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.
Armenia is part of the North Eurasia region. It is a relatively unique country, especially linguistically. Only a few countries have a high degree of similarity. Since it was once part of the Soviet Union, its former member countries share many of the same characteristics. It is also similar to some of the countries in the Balkans, since it is an Orthodox Christian country, which also has had significant conflicts with its neighboring countries due to ethnic tensions.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Armenia
- Georgia is another Christian country to the west of Armenia. Even before the USSR, there was a period of time where Armenia was a part of Georgia. Both countries are very mountainous, although Georgia borders the Black Sea, while Armenia is landlocked. Armenians and Georgians especially like wrestling and weightlifting, with both countries winning Olympic medals in these disciplines. One big difference is that their languages are from completely different families. Although their writing systems may have similar origins, they are different as well.
- Moldova is yet another former USSR country on this list. The countries have a similar standard of living. Military service is mandatory in Moldova and Armenia. Both speak Indo-European languages, although Romanian is far different from Armenian. Moldova is also mostly flat land and has a much higher percentage of agricultural land than Armenia. Still, both countries do not have much forested land, are landlocked, and have a similar population density.
- Kyrgyzstan‘s geography is extremely similar to Georgia, despite being over 2,000 km away from it. Both are very mountainous and landlocked. They also have similar flora and fauna. In addition, their agricultural areas grow a lot of wheat and barley. Furthermore, Kyrgyzstan and Georgia are also both democratic countries, unlike many other countries that were once part of the USSR, which have authoritarian governments. There are also some big differences since most of their people are Muslim and their language is of Turkic, not Indo-European origin. Furthermore, their people have more East Asian ancestry.
- Serbia is the most similar country that was not part of the Soviet Union, although it was part of the Eastern Bloc. Like Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, it is also landlocked, although it is less mountainous. Serbia and Armenia both receive military aid from Russia and have Russian-made battle tanks. Both have historically had struggles with their Muslim neighbors and as a relatively high percentage of their people are in the military.
- Ukraine was also in the Soviet Union and is mostly Orthodox Christian. Both countries have little forested land, although Ukraine is mostly farmland. Another difference is that Ukraine has a lot of coast on the Black Sea. Still, both countries have a relatively similar standard of living. Their laws are also similar since neither country allows prostitution or same sex marriage, while both allow unrestricted abortion and alcohol . Furthermore, joining the military is compulsory for men in both countries.
- North Macedonia, 7. Romania, 8. Belarus, 9. Azerbaijan, 10. Bulgaria
The least similar countries to Armenia are located in two main areas: Melanesia and Africa. They are also poorer and their infrastructure is not as well developed. Their average temperatures are all much higher than Armenia’s. In addition, their native languages and ancestries are far different as well. Although four of the five least similar countries are mostly Christian, like Armenia, they have few Orthodox Christians.
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Armenia
- Solomon Islands is tropical archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, in contrast to Armenia’s colder climate and landlocked geography. The country was a colony of Great Britain until 1978. In addition, its infrastructure is quite different. The country drives on the left and uses Type I electrical outlets. Still, both countries are predominately Christian, although people in the Solomon Islands are more religious.
- Papua New Guinea is similar to the Solomon Islands. It is one of the hottest and wettest countries in the world, in contrast to Armenia’s drier and more temperate climate. As a result, it is heavily forested. The country’s standard of living is lower than Armenia’s. However, both countries are quite mountainous and a large portion of Papua New Guinea’s population does not live near the coast.
- Somalia is a failed state, due to on going civil war. It is located in Africa on the Indian Ocean coast. It is conservative Muslim country with little developed infrastructure. Although both countries have a fairly dry climate, Somalia has a lot of coastline and is relatively flat, unlike Armenia. One similarity is that they are located at the same longitude.
- South Sudan is a landlocked and sparsely populated country in Africa. It recently got its independence from Sudan. While both countries are landlocked and have a dry climate, South Sudan is much hotter and its terrain is quite flat. Like the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea, English is one of its official languages.
- Democratic Republic of Congo is a densely forested country in the middle of Africa. Its standard of living is lower than Armenia’s and its infrastructure is far less developed. Although both countries are mostly Christian, Armenians are part of the unique Oriental Orthodox denomination. Its government is also more authoritarian and also has less entitlements for its citizens.
- Sierra Leone, 7. Liberia, 8. Niger, 9. Guinea-Bissau, 10. Singapore
Armenia is like if Georgia was more like Kyrgyzstan
The data shows that Armenia is like a combination of Georgia and Kyrgyzstan. Armenia and Georgia are both Caucasian countries that are mostly Orthodox Christian. However, geography is one aspect where Armenia is much more similar to Kyrgyzstan than Georgia. Both are very mountainous, located at a high elevations, and are landlocked. As a result, they have a similar climate. These countries also have a large freshwater lake within them as well.
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