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.
Chad is located in the sparsely populated Sahel region of Sub-Saharan Africa. The five most similar countries are all located somewhere in-between the Sahara Desert and the Sudanian Savanna. Four of the top five most similar countries were once colonies of France. In addition, four of the top five are predominately Muslim. Furthermore, these countries also have a particularly low standard of living and their infrastructure is not well developed.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Chad
- Niger is another landlocked country located to the west of Chad. The majority of native people of both countries speak Afroasiatic languages, although they are on different branches of the family. Water is scarce in both countries and they get a lot of their water from underground aquifers. One big difference is that nearly 40% of people in Chad are Christian. Another difference is that it does not use the West African CFA franc, but it does use the extremely similar East African CFA franc, since it was not part of French West Africa.
- Sudan is to the east of Chad. The people of both countries speak varieties of Arabic natively and are predominately Sunni Muslim. Both countries have dealt with political instability. Coups d’état have happened several times in Chad and Sudan. Their agriculture is especially similar as well, since both countries grow mostly sorghum and millet. The biggest difference is that Sudan was once ruled by Britain, not France, so it does not use French as a lingua franca. They also use a different electrical outlet.
- Mali is another landlocked Muslim country in Africa that is mostly desert but also has some areas with tropical savannas. The countries also have similar flora and fauna. Furthermore, Chad and Mali are two of the least literate countries in the world and have few college graduates. Still, Chad has a higher percentage of Christians than Mali. Mali’s government is also more democratic.
- Burkina Faso is yet another former French colony on this list. Both countries grow millet and sorghum, although Burkina Faso has a much higher percentage of agricultural land and a lower percentage of barren landscape. Furthermore, the most common meat they eat is beef. Both countries are predominately Muslim, but also have significant Christian populations as well. However, Burkina Faso’s people natively speak Niger-Congo languages, in contrast to Chad.
- Central African Republic and Chad were briefly part of one territory, before being split up in 1914. Both countries were once part of French Equatorial Africa and they still use the same currency, the Central African Franc. Their laws are fairly similar, except that Chad has less restrictions on abortion. However there are some big differences between these countries as well, since Central African Republic is mostly Christian. Another difference is that Central African Republic gets more rainfall, so it has more tropical savanna land than desert land.
- Mauritania, 7. Cameroon, 8. Senegal, 9. Benin, 10. Togo
The least similar countries to Chad are East Asian countries and former British colonies. The top five countries all have a high standard of living and well developed infrastructure. Chad has one of the lowest average ages in the world, so the five least similar countries all have aging populations. Their climates also tend to get a lot more rainfall as well. Moreover, these countries are far more densely populated.
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Chad
- Japan and Chad are two of the least similar countries in the world. Its geography is especially different, since it is a mountainous archipelago with a temperate climate and a lot of rainfall. Its demographics, culture, and technology are also quite different. While Chad drives on the left and uses Type C electrical outlets, Japan drives on the right side and uses Type A, B outlets. There isn’t much in common between the two, except that the average height and weight of their people are similar.
- Taiwan‘s climate is hotter than Japan, but its climate is still much wetter than Chad. The diet of Taiwanese people is especially different from Chad, since they eat more fruits, meat, and rice. The mountainous island has little in common with Chad, other than being located at a similar latitude. Its people natively speak Chinese and many of their people are Buddhist. According to the Lewis Model, Taiwanese are also far less outgoing than people from Chad.
- New Zealand is a mountainous, archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, in contrast to Chad’s relatively flat and landlocked desert landscape. Like Japan and Taiwan, it is much wealthier and more developed. Its parliamentary government is much more democratic than Chad, which had been ruled by an authoritarian dictator for many years. The country allows same sex marriage and prostitution, but not polygamy, in contrast to Chad.
- Great Britain is another English-speaking island on this list. It is far more densely populated than Chad and its climate is colder and wetter. Britain’s infrastructure is also far more developed. However, they are relatively in close proximity, compared to other countries on this list. Although both countries have significant numbers of Christians, Great Britain is less religious and mostly Protestant.
- South Korea is another East Asian country with little in common with Chad. However it does have a few more things in common than Japan. Similar to Chad, most South Koreans are circumcised. South Korea also drives on the right side of the road and uses Type C electrical outlets. However, their infrastructure is much more developed than Chad. Its agriculture is also far different, since South Korea mostly produces rice.
- Ireland, 7. Norway, 8. Canada, 9. Netherlands, 10. Iceland
Chad is like if Niger was more like Sudan
Chad is a transitional country between the Arab region and Sub-Saharan African. As such, both French and Arabic are official languages there. While Niger is Chad’s most similar country due in part to colonialism, Sudan is another country that has some attributes of Chad that Niger lacks. Most people in both countries can speak Arabic, unlike Niger’s population. As a result, the Arabic script is common in Chad and Sudan.
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