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 countries in West Africa
The top five countries most similar to Mali all were colonized by France and were part of French West Africa. The countries also all use the West African CFA franc and their people can travel between these countries without visas. They are all part of the Economic Community of West African States as well.
The four least similar countries are located in Asia and border the Pacific Ocean. The standard of living in all five of these countries is far higher than in Burkina Faso. In addition, their infrastructure is more developed. Four of the five least similar countries have a far colder average temperature than Burkina Faso.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Burkina Faso
- Benin also has a mix of people practicing Christianity, Islam, and Voodoo, although it has more Christians than Muslims. In addition, their governments are extremely similar. Both have relatively liberal abortion and alcohol laws. However, they do not share many similar ethnic groups, except for having around 10 percent Fula people. In addition, their diets are not similar either. People in Benin eat far more chicken and yams, in contrast to Burkina Faso, where beef, corn, and millet is more popular.
- Mali is another landlocked country bordering Burkina Faso. Both countries have a significant percentage of Fula people. Their governments are also similar. Although they are not especially democratic, they are also not dictatorships. They both have unicameral legislatures with many different parties represented. Mali and Burkina Faso also allow polygamy and unorganized prostitution. However, while both have a majority Muslim populations, Mali has a far lower percentage of Christians.
- Senegal‘s technology is especially similar to Burkina Faso. Both countries do not have well developed infrastructure and rely on oil to create electricity. In addition, their climates are extremely similar, since both countries are on the border between the Sahel and Sub-Saharan Africa. Both countries are secular democracies after Burkina Faso’s dictator was overthrown in 2014. However, while both have a majority Muslim populations, Senegal has a far lower percentage of Christians.
- Ivory Coast is a located to the southwest of Burkina Faso. Both countries have a significant portion of its population that natively speak Dyula. They also have a diverse mix of Muslims, Catholics, and Protestants. In addition, both drink a lot of liqueur. However, their Ivory Coast has a lower percentage of agricultural land and the crops they grow are completely different. Ivory Coast grows a lot of cocoa and cashews, while Burkina Faso grows more sorghum, millet, and cow peas. Another difference is that Ivory Coast uses mostly natural gas, not oil to create electricity.
- Togo is directly to the south of Burkina Faso, between Benin and Ghana. A high percentage of land in both countries is used for agriculture. They both grow corn, cotton, and sorghum. Both countries were dictatorships for several decades, although Burkina Faso’s dictator was overthrown in 2014, and the country has become more democratic. One difference is religion, since far more people in Togo practice Voodoo, although it also has both Christians and Muslims as well. They also do not share many similar ethnic groups.
- Guinea, 7. Niger, 8. Guinea-Bissau, 9. Chad, 10. Central African Republic
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Burkina Faso
- Japan is by far the least similar country to Burkina Faso. Its geography is especially different, since it is a mountainous archipelago with a temperate climate and a lot of rainfall. Its demographics, culture, and technology are also quite different. There isn’t much in common between the two, except that the average height and weight of their people are similar.
- South Korea is another East Asian country on this list. The countries have little in common culturally. However, they do share some similarity in technology. They both use Type C electrical outlets and drive on the right. However, Burkina Faso’s infrastructure is less well developed.
- Taiwan, like Japan and South Korea, is another country bordering the Pacific Ocean with little in common with Burkina Faso. They do not share a common language, writing system, or religion. However Taiwan’s average temperature is similar to Burkina Faso’s, although it get far more rainfall.
- Singapore is a small densely populated island in Southeast Asia. It was once a colony of Britain, so it drives on the right and uses Type G electrical outlets, unlike Burkina Faso. It is far wealthier. However, both countries have a significant amount of both Christians and Muslims, although Singapore is even more religiously diverse and also as many Buddhists and Hindus.
- Norway has a lot of coastline and is far more mountainous than Burkina Faso. In addition, its climate is also much colder. It is also far more wealthy and its infrastructure is more developed. However, unlike the top 4 countries, its time zone is only one hour ahead of Burkina Faso.
- Canada, 7. United States, 8.New Zealand, 9. Great Britain, 10. Iceland
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Burkina Faso
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