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 in the Gulf Cooperation Council
The top five countries most similar to Oman are all part of the Gulf Cooperation Council. The GCC is similar to the European Union in that people and goods are allowed to flow freely between their countries. Furthermore, while these countries do not have a shared currency, all of their currencies have a fixed exchange rate with the US dollar. They are also all monarchies and are some of the richest Arab countries.
Three of the five least similar countries are located in East Asia, while the other two are tropical countries that have a much lower standard of living of living than Oman. They all get much more rainfall and more of their land is used for agriculture.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Oman
- Kuwait is another country that borders Saudi Arabia. Both Oman and Kuwait have great maritime trading traditions and still have important port cities. As a result, these countries tend to be more religiously tolerant than other Arab countries. They both have a mix of different Muslim denominations, although Kuwait has more Shi’ites, while Oman has more Ibadi Muslims.
- Bahrain, like Kuwait and Oman, borders the Persian Gulf and has a long history trading. In addition, Oman and Bahrain are both reliant on natural gas to create electricity. Furthermore, neither country has a railroad. However, Bahrain is much more densely populated and has a lot of skyscrapers.
- United Arab Emirates is north of Oman. In fact, there are several enclaves of Oman within the United Arab Emirates. Furthermore, although neither country has a lot of agricultural land, most of it is used to grow dates. There are some big differences as well. While skyscrapers are banned in Oman, the United Arab Emirates has the tallest building in the world. It also has far more immigrants than Oman.
- Saudi Arabia and Oman are both absolute monarchies with no judicial review. Both countries do not allow gambling, prostitution, or the possession of pornography. However, unlike Saudi Arabia, Oman does allow alcohol. In addition, both countries are mostly barren desert and have a similar population density.
- Qatar is yet another country on the Arabian Peninsula on this list. Although both countries are ruled by monarchs, Qatar is more democratic. Their laws are also very similar. Still, it is much more densely populated than Qatar and less mountainous.
- Jordan, 7. Libya, 8. Iraq, 9. Egypt, 10. Yemen
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Oman
- Japan is also technically in Asia, but other than that it has little similarity to Japan. It has temperate climate and much of its land is forested, in contrast to the hot, dry Oman. Not only is its geography significantly different, but also its demographics, culture, politics, and technology. While Japan has a extensive railroad network, Oman does not even have a railroad, although there are plans to create one.
- North Korea is another East Asian country on this list, although it is vastly different from Japan. Although both Oman and North Korea are both ruled by autocratic leaders, the countries have little else in common. The country’s climate is much colder and more of its land is used for agriculture. Furthermore, North Koreans tend to be far less religious than people from Oman. The country also has a much lower standard of living.
- Mozambique is a former Portuguese colony in Africa. Although both countries border the Indian Ocean, Omanis historically traded as far south as Mozambique, the country has little else in common with Oman, except that about 20% of people in Mozambique are Muslim. It is far less developed than Oman. Its infrastructure is also much different, since it drives on the left and use C, F, and M electrical outlets.
- Haiti is the least similar country in the Western Hemisphere. Its people are mostly Catholic and have mostly African ancestry. Although there is little forest cover in both countries, Haiti’s climate is wetter and it has a much higher percentage of farmland. Most of its people are farmers, in contrast to more urbanized Oman. However, much of the land in both countries is close to the coast and they are at a similar latitude.
- Taiwan is another country located on an island on this list. It has extremely different demographics and culture compared to Oman. It is also more democratic and its laws are more liberal. It allows abortion, prostitution, and same sex marriage, unlike Oman. Still, both countries have banned gambling and have single-payer health care systems. Although both countries have warm weather, Taiwan gets much more rainfall.
- South Korea, 7. Papua New Guinea, 8. Democratic Republic of Congo, 9. Switzerland, 10. Lesotho
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