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.
Angola is a country in Sub-Saharan Africa. The top five countries most similar to Angola were colonized by either France, Portugal, or Belgium. As a result, four of these five countries are mostly Catholic, although they also have a high percentage of Protestants. In addition, most of these countries all have authoritarian governments, usually lead by dictatorial presidents. With the exception of Mozambique, they all border the Atlantic Coast as well.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Angola
- Mozambique is by far the most similar country to Angola. It is another former Portuguese colony in Southern Africa, so it also uses Portuguese as its lingua franca. Although Angola borders the Atlantic Ocean and Mozambique borders the Indian Ocean, the two countries have a similar climate. Both use a small percentage of their land to grow crops but most of their people are farmers and they primarily grow corn.
- Republic of Congo, like Angola, has many native KiKongo speaking people. During European colonization of Africa, these people were split up by France, Portugal, and Belgium. Both countries are members of OPEC and produce a lot of oil. However, Angola also creates a significant amount of power by hydroelectricity as well. The countries have a similar diet as well since they mostly eat cassava and also a lot of fish.
- Democratic Republic of Congo shares a long border with like Angola. Like Republic of Congo and Angola, it has many native KiKongo speaking people. Both countries have endured long periods of civil war. They also have similar technology since they use the same Type C, F electrical outlets, 3’6″ gauge railroad track, and drive on the right. They even are part of the same electrical grid, the Southern African Power Pool.
- Cameroon is another former colony of France on this list. Like Angola, it has a lot of forest cover and not a high percentage of agricultural land. However, Cameroon is mostly located in the rainforest, while Angola is drier. Both countries are members of the Economic Community of Central African States. Both countries have a single dominant political party and have been ruled by long-serving presidents.
- Guinea-Bissau is yet another Portuguese colony on the Atlantic coast of Africa. However, it is closer to Northern Africa, so it is mostly Muslim. In addition, many people still follow traditional African animist beliefs as well. Another big difference is that Guinea-Bissau’s government is more democratic. Their laws are somewhat different as well, since it allows polygamy and decriminalized prostitution, whereas in Angola polygamy is criminalized and prostitution is not allowed.
- Togo, 7. Zambia, 8. Tanzania, 9. Guinea, 10. Benin
The five least similar countries to Angola are all located in Asia. They are much more developed and have a higher standard of living. They are also much more densely populated and have many skyscrapers in their cities. Four of the five least similar border the Pacific Ocean and have mostly East Asian ancestry. In addition, four of these five are more democratic than Angola.
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Angola
- Japan is by far the least similar country to Angola. Not only is its geography significantly different, but also its demographics, culture, politics, and technology. There really isn’t much in common between the two, except that the both use the 3’6″ rail gauge. Still Japan’s system of railroads is far more developed.
- Singapore is another island in the Pacific Ocean. It is a tiny, densely populated island full of skyscrapers. Its infrastructure is especially different from Angola, since the country drives on the left, uses Type G outlets, and a different rail gauge. However, the country’s official language is English so it does use the Latin alphabet, like Angola. Singapore also has a significant Christian population as well.
- Taiwan is yet another Asian country on this list, that has no linguistic or religious similarity to Angola. Its laws are also significantly more liberal than Angola’s, since Taiwan legalized prostitution and same-sex marriage. However, their climates are similar since both countries are mostly subtropical, although Taiwan tends to get more rainfall. They also grow different crops, since Taiwan mostly grows rice, while Angola mostly grows corn.
- Bahrain is the least similar country to Angola in the Middle East. It is a predominately Muslim country. Like Singapore, it is another densely populated island. It is one of the few countries on the Arabian peninsula that is not part of OPEC, but it still has a high standard of living. Bahrain’s climate is also much drier than Angola, so its landscape has little vegetation. Although both countries have authoritarian governments, Bahrain is a monarchy.
- South Korea is similar to Japan, but it is lower on this list, since it has some traits of Continental European countries, which were picked up by Angola. They both use Type C, F electrical outlets and drive on the right. There also is a significant percentage of Christians in South Korea. However, there is little else they have in common culturally. According the Lewis Model, Angolans are more outgoing than Koreans.
- Qatar, 7. Israel, 8. Great Britain, 9. Saudi Arabia, 10. United Arab Emirates
Angola is like if Mozambique was more like Congo
The data indicates that while Mozambique is the most similar country to Angola, the Republic of Congo has many characteristics of Angola that Mozambique lacks. Many of the people in Angola and the Republic of Congo natively speak the KiKongo language. In addition, both countries are members of OPEC and much of their wealth comes from fossil fuels. Furthermore, they both border the Atlantic Ocean and drive on the right side of the road, unlike Mozambique. Yet another difference is that Angola and the Republic of Congo are mostly Christian and have far fewer Muslims than Mozambique.
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