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 Catholic countries on the Eastern side of Europe
Slovenia is similar to many countries in Europe, especially predominately Catholic countries. Four of the top five countries speak Slavic languages. Another aspect that the four most similar countries to Slovenia have is that they were once part of Austria-Hungary.
The four least similar countries are all located near the Red Sea. Despite their proximity, they have little similarity in their demographics, culture, and infrastructure. All these countries have significant Muslim populations. They also have a much lower standard of living.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Slovenia
- Croatia is the only other former country of Yugoslavia that is predominately Catholic. Both countries are also in the European Union, although Croatia does not yet use the Euro. Both countries exclusively use the Latin script, however the Slovenian language is slightly different from Serbo-Croatian. The two have also won skiing and rowing medals at the Olympics. Their agriculture is similar as well, since they both predominately produce corn and wheat. However, Slovenia has very little coastline and a cooler climate.
- Slovakia is another Slavic-speaking Catholic country in the European Union. Both countries are fairly mountainous, but Slovakia is landlocked. They also use a mixture of coal, hydropower, and nuclear energy to create electricity. Their parliamentary governments are especially similar. Both countries have adopted the Euro. One difference is that Slovakians prefer ice hockey to basketball, volleyball, and handball.
- Czechia, like Slovenia, borders Austria and has been highly influenced by its Germanic neighbors. While both countries are Catholic, Czechia tends to be less religious. Their demographics are quite similar since they have about the same education level and income per capita. However, like Slovakia, it has more interest in ice hockey than Slovenia. Another difference is that Slovenians tend to prefer to drink wine, in contrast to Czechs.
- Austria is the most similar Germanic-speaking country to Slovenia. The Austrian Empire once ruled Slovenia in the 19th Century. The alps are located in both countries, although Austria is more mountainous. As a result, both countries excel at the Winter Olympics. They also have similar crops, growing a mixture of corn, wheat, and barley.
- Poland is similar to Czechia and Slovakia, except that it was not a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Furthermore, unlike Slovenia, its electricity is primarily generated by coal power plants. The country is also less mountainous. Still, Poland is mostly Catholic, although it is more religious than Slovenia.
- Bulgaria, 7. France, 8. Italy, 9. Germany, 10. Belgium
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Slovenia
- Sudan is located in the Sahara Desert and borders the Red Sea. Due to civil war, the country recently lost some territory to the newly formed country of South Sudan. Sudan’s laws are much more conservative than Slovenia. Its government does not allow alcohol, abortion, or homosexuality.
- Yemen is also far different from Slovenia, despite both countries being mountainous. Yemen has a desert climate and a low percentage of forested land. It also has extremely different politics. Yemen is currently at civil war. It also has much more conservative laws than Slovenia. However, people from Yemen are considered to be Caucasian, like Slovenians .
- Somalia is another poor Muslim country currently in a civil war, like Yemen. Its climate is much hotter and drier. A low percentage of its land is used for agriculture. While both countries have a lot of coastline, Somalia is much less mountainous. Still, Somalia uses the Latin alphabet, like Slovenia.
- Eritrea, like the other countries on this list, is also located near the Red Sea. Its government has been a dictatorship for almost 20 years. It also has a unique language and writing system are completely different from Slovenia. Still, Eritrea does have some Christians, although they are of the Oriental Orthodox denomination.
- Niger is a landlocked country in the middle of the Sahara Desert. It was once a French colony before becoming independent. The country has the youngest average population in the world, in contrast to Slovenia’s aging population. Still, both countries use the Latin alphabet.
- Gambia, 7. Chad, 8. Mauritania, 9. Mali, 10. Bangladesh
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