island group in the Caribbean, but it has similar demographics and culture to Suriname. Both countries have many people of Indian and African ancestry. There are some big differences as well since Suriname is far less wealthy and much less densely populated.
- Belize is another former British colony on this list, but it is located on the mainland of North America. It has a similar tropical climate and standard of living. Both countries have many Catholics and Protestants, although unlike Suriname, Belize has few Hindus or Muslims.
- Dominican Republic is yet another country bordering the Caribbean Sea with a racially diverse population on this list. The countries have a similar standard of living. Although Dominican Republic does not drive on the left side of the road, both countries use Type A, B electrical outlets and the same voltage. They also use the same TV broadcast standard. Although the agriculture in the Dominican Republic is more diverse than Suriname, both grow a significant amount of rice.
- Brazil and Suriname both have vast swathes of sparsely populated Amazon Rainforest. Both countries are racially diverse. They both have many people of African descent, although Brazil has more people with European ancestry, while Suriname has more people of Indian ancestry. While Suriname’s national soccer team has not been very successful, it is the birthplace of an unusual amount of top soccer players considering its small population. Jimmy Hasselbaink, Clarence Seedorf, Aron Winter, Edgar Davids all were born in Suriname, although they eventually choose to represent the Netherlands.
- Jamaica, 7. Colombia, 8. Ecuador, 9. Panama, 10. Venezuela
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Suriname
- North Korea is also far different politically from Suriname, especially due to its authoritarian government. Although the infrastructure in both countries is not well developed, North Korea drives on the right, uses Type C, F electrical outlets, unlike Suriname. A far larger percentage of its population is in the military as well and its weapons are more advanced. Although the country is located in East Asia, it does not grow as much rice do to its cooler climate.
- Yemen is located in the Arabian Desert and borders the Indian Ocean. It is a conservative Muslim country with little cultural or geographic similarity to Suriname. The country is much drier and its landscape is much more mountainous, although both countries typically have high temperatures. Due to on-going civil war, its government is more anarchic.
- Bahrain is a densely populated desert island in the Persian Gulf, so its geography is extremely different from Suriname. It is also far more affluent and developed. While Suriname is a multi-party democracy, Kuwait is a monarchy.
- Afghanistan is an extremely mountainous and landlocked Asian country with a drier and colder climate than Suriname. Its infrastructure and government also differ significantly from Brazil. It is mostly Muslim and the country uses the Arabic script, although most people there speak a variety of Persian.
- Eritrea is the least similar country to Suriname located in Africa. It is the only country on this list with a majority Christian population, however its Christians are of the unique Oriental Orthodox religion. Its government has also been a dictatorship for almost 20 years. They also don’t use the Latin script for writing their native language, and instead use the Ge’ez script.
- Israel, 7. China, 8. Saudi Arabia, 9. Japan, 10. Sudan
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