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 Latin American countries
Many Latin American countries are similar to Costa Rica. They are generally Catholic and speak Romance languages. They also have similar governments that use the presidential system. It is especially similar to its neighboring Central American countries.
The five least similar countries to Panama all have large Muslim populations. Three of the five are located in Africa, while the other two are in Asia. They all have dry climates. They also have a much lower standard of living than Costa Rica and their governments are far less democratic and more anarchic. All of these countries have experienced war in recent times.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Costa Rica
- Panama, like its neighbor Costa Rica, is one of the few countries without a military and both are strong allies of the United States. They are also two of the most prosperous Central American countries. Both countries primarily use hydroelectricity to create power. One big difference is that Panama has many more skyscrapers.
- El Salvador is another country in the Central American Integration System, like Costa Rica. The countries share similar demographics and culture. However, El Salvador is more densely populated but also has a much greater percentage of land used for farming.
- Honduras is another mountainous Central American that borders both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The countries have especially similar ancestry, since both have many people of mixed Native American and European heritage, but also have a significant percentage of Africans. They are both part of the Central American Integration System. However, Honduras is poorer than Costa Rica.
- Colombia‘s agriculture is more similar to Costa Rica than any other country. Both produce a lot of coffee and sugar. Both countries have a high percentage of forest covered land. One big difference is that Colombia has one of the largest armies in the Western Hemisphere. However, it is located in South America, although it also borders the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean.
- Nicaragua borders Costa Rica to its south, but it has some significant differences. Nicaragua is less developed and poorer than Nicaragua. Its energy sources are less sustainable, since it primarily uses fossil fuels to create electricity. Its population is younger than Costa Rica and it has more farmers.
- Ecuador, 7. Dominican Republic, 8. Mexico , 9. Guatemala, 10. Venezuela
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Costa Rica
- Somalia is the least similar country to Costa Rica for a variety of reasons. Its governmental policies, influenced by its Muslim population, are extremely conservative, compared to more liberal Costa Rica. In addition, the countries are on opposite ends of the precipitation scale, as Costa Rica is a rainforest, while Somalia is quite dry. Still, both countries do use the Latin alphabet, although their languages are unrelated.
- Yemen is located in the Arabian Desert across the Gulf of Aden from Somalia. It is another impoverished Muslim country with little demographic, cultural, or technological similarity to Costa Rica.
- Sudan is in the Sahara Desert. It is yet another conservative Muslim country on this list. In addition, its government is lead by the military, following a recent coup. In contrast, Costa Rica does not even have a military.
- Eritrea is next to Sudan. It is the only country on this list with a majority Christian population. However, they are mostly Oriental Orthodox. Its government has been a dictatorship for almost 20 years, while Costa Rica is very democratic.
- Afghanistan is a landlocked country in Asia with a barren landscape due to its high elevation and low average rainfall. While both countries natively speak Indo-European languages, they use different writing systems. The country’s favorite sport is cricket and it does not have a successful soccer team, in contrast to Costa Rica, which has made the World Cup several times, despite its relatively low population.
- Mauritania, 7. Chad, 8. Niger, 9. North Korea, 10. Libya
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Costa Rica
Do you agree with the list?
Please leave any thoughts in the comments section.