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 English-speaking countries in East Africa
Zambia is similar to many Sub-Saharan African countries. The top five countries most similar to Zambia are all located in the eastern portion of Africa and have English as one of their official languages, since they were all once colonies of Britain. The top five also have a majority Christian population. In addition, their landscapes are similar since they are mostly tropical savanna land.
All five of the least similar countries to Zambia are located in Asia, although two are located in East Asia, while the other three are in the Middle East. They all have a much higher standard of living. The four of the five countries are much more densely populated than Zambia. Furthermore, the least similar countries all have much more coastline.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Zambia
- Zimbabwe is to the south of Zambia. They were both colonized by Great Britain and once known collectively as Rhodesia. Both countries are landlocked and most of their water drains into the Indian Ocean via the Zambezi River. They are predominately Protestant, but also have a small percentage of Catholics. A huge part of the diet in both countries relies on corn and most of their agricultural land is devoted to growing it. They also have a similar standard of living.
- Malawi, like Zambia and Zimbabwe, was once part of Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, before gaining independence from Great Britain. It is another landlocked country, but it has far more freshwater, since it is located on Lake Malawi. Another difference is that Malawi is more densely populated. Still, their major ethnic group, the Chewa are related to the largest ethnic group in Zambia, the Bemba. Furthermore, both countries rely on hydropower to create electricity.
- Uganda is yet another landlocked former British colony in the Great Lakes region of Africa. While both countries have a high average elevation, they also are not especially mountainous. The countries have relatively similar standard of living and level of development as well. However, like Malawi, a much higher percentage of its territory is covered in freshwater and it is more densely populated.
- Tanzania is located to the northeast of Zambia. The countries have long been allies. They are mostly savanna land and are great destinations for safaris. However, Tanzania has a significantly higher percentage of Muslims. It also creates a majority of its electricity from fossil fuels, although both countries use quite little per capita.
- Kenya is located even further to the north of Tanzania. Kenya and Zambia have relatively similar governments, since they are both democratic and have president elected by popular vote. Their laws are also fairly similar. Although both countries drive on the left and use the same electrical outlets, Kenyan uses a different railroad gauge.
- Mozambique, 7. Ghana, 8. Eswatini, 9. Lesotho, 10. Botswana
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Zambia
- Japan is by far the least similar country to Zambia. Not only is its geography significantly different, but also its demographics and culture. There isn’t much in common between the two, except that they both drive on the left and use 3’6″ gauge railroad tracks. Still, its infrastructure is vastly less developed than Japan.
- South Korea is another highly developed country located in East Asia, similar to Japan. However, South Korea does have a significant Christian population. Still, Zimbabwe has little else in common with it. The country’s infrastructure is far different. Not only is it more developed, but it also drives on the right, uses Type C, F electrical outlets, and the standard railroad gauge. Furthermore, South Korea’s agriculture is almost entirely based on rice, not corn.
- Saudi Arabia is also located in Asia, although it is in closer proximity to Zambia. It is a predominately Muslim country that is not democratic and has an absolute monarch as their leader. Saudi Arabia’s landscape is quite barren and has little vegetation in contrast to Zambia. The country creates most of its electricity using oil and natural gas, while Zambia primarily uses hydropower.
- Bahrain is another Arab country near Saudi Arabia. It is another extremely wealthy country on this list that has a lot of skyscrapers. In contrast to landlocked and sparsely populated Zambia, Bahrain is a small densely populated island. However, since Bahrain was also once controlled by Great Britain, the use of English is widespread in both countries and they both use Type G electrical outlets.
- Israel is a mostly Jewish country located in the Middle East. The majority of its people natively speak Hebrew and their language also has a unique writing system. In contrast to the dry climate of Israel, the Zambia gets more rainfall. Most of its people live close to the coast, unlike Zambia. Still, both countries are technically on the African tectonic plate, although they are far apart.
- Netherlands, 7. Qatar, 8. Iceland, 9. Taiwan, 10. United Arab Emirates
Do you agree with the list?
Please leave any thoughts in the comments section.