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.
Central African Republic is similar to many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. The top five countries all have French as their official language and are located in the tropical regions of Africa. A large percentage of the people in these countries are Christian, although they also have people who still practice traditional African religions. Furthermore, they generally have a low standard of living and their infrastructure is not well developed.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Central African Republic
- Republic of Congo is just to the south of Central African Republic. Both countries are quite poor and have little infrastructure. They are also sparsely populated, although it has more tropical forest land than savanna land. Both have a mix of Protestants and Catholics. Even though these countries have a low percentage of agricultural land, much of it is used to grow cassava. Still, Central African Republic has a drier climate and is also landlocked, unlike the Republic of Congo.
- Cameroon is another former French colony, located to the west of Central African Republic. Both countries are heavily forested. In addition, they both use the presidential form of government. They also have little rule of law. Both countries allow polygamy and gambling, but criminalize prostitution. One difference is their agriculture. Cameroon grows more corn and sorghum than cassava.
- Democratic Republic of Congo was colonized by Belgium, not France. Unlike the Republic of Congo and Cameroon, it does not use the Central African Franc. Still, the countries have many similarities. They have a mix of Protestants and Catholics. Both countries rely on hydropower to generate electricity. They are also quite sparsely populated and have little coastline. However, there are some small differences in their laws. Polygamy is not allowed there but unorganized prostitution is allowed.
- Benin is located in West Africa, but it still has a lot of the same traits as Central African Republic. It is another religiously diverse country with a plurality of Christians, but also many Muslims and people who practice traditional African religions. Furthermore, less than 50% of the people in both Benin and Central African Republic are literate and their people are generally not well educated.
- Togo is next to Benin. Both countries are mostly tropical savanna. However, Togo is more religiously diverse. Although a plurality of people there are Christian, they also have a higher percentage of Muslims and people who practice Voodoo. Togo also has very similar laws to the Central African Republic, except that it has significantly less restrictive laws restricting abortion. Togo is also more densely populated and has a lower percentage of forested land.
- Burundi, 7. Guinea, 8. Ivory Coast, 9. Gabon, 10. Burkina Faso
The five least similar countries to Central African Republic are all located in Asia. These countries are all much wealthier and their infrastructure is more developed. The least similar countries are also much more densely populated. The people in four of the five countries have mostly East Asian ancestry. In contrast to landlocked Central African Republic, these countries have a lot of coastline.
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Central African Republic
- Japan is by far the least similar country to Central African Republic. Its demographics, culture, politics, and technology are significantly different. There isn’t much in common between the two. Both countries do get about the same amount of rainfall and have a high percentage of forested area. However, Japan is a mountainous archipelago, while Central African Republic is fairly flat and landlocked.
- Taiwan, like Japan, has very little similarity to Central African Republic. Both countries have tropical climates, although Taiwan is more subtropical. Other than that there is not much in common between the two. Its laws are especially different. Taiwan allows same sex marriage and abortion. Furthermore, gambling and polygamy are not allowed, in contrast to Central African Republic.
- South Korea is similar to Japan and Taiwan, but it does have a few more traits in common with Central African Republic. Many of its people are Christian, although they are in general less religious. Furthermore, they drive on the right side of the road and use Type C electrical outlets. It is also not an island, but it still does have a lot of coastline.
- Singapore is an extremely densely populated and highly developed country located on an island in the Pacific Ocean. Like Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea, the majority of its people have East Asian ancestry. It was once a colony of Great Britain, so one of its official languages is English. Still, their climates are both tropical, although Singapore gets more rainfall.
- Israel is much closer in proximity to the Central African Republic than the other countries on this list. In fact, it is also on the African tectonic plate. However, they do not share many other traits. Israel is mostly desert and more densely populated. While it isn’t an island, most people live near the coast. Its predominate religion, Judaism, and its writing system, Hebrew alphabet, are also unique.
- Great Britain, 7. Ireland, 8. New Zealand, 9. Qatar, 10. United Arab Emirates
Central African Republic is like if the Republic of Congo was more like Chad
The Republic of Congo is clearly the most similar country to the Central African Republic, however the data shows the Chad is significantly more similar to the Central African Republic than it is to the Republic of Congo. One reason is geography. Both Chad and the Central African Republic are landlocked. They also have drier climates than the Republic of Congo, so they have less rainforest. Furthermore, there are more Muslims in the Central African Republic than the Republic of Congo. These countries also have a lower standard of living than the Republic of Congo.
Most Similar Demographics: Republic of Congo
Most Similar Culture: Democratic Republic of Congo
Most Similar Government: Republic of Congo
Most Similar Infrastructure: Burundi
Most Similar Geography: Republic of Congo
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