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 Latin American countries
There are many Latin American countries that are similar to Ecuador. The top five countries are all located in the tropical places. They are also mostly Catholic, speak Spanish, and are neither especially poor, nor especially rich.
Interestingly enough, the five least similar countries are all Arabic-speaking countries that have barren desert landscapes. They are all predominately Muslim and have relatively conservative laws as well.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Ecuador
- Colombia and Ecuador were part of one country, until 1830. As a result, their cultures are very similar. Ecuador’s flag is nearly identical to Colombia, except that it has a coat of arms on it. One difference is that Ecuador’s demographics are slightly different since it has more indigenous people.
- Peru is another country located in the Andes Mountains that also has a significant population of Quechuan speakers. In addition, their governments are similar since they are both multi-party democracies with unicameral legislatures. Both countries also have mandatory military service and legalized prostitution. However, Ecuador has a bigger percentage of Africans than Peru.
- Costa Rica is the highest Central American country on this list. It is especially similar to Ecuador in regards to technology. Both have 3′ 6″ gauge railroad track, although their railroads are not heavily used. They also have Type A, B electrical outlets and use 911 as their emergency number due to American influence. However, Costa Rica has a higher standard of living than Ecuador.
- Honduras and Ecuador both have a tropical climate and are also quite mountainous. In addition, they have fairly similar demographics and standards of living. However, their diets are different since the main staple food in Honduras is corn, while Ecuadorians eat more wheat, rice, and potatoes. Still, both countries do eat a lot of fruits.
- El Salvador is yet another Central American country on this list, despite Ecuador being in South America. Interestingly enough, both countries primarily use the U.S. dollar as their legal tender. Still, El Salvador’s population density is much higher than Ecuador. In addition, El Salvador has a higher percentage of Protestants.
- Venezuela, 7. Nicaragua, 8. Panama, 9. Mexico, 10. Guatemala
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Ecuador
- Bahrain is a small, densely populated, and highly developed island in the Persian Gulf. Its climate is extremely dry, in contrast to the tropical rainforests of Ecuador. Furthermore, the country is mostly Muslim.
- Qatar is another wealthy country located in the Persian Gulf. Its landscape is quite dry and flat in contrast to Ecuador. It also has one of the highest GDPs per capita in the world. In addition, Qatar’s government is a monarchy, not a democracy.
- Sudan is the list similar country in Africa. It is a mostly Muslim, Arabic-speaking country. However, it is much less prosperous than the other countries on this list. Its conservative governmental policies are quite unlike Ecuador’s. In addition, its government is lead by the military, following a recent coup. The country’s diet is especially dissimilar from Ecuador as well, since they mostly eat sorghum based food.
- Kuwait borders the Persian Gulf, like Bahrain and Qatar. It is another wealthy, highly developed, and highly urbanized Muslim country on this list. Its terrain is quite flat and it does not get much rainfall.
- Saudi Arabia has an autocratic government with conservative Muslim policies, in contrast to Ecuador’s more democratic and anarchic government which has more liberal policies. It is also far less densely populated the Ecuador.
- Somalia, 7. North Korea, 8. United Arab Emirates, 9. Japan, 10. Yemen
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Ecuador
Do you agree with the list?
Please leave any thoughts in the comments section.