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 countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council
The top five countries most similar to Bahrain are all part of the Gulf Cooperation Council. The GCC is similar to the European Union in that people and goods are allowed to flow freely between their countries. Furthermore, while these countries do not have a shared currency, all of their currencies have a fixed exchange rate with the US dollar. They are also all monarchies and are some of the richest Arab countries.
The five least similar countries to Bahrain all have a majority Christian population and use the Latin alphabet, since they were colonized by European countries. Four of the five are located in Africa. These countries also have a lower standard of living than Bahrain.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Bahrain
- Kuwait is a small oil-rich country between Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Like Bahrain, it has a mix of Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims. Both countries are both heavily reliant on desalination to provide tap water. Still, Kuwait relies more on oil than natural gas to generate electricity, unlike Bahrain. While both countries are densely populated countries that border the Persian Gulf, it does not have much coastline in comparison to its boundaries on the main land.
- Qatar is another country that borders the Persian Gulf. Its flag is extremely similar to Bahrain. Both countries are densely populated and have a lot of skyscrapers. However, Qatar has a lower percentage of Shi’ites than Kuwait and Bahrain. While both Bahrain and Qatar are quite wealthy, Qatar’s GDP per capita is significantly higher.
- Oman is more conservative than Bahrain and has less foreigners. In stark contrast to other countries on this list, it does not have any skyscrapers. In fact, they are illegal. Furthermore, many of its people are Ibadi Muslims. Another difference is that Oman is more mountainous and less densely populated.
- United Arab Emirates borders the Oman and the Persian Gulf. It is yet another country on this list that has a high amount of male immigration from the Indian subcontinent. Both countries were once protectorates of Britain. Their cities both have many skyscrapers, although the United Arab Emirates is less densely populated and has a lot of barren desert land.
- Saudi Arabia is connected to the island of Bahrain via a causeway. It is another oil-rich Muslim country with a high level of development. However, Bahrain is far more cosmopolitan than Saudi Arabia. Its laws are more liberal and far fewer of its residents are immigrants. In addition, Saudi Arabia is much less densely populated. Although both countries are absolute monarchies, Saudi Arabia does not have a congress and its courts have no judicial review.
- Jordan, 7. Iraq, 8. Egypt, 9. Libya, 10. Syria
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Bahrain
- Democratic Republic of Congo, is a former Belgian colony that is extremely poor. In contrast to Bahrain, a vast majority of its land is forested. While Bahrain is a densely populated island, the Democratic Republic of Congo is sparsely populated and has little coastline. In addition, it also has little demographic or cultural similarity to Bahrain as well. Its people are mostly Christian.
- Mozambique, despite the fact that it also also borders the Indian Ocean, is far different from Bahrain as well. Another similarity is that both countries were once ruled by Portugal, although Bahrain was ruled for a much shorter period of time. Mozambique is mostly Christian, although nearly 20% of its people are Muslims. Its technology is also far different from Bahrain, since its infrastructure is much less developed and uses different standards. Mozambique drives on the left and uses Type C, F, and M outlets.
- Lesotho is another poor Christian country on this list. Not only is it completely surrounded by South Africa, it is also more mountainous than Bahrain. Due to its high elevation and lower latitude, its climate is much cooler than Bahrain. Although both countries are monarchies, Lesotho’s monarch only has ceremonial powers and the government is mostly democratic.
- Angola is located on the Atlantic Coast of Africa. Like Mozambique, it was once a colony of Portugal, so it does not have a death penalty or even life in prison. Although Angola does get a lot of money from exploiting its natural resources, its wealth is not well distributed across its people and most remain in deep poverty.
- Papua New Guinea is a tropical Christian country in the Pacific Ocean with little cultural or demographic similarity. In contrast to the desert landscape of Bahrain, it is one of the wettest countries on Earth. It is also more mountainous than Bahrain. Its infrastructure is very different as well, since it drives on the left and uses Type I electrical outlets. One similarity is that both were controlled by Britain in the past, so English is widespread in these countries.
- Haiti, 7. Madagascar, 8. Laos, 9. Central African Republic, 10. Liberia
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Bahrain
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