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 countries on the border between Sub-Saharan Africa and the Arab world
Sudan is like other Muslim countries that are located on the border between the Arabic world and Sub-Saharan Africa. These countries are all located in sparsely populated deserts. Most are quite poor and do not have well developed infrastructure. In addition, they also have unstable governments. Although South Sudan was recently part of Sudan, it is not even one of the top 10 most similar countries, reflecting the reason South Sudan felt the need to become independent.
The least similar countries are all much wealthier, more democratic countries with temperate climates. Two groups of countries are included in the five least similar: countries with majority Germanic-speaking populations and East Asian countries. Their culture is far different from Sudan and they tend to be less religious.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Sudan
- Mauritania is another Arabic-speaking and predominately Sunni Muslim country. Both of their people have a significant mix of Sub-Saharan African and Middle Eastern ancestry. Both countries are in the Sahara Desert, although Mauritania borders the Atlantic Ocean, not the Red Sea. In addition, their governments both have had several military coups. Mauritania and Sudan establish Islam as their state religion and also practice Sharia law.
- Chad is directly to the west of Sudan. Both countries have Arabic as one of their official languages. However, since Chad was once a French colony, it also has French as one of its official languages. One big different is that Chad has a much higher percentage of Christians with nearly 40%. The agriculture in Chad is very similar to Sudan too. Both countries produce a significant amount of sorghum, peanuts, and millet.
- Yemen is another country that borders the Red Sea, although it is on the Arabian Peninsula. Like Sudan, it was also once a British colony. A vast majority of the people in both countries are farmers. Both of their governments are extremely conservative and have many years of civil war. However, Yemeni people have less Sub-Saharan African ancestry than the Sudanese. In addition, Yemen has a higher percentage of Shi’ites. It also has less strict gun laws.
- Eritrea is another African country that borders the Red Sea. Both countries natively speak Semitic languages, although Eritrea uses the Ge’ez script and not the Arabic script. Eritrea also has a much higher percentage of Christians. Their diets are fairly similar. Both countries tend to eat a lot of sorghum products and their main source of meat is from cattle. In addition, both countries are ruled by a single party, although Sudan’s government has only recently gained power, while Eritrea has been a totalitarian dictatorship for over 20 years.
- Somalia is located across the Gulf of Aden from Yemen. Both Sudan and Somalia are predominately Sunni Muslim have experienced civil war in recent years, leading to their poverty. In addition, they both have some of the highest rates of male and female circumcision in the world. One big difference is that Somali, not Arabic, is the lingua franca there. In addition, it uses the Latin script, not the Arabic script. Still Somalia also has Arabic as one of its official languages.
- Egypt, 7. Niger, 8. Mali, 9. Djibouti, 10. Libya
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Sudan
- Japan has the least similar geography to Sudan, since it is a mountainous archipelago, which has a much more temperate climate and far more rainfall. In addition, Japan has different infrastructure, since they drive on the left and have a completely different electrical system, using 100 volt Type A,B outlets. However, one interesting similarity is that both predominately use 3’6″ gauge railroad tracks, although Japan has far more railroad infrastructure.
- Netherlands is a densely populated country, in contrast to the sparsely populated Sudan. Netherlands also has a fairly temperate climate and grows completely different types of crops. Very few people are farmers in the Netherlands, despite having a higher percentage of farmland. Furthermore, while Sudan has very conservative laws, while the Netherlands is one of the most liberal countries.
- Canada is one of the coldest countries and one of the most sparsely populated countries with a high rate of urbanization, whereas Sudan is one of the hottest countries and much more rural. They also share little cultural or demographic similarity as well. The biggest similarity is that both have English as one of their official languages, although it is not widely spoken in Sudan.
- South Korea is another East Asian country located in a temperate climate on this list. It is one of the most well educated countries in the world and has the highest percentage of college graduates. There is very little it has in common with Sudan.
- Germany is another country that borders the North Sea on this list. It is very similar to the Netherlands except that it is less densely populated. It also has less of its land near the coast. The personality of its people is especially different from Sudan, since they tend to be much less out going according to the Lewis Model.
- Switzerland, 7. Norway, 8. Belgium, 9. Sweden, 10. Taiwan
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Sudan
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