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 French-speaking tropical African countries
The top five countries most similar to the Republic of Congo are all have French as their official language and are located in the tropical regions of Africa. The majority of the people in these countries are Christian. Furthermore, they have a low standard of living.
The four least similar countries are located in Asia. Three of them are located in East Asia. These countries are all much wealthier and more democratic than the Republic of Congo.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to the Republic of Congo
- Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo are incredibly similar countries. Not only are their names essentially the same, but also they are both are sparsely populated, tropical French-speaking countries. However, the Democratic Republic of Congo was colonized by Belgium, not France. Both have large populations of native Kikongo and Kituba speakers. In addition, both countries are mostly Protestant, but also have many Catholics. The biggest difference may be their electrical production. The Democratic Republic of Congo almost entirely relies on hydropower to generate electricity, while the Republic of Congo mostly uses oil.
- Cameroon is another former French colony, located to the north of the Republic of Congo. Both countries are heavily forested. In addition, their governments are similar since both have been ruled by long-lasting authoritarian dictators. Both countries allow polygamy and criminalize prostitution. Although both countries drive on the right side of the road and use Type C electrical outlets, Cameroon uses the 1 meter wide railroad gauge, not 3′-6″. Their agriculture is also quite different. Cameroon tends to grow more corn and sorghum as well.
- Gabon is a heavily forested country with a low population density. It is located to the west of the Republic of Congo also borders the Atlantic Ocean. Like Cameroon and the Republic of Congo, it uses the Central African Franc as its currency. Still, Gabon is wealthier and a much lower percentage of its people are living in poverty. Furthermore, Gabon’s government puts a much higher percentage of its people in prison.
- Central African Republic is just to the north of the Republic of Congo. Both countries are quite poor and have little infrastructure. Both countries have a mix of Protestants and Catholics. Although these countries have a low percentage of agricultural land, much of it is used to grow cassava. Still, Central African Republic has a drier climate and is also landlocked, unlike the Republic of Congo.
- Togo is another French-speaking tropical country that borders the Atlantic Ocean. Both countries are ruled by authoritarian dictators. However, Togo is much more religiously diverse. Although a plurality of people there are Christian, they also have many Muslims and people who practice Voodoo. Togo has very similar laws, except that it has significantly less restrictive laws restricting abortion. Togo is also more densely populated and has a lower percentage of forested land.
- Equatorial Guinea, 7. Ivory Coast, 8. Guinea, 9. Benin, 10. Burundi
Top 10 Places Least Similar to the Republic of Congo
- Japan is by far the least similar country to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Its demographics, culture, politics, and technology are significantly different. There isn’t much in common between the two. Both countries do get about the same amount of rainfall and have a similar percentage of forested area. However, Japan is a mountainous archipelago, while the Democratic Republic of Congo is fairly flat and is nearly landlocked.
- South Korea is similar to Japan, but it has more in common with the Democratic Republic of Congo. Many of its people are Christian, although they are less religious. Furthermore, it drives on the right side of the road and uses a similar electrical outlet.
- Taiwan, like Japan, has very little similarity to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Both countries have tropical climates, although Taiwan is more subtropical. Both countries drive on the right and primarily use 3’6″ gauge railroad track, however Taiwan has a much denser network of infrastructure. Other than that there is not much in common.
- Israel is on the African tectonic plate, but there is little else the Republic of Congo has in common with it. 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.
- Canada is another sparsely populated country that has French as one of its official languages. The countries have a mix of Protestants and Catholics. However, Canada is far colder than the Republic of Congo. Also its government and its laws are far different from the Republic of Congo’s. It allows same sex marriage but criminalizes polygamy.
- Bahrain, 7. United Kingdom, 8. Iceland, 9. New Zealand, 10. United States
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to the Republic of Congo
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