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 Southern Slavic countries
With the exception of Bulgaria, four of the top five countries most similar to Serbia were once part of Yugoslavia. They all speak Slavic languages and have majority Christian populations. They also have similar infrastructure.
The four least similar countries are all located around the Red Sea. Despite their proximity, they have little similarity in their demographics, culture, and infrastructure. All these countries have significant Muslim populations. They also have a much lower standard of living. Their climates are also much drier and hotter.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Serbia
- Montenegro became independent from Serbia in 2006. Both countries speak Serbo-Croatian and a majority of their people are Orthodox Christian. However, Montenegro’s agriculture is quite different, since a large portion of their land is devoted to growing figs and grapes. In addition, their people drink much more wine than Serbians. It also has some beautiful beaches, unlike landlocked Serbia.
- Bosnia & Herzegovina is yet another country that speaks Serbo-Croatian. Like Serbia, it uses both Cyrillic and Latin writing systems. Both countries use mostly coal but also hydropower to generate electricity. A large part of Bosnia is made up of Republika Srpska, a large autonomous region that has most of the country’s ethnic Serbs. However, it has a higher percentage of Muslims and Catholics. As a result of such ethnic diversity, its political system is also unique.
- Croatia also speaks Serbo-Croatian, but it is mostly Catholic and does not use Cyrillic. Unlike Serbia, it is more aligned with Europe than Russia. It also has a higher standard of living than Serbia. Furthermore, while Serbia is landlocked, Croatia has a lot of coastline. Still, their agriculture is extremely similar. Both countries grow mostly corn and wheat. In addition, both countries are interested in soccer and basketball.
- Bulgaria is located to the east of Serbia. It is another predominately Orthodox Christian country, however Bulgarian is not mutual intelligible with Serbo-Croatian, although they are closely related. The countries also have a similar standard of living. They also both prohibit the death penalty and polygamy. In addition both allow abortion and gambling. However, unorganized prostitution is legal in Bulgaria, unlike Serbia.
- North Macedonia borders both Bulgaria and Serbia. It is yet another country that has mostly Orthodox Christians on this list. Both countries call their money dinar. Although North Macedonia was also once part of Yugoslavia, there are still some significant differences between the two. North Macedonia has more Muslims. In addition, it has a significant percentage of Albanian speakers. It also has a lower percentage of farmland and tends to grow more barley and grapes, although their diets are extremely similar.
- Slovakia, 7. Slovenia, 8. Romania, 9. Hungary, 10. Ukraine
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Serbia
- Somalia is an impoverished Muslim country in Africa that is currently in a civil war. Its climate is much hotter and drier than Serbia. Somalia also has a lot of coastline, but is not very mountainous. A low percentage of its land is used for agriculture. Still both countries drive on the right side of the road and use Type C, F outlets.
- Sudan is close to Somalia. It is located in the Sahara Desert and borders the Red Sea. Due to civil war, the country recently lost some territory to the newly formed country of South Sudan. Sudan follows conservative Muslim laws that forbid abortion or homosexuality, but allow polygamy, so its laws are far different from Serbia.
- Eritrea borders Sudan. Its government has been a dictatorship for almost 20 years. It also has a unique language and writing system that are completely different from Serbian. Still, Eritrea does have many Christians, although they are more religious. Furthermore they are part of the Oriental Orthodox denomination, not Eastern Orthodox. Eritrea also has a lot of land close to the coast, in contrast to landlocked Serbia.
- Yemen is far different from Serbia, although it was also recently in civil war. As a result these countries have many guns per capita. Still, there is not much else they has in common. Yemen has a desert climate and a low percentage of forested and agricultural land. It has much more conservative laws than Serbia. Furthermore, while Serbians are some of the tallest people on average, Yemenis are some of the shortest. Still, the people in both countries are considered to be Caucasian.
- Solomon Islands is located in Melanesia. The tropical rainforest nation shares few things in common with Serbia, since its demographics and culture are vastly different, although both countries are predominately Christian. In addition, their technology is quite different from Serbia since they drive on the left, use Type I electrical outlets, and have no railways in use.
- Papua New Guinea 7. Niger, 8. Chad, 9. South Sudan, 10. Gambia
Do you agree with the list?
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