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 predominately Muslim countries in Africa
Mauritania is like many countries in North Africa. The majority of the people in the five most similar countries natively speak Arabic. They are also mostly Muslim and are located in dry climates. In addition, most of these countries have unstable governments with conservative laws.
The five least similar countries are all much wealthier than Mauritania. Their climates are colder and they get much more rainfall. Two groups of countries are especially different from Mauritania: countries with majority English-speaking populations and East Asian countries.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Mauritania
- Sudan is another Arabic-speaking and predominately Sunni Muslim country. Both of their people have a significant mix of Sub-Saharan African and Middle Eastern ancestry. Both countries are in the Sahara Desert, although Mauritania borders the Atlantic Ocean, not the Red Sea. In addition, their governments both have had several military coups. Mauritania and Sudan establish Islam as their state religion and also practice Sharia law.
- Algeria is to the northeast of Mauritania. Both countries were once colonized by France, but no longer have French as one of their official languages. In addition, their dialects of Arabic are mutually intelligible. Both countries have large swathes of unpopulated land in the Sahara Desert. However, Algeria has a higher standard of living than Mauritania.
- Egypt‘s semi-presidential government is quite similar to Mauritania’s. Both countries had several military coups in recent years and their elections are often rigged. Another similarity is that both countries primarily use natural gas to create electricity. However, like Algeria, Egypt has a higher standard of living than Mauritania.
- Morocco is the only other Arabic-speaking country that borders the Atlantic Ocean. Their culture and diets are similar. One difference is that Morocco’s population is older, due to lower birth rates. Another is that its climate is cooler and not as dry either. Morocco is also more mountainous.
- Yemen is the most similar country in Asia to Mauritania. It is far less wealthy than the other countries on the Arabian Peninsula. The predominate crop in both countries is sorghum and their climates are both arid. Still, Yemen is much more mountainous. Furthermore, since it was not a French colony, it does not use Type C electrical outlets.
- Chad, 7. Niger, 8. Djibouti, 9. Libya, 10. Mali
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Mauritania
- Japan has extremely little in common with Mauritania. similar geography to Mauritania. It is a mountainous archipelago in the Pacific Ocean that has a much more temperate climate and far more rainfall. In addition, Japan has different infrastructure, since they drive on the left and have a completely different electrical system, using 100 volt Type A,B outlets. While Mauritania uses the standard railroad gauge, Japan generally uses 3’6″ gauge railroad tracks.
- New Zealand is another mountainous, temperate archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, in contrast to Mauritania’s relatively flat desert landscape. Like Japan, it is much wealthier and more developed than Mauritania. It is also far more democratic and has a much higher degree of rule of law. Its laws are also much less conservative.
- Taiwan, like Japan, is a densely populated island in the Pacific Ocean. In addition, Taiwan’s demographics are vastly different from Mauritania since their population is much older and its birth rate is quite low. In addition, Taiwan is one of the most liberal East Asia countries. Its government legalized gay marriage and also legalized prostitution.
- Canada is one of the coldest countries in the world. A high percentage of its land is forested, unlike Mauritania’s more barren landscape. The country also has many freshwater lakes and a lot of coastline, unlike Mauritania. The countries also share little cultural similarity as well, although many people in both countries can speak French. Both countries are sparsely populated as well.
- South Korea is yet another East Asian country located in a temperate climate on this list. It is one of the most well educated countries in the world and has the highest percentage of college graduates. There is very little it has in common with Mauritania, although there are some similarities in infrastructure, since both use Type C electrical outlets, drive on the right, and use the standard railroad gauge. Still, South Korea is far more developed than Mauritania.
- Ireland, 7. United Kingdom, 8. Germany, 9. United States, 10. Singapore
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Mauritania
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