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.
Chile is a Latin American country located in South America. There are many countries in the region with a high degree of similarity to Chile. The top five most similar countries all speak Spanish and are mostly Catholic. They are all multi-party democracies that use the presidential system of government. Furthermore, four of the top five are have significant swathes of mountainous land.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Chile
- Argentina is Chile’s neighbor to the east. The two share the third longest border in the world along the Andes Mountains. Like Argentina and Uruguay, it is one of the most developed countries in Latin America. Furthermore, their people have about the same amount income and the development of their infrastructure is also alike. Their agriculture is also similar. Both predominately grow wheat, although on average Argentina’s climate is much drier.
- Uruguay is located across the Rio de la Plata from Buenos Aires. Both Chile and Argentina some of the highest standards of living in South America. They are primarily Catholic, although Uruguay is less religious. In addition, Uruguay is far less mountainous. While Uruguay’s climate is subtropical, Chile has a wide range of climates from desert to temperate. Another difference is that Uruguay’s people have far less Native South American ancestry.
- Colombia is yet another former Spanish colony on this list. These countries have especially similar political systems and laws. Both are part of the Pacific Alliance trade bloc. The Chilean Civil Code was even adopted by Colombia. They are also both quite mountainous. However, Colombia’s agriculture and climate are vastly different, since it is mostly rainforest. Its electrical infrastructure is also different since it uses Type A, B electrical outlets with a different standard voltage.
- Peru is another South American country on this list in the Andes Mountainous that borders the Pacific Ocean. Chile was originally part of the Viceroyalty of Peru, before it gained its independence from Spain. However, it has more of a Native American influence on its demographics and culture. In addition, its standard of living is slightly lower than Chile’s.
- Mexico is the most similar country in North America. It is another country that has a variety of different climates, lots of mountains and long stretches of coastline. They are also both part of the Pacific Alliance trade bloc. However, Mexico is not as safe. It has far more homicides per capita. Furthermore, its agriculture mostly grows corn, not wheat.
- Ecuador 7. Spain, 8. Costa Rica, 9. Venezuela, 10. Panama
The five least similar countries to Chile have a majority Muslim population. Two are located in Asia, while the other three are located in Africa. These countries all have a much lower standard of living than Chile and their governments are less democratic and have more conservative laws.
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Chile
- Sudan is a Muslim country located in the Sahara Desert. The country is fairly flat and does not have much coastline. It is impoverished due to recent civil war. It recently lost some territory to the newly formed country of South Sudan. Its laws are far more conservative than in Chile as well. It criminalizes same sex marriage and prohibits prostitution. It also does not allow alcohol or gambling.
- Somalia is one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world. In addition, its policies influenced by its Muslim population are extremely conservative. The country is not especially mountainous, but it does have a lot of coastline, like Chile. However, despite speaking a completely unrelated language, Somali does use the Latin alphabet.
- Bangladesh is yet another Muslim country on this list that has conservative laws. While Bangladesh is a densely populated country located at a low-lying river delta, Chile is sparsely populated and extremely mountainous. Still, most of the land in both countries is close to the coast. Bangladesh also drives on the left, although it does use the same gauge as many of Chile’s railroad tracks. While the people in Bangladesh and Chile natively speak Indo-European languages, their writing systems are different.
- Yemen is located in the Arabian Desert across the Gulf of Aden from Somalia. It is an Arab country with especially little cultural similarity to Chile. The country has suffered from on-going civil war, so it has one of the highest per capita gun ownership rates in the world. Yemen’s climate is also much hotter and drier than Chile. Sorghum is the dominant crop in the area. However, both countries are quite mountainous and have ample coastline.
- Niger is a hot, dry landlocked country in Africa. It is also has one of the lowest average populations in the world. It was once a French colony, so French is the official language, although most people natively speak Niger-Congo languages there. The diet of their people is also significantly different. Millet and sorghum are two of their biggest sources of food.
- Chad, 7. Gambia, 8. Eritrea 9. Mauritania, 10. Cambodia
Chile is like if Argentina was more like Colombia
The data indicates that Argentina is by far Chile’s most similar country. Few countries are significantly more similar to Chile than Argentina. However, Colombia does have some aspects of Chile that Argentina lacks. Colombian and Chilean people have more Native South American ancestry than people from Argentina. Both countries border the Pacific Ocean. Their cities also tend to have many skyscrapers and high-rises.
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