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 Muslim-majority countries in West Africa
Most people are Muslim in the top five countries most similar to Gambia. These countries all border the Atlantic Ocean and their terrain is quite flat. They are all part of the Economic Community of West African States.
The five least similar countries are either located in East Asia or Germanic countries in Europe. All these countries have a much higher standard of living than Gambia. They also are quite mountainous. Four of the five least similar countries have a much cooler climate.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Gambia
- Senegal almost entirely surrounds Gambia, so it is no wonder it is so similar. Both countries are primarily Muslim and they natively speak similar languages. However, there is one big difference between these countries. Senegal was a French colony, not a British colony, so its official language is French and it follows other French conventions.
- Sierra Leone is another British colony in West Africa that has a mostly Muslim population. In fact, Gambia was governed by Sierra Leone for several decades in the 19th Century. Although the native languages spoken there are only distantly related to those in Gambia, the countries have a similar culture. One key difference is that Sierra Leone was established for liberated slaves to return to Africa. It also gets more rainfall, so it is mostly tropical rainforest, not savannas.
- Guinea is located between Senegal and Sierra Leone. Like Senegal, it is another former French colony on the Atlantic Ocean that is mostly Muslim. Although its official language is French, the native languages spoken there are closely related to those in Gambia. Like Sierra Leone, it gets more rainfall than Gambia, so it is mostly tropical rainforest, not savannas.
- Nigeria is another British colony in West Africa. However, it is roughly split 50-50 between Christians and Muslims. Another difference is their diet. Nigerians tend to eat more yams and cassava, while Gambians tend to eat more rice and millet products. Furthermore, while neither country is very developed, Nigeria depends on natural gas to create electricity, not oil.
- Guinea-Bissau does not actually border Gambia, but it is less than a two-hour drive away from it. Both countries have many people that natively speak Fula and Mandinka. The biggest difference is that it was once a Portuguese colony, so Portuguese is the country’s official language. Both countries have quite a low standard of living. There are few vehicles per person and also no railroad there.
- Ghana, 7. Mali, 8. Burkina Faso, 9. Tanzania, 10. Liberia
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Gambia
- Japan‘s geography significantly different from Gambia. It is a mountainous archipelago with a temperate climate and a lot of rainfall. Its demographics, culture, and technology are also quite different. There just isn’t much in common between the two, except that both countries tend to eat a lot of fish.
- Norway is a mountainous country in Scandinavia. It is sparsely populated and its climate is much colder than Gambia. It is mostly Christian, but its people are not very religious. The country has one of the highest standards of living in the world. Its government is more stable and its laws are more liberal. While the marriage rate is high and the divorce rate is low in Gambia, the marriage rate is low in Norway, while its divorce rate is high.
- Taiwan, like Japan, is another country in the Pacific Ocean with little in common with Gambia. They do not share a common language, writing system, or religion. However Taiwan is a little more like Gambia than Japan, since it drives on the right and its climate is hotter than Japan.
- Switzerland is a landlocked and extremely mountainous country located in the middle of Europe. It is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Like Norway, the country is mostly Christian, but it is also not very religious. Its laws are also far different from Gambia, since Switzerland allows prostitution and the sale of pornography, but does not allow polygamy.
- Iceland is yet another country with a majority Germanic speaking country on this list. Its climate is also far colder than Gambia. Still, both countries do border the Atlantic Ocean, although Gambia is much further to the south. Still there are some similarities, since neither country has a railroad or sophisticated military infrastructure.
- Finland, 7. Canada, 8. Austria, 9. South Korea, 10. Sweden
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Gambia
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