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 the Bahamas
Few countries are similar to the Bahamas. The five most similar countries are located in close proximity to the Caribbean Sea. They were once colonies of Great Britain before becoming independent, so they primarily speak English and are mostly Christian. All their governments are democratic and censorship is not widespread. The top four countries most similar to the Bahamas all have tropical climates as well.
- Jamaica is another former British colony that still has the Queen of the United Kingdom as their head of state. They have extremely similar demographics since over 90% of people in both countries have African ancestry. They are also mostly Protestant. Both countries have won many medals in Track and Field events at the Olympics. However, the Bahamas is wealthier than Jamaica and its people have a higher standard of living. Furthermore, Jamaica’s landscape is more mountainous and it also has more agricultural land.
- Trinidad & Tobago is another group of islands in the Caribbean that has a relatively high standard of living. Most of the people in both countries work in the service sector. However, Trinidad has a much higher population of people with Indian ancestry than the Bahamas. So although its population is mostly Christian, about 20% practice Hinduism. Both countries drive on the left and have a lot of shipping infrastructure, but lack railroads.
- Belize, unlike Jamaica and Trinidad, is located on the mainland of North America, but it has a similar tropical climate and beautiful beaches. Both countries grow a lot of sugarcane. However, Belize is more diverse than the Bahamas since more than 30% of its people natively speak Spanish. It also has an even mix of Catholics and Protestants. Furthermore, it has a higher percentage of people with European and Native American ancestry.
- Guyana is located in South America, but it is still considered to be a Caribbean country. In fact, its capital Georgetown is the headquarters of Caribbean Community. Like Trinidad and Tobago, it has a unique mix of Indians and Africans. It is one of the few countries in South America that drives on the left and uses Type A, B electrical outlets. Both countries are heavily forested, although the Bahamas has more coniferous trees.
- United States is located just to the northwest of the Bahamas. After the independence of the United States from Britain, many Americans still loyal to Britain relocated to the Bahamas and formed plantations there. The United States has a huge influence on the country. In fact, its money is also called the dollar and is pegged to be worth the same amount as a US dollar. However, there are also huge differences. The people of the United States have mostly European ancestry. Furthermore, its average climate is more temperate and it has a wide variety of different biomes.
- Panama, 7. Suriname, 8. Dominican Republic, 9. Canada, 10. United Kingdom
Please note that some of the other countries in the West Indies, Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, would all be strong candidates for this list, but they are too small in population and land area to have enough reliable data for this project.
Top 10 Countries Least Similar to the Bahamas
The five least similar countries to the Bahamas are all located in Asia. Since the Bahamas has a democratic government, they are all more autocratic or anarchic. Their infrastructure is vastly different as well, since they drive on the right and use do not use the Type A, B electrical outlet. Three of the five have Muslim majority populations and are much more conservative. The other two countries are located in the East Asia and are less religious than the Bahamas.
- Afghanistan is a landlocked Muslim country that has very little in common with the Bahamas, apart from both countries speaking Indo-European languages and practicing Abrahamic religions. The technology that Afghanistan has is different from the Bahamas since it drives on the right, uses Russian broad gauge railroad tracks, and has Type C, F electrical outlets with a different voltage. Afghanistan also relies on hydropower for electricity, while the Bahamas relies on oil. While, Afghanistan is quite mountainous, the Bahamas is one of the flattest countries in the world.
- Yemen is another Muslim country that has a dry climate and a barren landscape. The country is extremely poor due to civil war. Although part of Yemen once was a British protectorate, it did not have as much of an impact on it as the Bahamas. However, like the Bahamas, Yemen mostly relies on oil imports to produce electricity. Although both countries have many firearms per capita, the Bahamas has a much higher murder rate.
- North Korea‘s government is much more authoritarian than the Bahamas. Furthermore, North Korea has very strict drug and immigration laws, in contrast to the Bahamas. In addition, military service is mandatory in North Korea and their military equipment is much more sophisticated than the Bahamas, since it does not have an army or an air force. Its climate is also much colder than the Bahamas. Still, both governments are primarily run by one party.
- Syria, like Afghanistan and Yemen, is another Muslim country on this list. While the Bahamas has a high rate of divorce, Syria has one of the lowest rates in the world. Syria was once ruled by France, so it has different colonial influences. Due to civil war, Syria’s standard of living has gone down significantly in recent years. Both countries have hot temperatures, but the Bahamas gets much more rainfall.
- China is an East Asian country that borders the Pacific Ocean. Its culture is quite different from the Bahamas since its predominant language, writing system, and religious practices are completely unrelated to those in the Bahamas. Furthermore, according to the Lewis Model, its people are usually far less outgoing than Bahamians. It is an extremely mountainous country with a variety of different climates. Still, China does have some tropical areas in its Southern regions.
- Laos, 7. Eritrea, 8. Iran, 9. Sudan, 10. Mauritania
The Bahamas is like if Jamaica was more like the United States
The data clearly shows that Jamaica is by far the most similar to country to the Bahamas. However, while no other country is a lot more like the Bahamas than Jamaica, it is wealthier and more developed than Jamaica. For these reasons, the United States is one country that is more similar to the Bahamas than Jamaica. Furthermore, the Bahamian dollar can be exchanged at a 1 to 1 fixed rate with the US dollar. The Bahamas is also closer in distance to the United States.
All data accurate as of 2020.