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 French-speaking tropical African countries
The top five countries most similar to Gabon are all countries with French as an official language, although Equatorial Guinea’s lingua franca is Spanish. They are also all located in the tropical regions of Africa. The majority of the people in these countries are Christian with many Catholics, but also Protestants. Four of the five most similar countries use the same currency: the Central African Franc.
Three of the five least similar countries to Gabon are located in East Asia. They all have a higher standard of living than Gabon and are more democratic. Four of the five are much more densely populated than Gabon and have many skyscrapers.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Gabon
- Republic of Congo border Gabon on its south and east. It is another sparsely populated, heavily forested country that was once part of French Equatorial Africa. However, the Republic of Congo is not as wealthy as Equatorial Guinea. Another difference is that it uses the semi-presidential form of government. Still, their laws are fairly similar, both countries do not allow abortion or prostitution, but allow polygamy and gambling.
- Cameroon is to the north of Gabon and the Republic of Congo. Many people in both countries speak Beti languages. Their governments are also similar since they have bicameral legislatures that are dominated by one-party. Cameroon’s colonial history is a little different since it had also been rules at times by Germany and Great Britain.
- Equatorial Guinea is yet another heavily forested country that borders Gabon on this list. Both countries are reliant on oil revenue for income. They also have many people from the Fang ethnic group. Furthermore, these countries are mostly Catholic. However, the biggest difference is that Equatorial Guinea was a colony of Spain and therefore its lingua franca is Spanish.
- Ivory Coast also borders the Atlantic Ocean and was once a French colony. Both countries use a mix of natural gas and hydropower to create electricity. However, Ivory Coast has a much higher percentage of Muslims than Gabon. Its climate is also drier than the other countries on this list. Still, neither country is mountainous.
- Democratic Republic of Congo was a Belgian colony, so unlike the other countries on this list, it does not use the Central African Franc. Both countries have authoritarian presidents. In contrast to Gabon, the country is nearly landlocked. It is also far less developed than Gabon.
- Central African Republic, 7. Guinea, 8. Togo, 9. Benin, 10. Ghana
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Gabon
- Japan is by far the least similar country to Gabon. Its demographics, culture, politics, and technology are significantly different. There isn’t much in common between the two, except that both countries have a lot of forested area. They use different railroad track gauge, different electrical outlets and voltages, and drive on different sides of the road.
- Taiwan is another East Asian country located in the Pacific Ocean. Due to its more southern location, its tropical climate makes it lower on the list than Japan. Both countries also have a lot of forests, although Taiwan is much more densely populated than Gabon.
- Iceland is also mostly Christian, but it is much less religious than Gabon and its people are mostly Protestant. Furthermore, while both countries border the Atlantic Ocean, Iceland’s landscape is far different from Gabon. It is more mountainous and has little forested area. Furthermore, its climate is much colder. Their laws are also quite different. Iceland does not allow gambling or polygamy, but allows abortion and same sex marriage. Still, both countries use the Latin alphabet.
- Israel is on the African tectonic plate, but there is little else Gabon has in common with Israel. Its people are mostly Jewish and the country uses a different writing system, the Hebrew alphabet. It is also much more densely populated and has a much lower percentage of forested land.
- South Korea has more in common with Gabon than Taiwan or Japan does, since many of its people are Christian, although they are less religious. Furthermore, they drives on the right side of the road and use Type C electrical outlets. Still, Korean is completely unrelated linguistically to languages in Gabon and it uses a different system of writing.
- New Zealand, 7. United Kingdom, 8. Bahrain, 9. North Korea, 10. Australia
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Gabon
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