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.
Top 10 Countries Most Similar to Algeria
Algeria is an Arabic-speaking country in North Africa. The top five countries all speak Arabic and the vast majority of their population is Sunni Muslim. They also have similar geography, since most of their lands are sparsely populated, hot deserts. Four of the five most similar countries border the Mediterranean Sea. These countries are also neither extremely wealthy nor extremely poor.
- Morocco, like Algeria, has a large population of Berbers. It was also a French protectorate, albeit for a shorter time. Furthermore, its main agricultural products, consisting of wheat, barley, and olives, are essentially the same as Algeria. However, Morocco is a constitutional monarchy. It is also more densely populated and its climate is not as dry. Algeria also does not border the Atlantic Ocean.
- Tunisia was once a French protectorate, like Algeria. As a result, both countries have semi-presidential form of government. Although both do not have French as an official language, a high percentage of their people can speak it. Both countries only have coasts on the Mediterranean Sea. In addition, both are part of synchronous electrical grid of Continental Europe and also use mostly natural gas to create electricity.
- Egypt is another Arab country in North Africa that is largely desert. The countries have the same semi-presidential system of government and also similar Islamic laws guiding their respective legal systems. In addition, the countries have a similar level of development. However, Egypt has more of a British influence than Algeria. Furthermore, the Arabic spoken in Egypt is quite different from what is spoken in the Magreb.
- Libya is Algeria’s neighbor to its east, so it shares similar geography and infrastructure. Both countries have large reserves of natural gas. They also have massively swathes of barren uninhabited desert landscape. Both countries call their currency the dinar. However, Libya is much more lawless due to recent civil war there. It was also colonized by Italy, not France, so it uses Type C, L electrical outlets.
- Jordan is much less similar to Algeria than its North African counterparts, however it is another Arab country with similar demographics and level of development. Like Egypt, it has more of a British influence than French. Its government is also a monarchy, unlike Algeria. The country is also much more densely populated and does not border the Mediterranean. Still, most of the landscape in both countries is barren desert.
- Iraq, 7. Syria, 8. Mauritania, 9. Saudi Arabia, 10. Oman
The least similar countries to Algeria all happen to be located on islands with much wetter climates. The top four are all located in the Pacific Ocean. The infrastructure in most of these countries is quite different as well since they do not use Type C, F outlets and four of the five least similar drive on the left in contrast to Algeria. In addition, the five least similar countries each have a GDP per capita that is much higher than Algeria’s.
Top 10 Countries Least Similar to Algeria
- Japan is a temperate and mountainous archipelago in the Pacific Ocean with little similarity to Algeria. Not only is its geography significantly different, but also its demographics, culture, politics, and technology. They really do not have much in common, except that neither country has especially conservative or liberal laws.
- Singapore‘s geography is far different from Algeria. It is a densely populated tropical Asian country, in contrast to Algeria’s sparsely populated desert. Singapore is also a much wealthier country and its infrastructure is more developed. Due to these factors, Singapore also has far more skyscrapers. However, there is a relatively small Muslim population living in Singapore. In addition, both countries use natural gas to create most of their electricity.
- Taiwan is a densely populated tropical island, unlike Algeria’s desert landscape. In addition, Taiwan’s demographics are vastly different since their population is much older and its birth rate is quite low. One thing they share in common is that both countries drive on right side of the road. They also both have a semi-presidential system of government.
- New Zealand is another wet and mountainous archipelago in the Pacific Ocean far away from Algeria. Their infrastructure also is very different as New Zealand uses Type I plugs, drives on the left, and generates most of its electricity through hydropower. In addition, New Zealand is more liberal and democratic than Algeria. One similarity is the majority of people in both countries could be considered Caucasian.
- Bahamas is a densely populated group of islands near the Caribbean Sea. The country’s demographics and culture are also quite different from Algeria. Most people are Protestant Christians, since it was once a British colony. While Bahamas has one of the highest divorce rates in the world, far fewer couples in Algeria get divorced. The country also has different sporting traditions, since it is more interested in basketball than soccer.
- Solomon Islands, 7. Papua New Guinea, 8. South Korea, 9. Samoa, 10. Iceland
Algeria is like if Morocco was more like Libya
While Algeria’s most similar country is Morocco, the data shows that Algeria also has many characteristics of Libya that Morocco does not have. The geography of Libya and Algeria is extremely similar since both countries only border the Mediterranean Sea and the vast majority of their land is in the Sahara Desert. Politically, Algeria and Libya are strong allies of Russia, while Morocco has closer relations with the United States and Western Europe. Furthermore, Morocco still has a monarch as their head of state, unlike Algeria and Libya.
All data accurate as of 2020.