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 former French colonies in West African countries and Mozambique
Four of the top five countries most similar to Guinea-Bissau are located in West Africa and the majority of the people in all five countries natively speak Niger-Congo languages. They also have a relatively low standard of living. In addition, the majority of the land in these countries is tropical savanna as well.
One slightly surprising country that did not rank high on Guinea-Bissau’s list is Cape Verde. Both are former Portuguese colonies in Africa located in close proximity to each other. However, there are huge differences between these countries. Cape Verde is far wealthier and has a higher standard of living. It also is mostly Catholic and has few Muslims, in contrast to Guinea-Bissau.
All the least similar countries to Guinea-Bissau are much more developed and have a higher standard of living. In addition, they all have much colder climates than Guinea-Bissau. Three of the five least similar countries are former colonies of Great Britain where a lot of Europe immigrants settled. The other two are located in East Asia.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Guinea-Bissau
- Guinea is just to the south of Guinea-Bissau. Their landscape is especially similar, both countries have a tropical savanna climate. Both countries have many people that natively speak Fula and Mandinka. However, while Guinea-Bissau was once a colony of Portugal, Guinea was a French colony. Despite this, Guinea actually does not use the West African Franc, while Guinea-Bissau does.
- Benin is another country in West Africa that also has a mix of Christians, Muslims, and people practicing traditional African religions. Both countries are extremely poor and their infrastructure is not well developed. On the positive side, they also have low rates of murder and narcotic use. Although both countries natively speak languages from the Niger-Congo family, their languages are not closely related.
- Senegal is just to the north of Guinea-Bissau. The staple food of both countries is rice. However, a much greater percentage of the people in Senegal are Muslim. Furthermore, its climate is drier than Guinea-Bissau.
- Mozambique is another former Portuguese colony in Africa, although it is located on the Indian Ocean. Despite this, both are mostly tropical savanna, however Mozambique’s climate is cooler. Both countries have a mix of Christians and Muslims, although there is a higher percentage of Christians in Mozambique. Like other Portuguese colonies, neither the death penalty nor life in prison is legal there.
- Burkina Faso‘s demographics are quite similar to Guinea-Bissau. Both countries are mostly Muslim, but also have significant amounts of people that practice Christianity and traditional African religions. Both countries have a semi-presidential system of government. They also have similar laws. Neither country criminalizes same sex relationships, the sale of pornography, or gambling. Furthermore, Burkina Faso and Guinea-Bissau do not allow abortion. However, Burkina-Faso is landlocked and its climate is drier.
- Gambia, 7. Ivory Coast, 8. Central African Republic, 9. Togo, 10. Sierra Leone
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Guinea-Bissau
- Japan‘s geography significantly different from Guinea-Bissau. It is a mountainous archipelago with a temperate climate and a lot of rainfall. Its demographics, culture, and technology are also quite different. There isn’t much in common between the two, except that most of the land in both countries is close to the coast.
- Canada is the least similar country to Guinea-Bissau in the Western Hemisphere. It is one of the coldest countries, in contrast to Guinea-Bissau’s hot tropical savanna climate. In addition, its government is extremely different from Canada’s, since its laws are much more liberal and it is also more democratic.
- United States is another English-speaking country in North America. Its technology is especially different from Guinea-Bissau, since it has so many guns per capita and its military is much more sophisticated. It also uses Type A, B electrical outlets with a different voltage than in Guinea-Bissau.
- South Korea is another East Asian country on this list. The countries have little in common demographically or culturally, except that both have a significant percentage of Christians. However, they do share some similarity in technology. They both use the same electrical outlets and drive on the right. However, Guinea-Bissau’s infrastructure is less well developed.
- New Zealand borders the Pacific Ocean like Taiwan and Japan, but it is an English-speaking country like the United States and Canada. It is a mountainous, temperate island with well developed infrastructure, in contrast to Guinea-Bissau’s relatively flat and tropical savanna landscape. Like Canada, its laws are also far more liberal.
- Australia, 7. Taiwan, 8. Iceland, 9. Norway, 10. United Kingdom
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Guinea-Bissau
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