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 Mediterranean countries in Europe
Cyprus is a relatively unique country. Four of the top five countries are in the European Union and 4 of them border the Mediterranean Sea. They are known for their scenic beaches and are also quite mountainous. In addition, they are all Christian countries that are some of the most religious in Europe.
Three of the least similar countries to Cyprus are in Africa, while the other two are located in Southeast Asia. These countries have a much lower standard of living than Cyprus. They are also less democratic. Their infrastructure is also different than Cyprus, since the five least similar countries all drive on the right and do not use Type G, electrical outlets.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Cyprus
- Greece is by far the most similar country to Cyprus. It is the only other country where a majority of the population speaks Greek. It even has the same national anthem. However, there are also some significant differences, since Greece has a far lower percentage of Muslims, although both are mostly Orthodox Christian. Greece also was not ruled by the British Empire.
- Portugal is much less similar to Cyprus than Greece, but it does have a similar climate to Cyprus, although Portugal doesn’t actually border the Mediterranean Sea. Neither of their governments use the parliamentary system and instead have presidents that are elected by popular vote. One difference is that the Portuguese tend to drink more wine, although the people in both countries do drink a lot of alcohol. Like other countries on this list, it is mostly Catholic not Orthodox Christian.
- Spain is yet another country on the Iberian peninsula on this list. Both countries are big tourist destinations and have similar climates. In addition both Spain and Cyprus have been occupied by Muslim powers in their past. Spain was ruled by the Moors, while Cyprus was once ruled by the Ottomans and still has a significant Turkish population. Spain’s agriculture is also similar. Both countries grow olives and barley.
- Italy also has a lot of beautiful coastline bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Furthermore, Italy’s laws are also incredibly similar to Cyprus. Both allow civil unions for same sex couples. They also allow abortion and unorganized prostitution.
- Montenegro is a mostly Orthodox Christian country, but it also does have a significant Muslim population, just like Cyprus. Both countries have a relatively high percentage of their people in their military. However, Montenegro is not in the European Union like the top four countries in this list. Montenegrins also tend to be taller on average.
- North Macedonia, 7. Croatia, 8. Bulgaria, 9. Albania, 10. Slovenia
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Cyprus
- Democratic Republic of Congo is a nearly landlocked, heavily forested country in Africa. It was once a colony of Belgium, so its official language is French. Although both countries are mostly Christian, the Democratic Republic of Congo has few Orthodox Christians, since there are mostly Protestants and Catholics there.
- Somalia is an anarchic, mostly Muslim country that has poorly developed infrastructure. Its conservative policies contrast the more liberal laws in Cyprus. Abortion, pornography, and alcohol are not allowed there. However both countries have relatively long coastlines and fairly close in distance.
- Cambodia is the least similar country to Cyprus in Asia. The country gets much more rainfall than Cyprus and much of its land is devoted to growing rice. In addition, most people in Cambodia are Buddhist. Furthermore, they use the unique Khmer script for their writing.
- Sudan is a Muslim country located in the Sahara Desert. Both countries were once protectorates of Great Britain, although they have little else in common. Sudan recently lost some territory to the newly formed country of South Sudan. As a result of Civil War, its infrastructure is very poor. Its conservative Muslim policies and authoritarian government also make it quite different from Cyprus.
- Laos is similar to Cambodia. It is another mostly Buddhist country in Southeast Asia on this list. The country is landlocked. Its culture is also far different from Cyprus. Its people are less outgoing, according to the Lewis Model. The diet in this country mostly consists of rice, in contrast to Cyprus, where wheat and potato based products are more common.
- Mauritania, 7. North Korea, 8. Mali, 9. Eritrea, 10. Niger
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Cyprus
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