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 Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan is a Central Asian country. Its culture and ancestry are more similar to Turkey, but like most nations in Central Asia, it was once part of the Soviet Union. Most people in these countries are Muslim. Four of the top five countries natively speak Turkic languages. Furthermore, the top five countries all have secular governments with authoritarian leaders.
- Turkey is the only country in the top five that was not part of the USSR, so it does not use the same railroad gauge or electrical grid. Still, the culture and ancestry of these countries is alike. The most similar language to Azeri is Turkish and they both use the Latin alphabet. In addition, both countries have won many medals in wrestling at the Olympics. Azerbaijan is also the only other Turkic-speaking country with little ancestry from East Asia. Furthermore, the major cities of both countries have many skyscrapers. One big difference is that Turkey has a lot of coastline, while Azerbaijan is landlocked.
- Uzbekistan may be the most similar country to Azerbaijan in Central Asia. Its technology is extremely similar. Due to the abundant reserves of natural gas in the region, both countries rely on it to create most of their electricity. In addition, they both use a lot of water for irrigation. Both countries predominately grow wheat, although Uzbekistan grows more cotton than barley. Another difference is that Uzbekistan does not border the Caspian Sea.
- Turkmenistan is across the Caspian Sea from Azerbaijan and to the south of Uzbekistan. The countries have a similar GDP per capita. Both countries have presidents that are dictators, although Turkmenistan’s is more extreme. The country has blocked YouTube and other websites. In addition, Turkmenistan has not yet completed the transition to digital television, unlike most other countries. Furthermore, Turkmenistan has never won an Olympic medal.
- Kazakhstan is another authoritarian, Turkic-speaking country in Central Asia on this list. Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan are the least religious Muslim countries that were once part of the USSR. Both countries have many non-believers. In addition, the countries have been relatively successful at the Olympics and both have won medals in wrestling and boxing. Still, Kazakhstan has more Russian-speaking and Orthodox Christians. In addition, it is far less densely populated and not as mountainous.
- Tajikistan is the only country in the top five that does not speak a Turkic-language. In addition, their language uses the Cyrillic alphabet. Despite these differences, there are also some similarities. Its people have less East Asian ancestry than other Central Asian countries. Azerbaijan and Tajikistan’s secular and religious public holidays are extremely similar. Both countries criminalize polygamy and prostitution, while allowing abortion. In addition, Tajikistan and Azerbaijan are very mountainous,
- Kyrgyzstan, 7. Iran, 8. Armenia, 9. Georgia, 10. Moldova
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Top 10 Countries Least Similar to Azerbaijan
The five countries least similar to Azerbaijan all have a greater percentage of forested land and their climates get more rainfall. The four least similar countries to Azerbaijan are located on islands. In addition these four countries drive on the left side of the road. Four of the five least similar countries are mostly Christian and were once British colonies, so they still have English as one of their official languages.
- Solomon Islands is an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. Most of their land is located within 100 km of the ocean. While Azerbaijan mostly grows wheat, the Solomon Islands most grow coconuts, due to its hotter and wetter climate. In addition, it is a parliamentary democracy, in stark contrast to Azerbaijan. Its laws are also significantly different, despite both countries having secular governments, since the Solomon Islands criminalize homosexuality and do not allow abortion.
- Papua New Guinea is another country very similar to Solomon Islands in the Pacific Ocean. It has a high percentage of forested land and one of the highest rainfall amounts in the world. It is also less developed and its standard of living is lower than Azerbaijan. Its people have little in common demographically or culturally with Uzbekistan as well, since they are Christians with Melanesian ancestry. However, both countries are quite mountainous.
- Bahamas is the least similar North American country to Azerbaijan. Like the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, it is another island country colonized by Great Britain. In contrast to Azerbaijan, its land is extremely flat. Furthermore, its people are of mostly African ancestry. In addition, its technology is completely different, since it drives on the left and uses Type A, B electrical outlets with a lower voltage than in Azerbaijan. In addition, its electricity is primarily generated by fuel oil.
- Japan is technically on the same continent as Azerbaijan, but it is extremely different. Its culture is especially different. One reason is that Japanese do not follow an Abrahamic religion. Furthermore, its language and writing system are completely different. Their diet is also quite different since they eat a lot of pork, fish, and rice in contrast to Azeris. In addition, Japan is far more developed. However, the cities of both countries have many high-rises and skyscrapers.
- South Sudan is a newly formed African country. It is mostly Christian and its official language is English, like some other countries on this list. The standard of living is also much lower in South Sudan than Azerbaijan. Most of its people are subsistence farmers. However, it is another landlocked country with relatively little rainfall. Furthermore, both of their governments inhibit freedom of the press and the internet.
- Jamaica, 7. Liberia, 8. Singapore, 9. Malawi, 10. Haiti
Azerbaijan is like if Turkey was more like Uzbekistan
Azerbaijan’s most similar country is Turkey. However, the data shows that Uzbekistan is one country that is much more like Azerbaijan than it is to Turkey. Both countries were once part of the Soviet Union, so they have more of a Russian influence. They are also both landlocked, in stark contrast to Turkey. Furthermore, people in Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan are less religious than the people in Turkey.
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Azerbaijan
All data accurate as of 2020.
Most Similar Demographics: Turkey
Most Similar Culture: Turkey
Most Similar Government: Belarus
Most Similar Infrastructure: Kyrgyzstan
Most Similar Geography: Armenia
Least Similar Demographics: Burundi
Least Similar Culture: Taiwan
Least Similar Government: Australia
Least Similar Infrastructure: Haiti
Least Similar Geography: Solomon Islands