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 other Southern Slavic countries
With the exception of Bulgaria, four of the top five countries most similar to Montenegro were once part of Yugoslavia. They all speak Slavic languages and have majority Christian populations. They also have similar infrastructure.
The four least similar countries are all located around 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. Their landscapes are mostly barren, due to their climate being much drier and hotter.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Montenegro
- Bosnia & Herzegovina is to the north of Montenegro. Both countries speak Serbo-Croatian and have a mix of Christians and Muslims, although Bosnia has a higher percentage of Muslims and Catholics. As a result of such religious diversity, its political system is also unique. Both have quite hilly terrain and border the Mediterranean Sea, although Bosnia & Herzegovina has less coastline.
- Serbia and Montenegro were one country until they split up in 2006. Both countries speak Serbo-Croatian and a majority of their people are Orthodox Christian. However, there are some big differences too, Serbia is landlocked, while most of the people in Montenegro live near the coast. In addition, Serbians drink less wine than people from Montenegro.
- Croatia also speaks Serbo-Croatian, but it is mostly Catholic and does not use the Cyrillic alphabet. Interestingly enough, although Croatia is part of the European Union, it has not adopted the Euro as its currency yet, while Montenegro has despite not actually being in the European Union. Croatia also has a higher standard of living than Montenegro. Still, both countries have a lot of coastline on the Adriatic Sea.
- North Macedonia is yet another country on this list that was once part of Yugoslavia. The majority of the people in both countries are Orthodox Christians, but they also have a significant Muslim population. However, the Macedonian language isn’t mutually intelligible with Serbo-Croatian, although they are both Slavic languages. Furthermore, it has a greater percentage of Albanians. Another difference is that the country is landlocked.
- Bulgaria is the only country on this list that was not part of Yugoslavia. It is another predominately Slavic country that is mostly Orthodox Christian. In addition, both countries use Cyrillic for their writing. They also have nice beaches, but Bulgaria is located on the Black Sea, not the Adriatic Sea.
- Slovakia, 7. Slovenia, 8. Albania, 9. Greece, 10. Romania
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Montenegro
- Somalia is an impoverished Muslim country in Africa that is currently in a civil war. Its climate is much hotter and drier than Montenegro. Somalia also has a lot of coastline, but is not very mountainous. A low percentage of its land is used for agriculture. Still both countries drive on the right side of the road and use Type C, F outlets.
- Sudan is close to Somalia. It 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 follows conservative Muslim laws that forbid abortion or homosexuality, but allow polygamy, so its laws are far different from Montenegro.
- Eritrea borders Sudan. Its government has been a dictatorship for almost 20 years. It also has a unique language and writing system that are completely different from Serbo-Croatian. Still, Eritrea does have many Christians, although they are more religious. Furthermore they are part of the Oriental Orthodox denomination, not Eastern Orthodox. However, much of the land in both countries is close to the coast.
- Yemen is also far different from Montenegro. Yemen has a desert climate and a low percentage of forested and agricultural land. It has much more conservative laws than Montenegro as well. Still, the people in both countries are considered to be Caucasian. Its infrastructure is far less developed than Montenegro due to civil war.
- Cambodia is a mostly Buddhist country located in Southeast Asia. Its culture and demographics are far different from Montenegro. They speak use a language unrelated to Serbo-Croatian and they use the unique Khmer script for their writing. Its agricultural lands primarily grow rice and its terrain is mostly flat plains. Their infrastructure isn’t as well developed either.
- Papua New Guinea 7. Solomon Islands, 8. Bangladesh, 9. Chad, 10. South Sudan
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