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.
Cyprus is a relatively unique European country. Four of the top five most similar countries border the Mediterranean Sea. Their climate and vegetation are similar. They are known for their scenic beaches and are also quite mountainous. In addition, four of the top five are in the European Union. In addition, they are all predominately Christian countries.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Cyprus
- Greece is by far the most similar country to Cyprus. It is the only other country where a majority of the population speaks Greek. It even has the same national anthem. However, there are also some significant differences, since Greece has a far lower percentage of Muslims, although both are mostly Orthodox Christian. Furthermore, Greece also was not ruled by the British Empire.
- Portugal is much less similar to Cyprus than Greece, but it does have a similar climate to Cyprus, although Portugal doesn’t actually border the Mediterranean Sea. Neither of their governments use the parliamentary system and instead have presidents that are elected by popular vote. One difference is that the Portuguese tend to drink more wine, although the people in both countries do tend to drink a lot of alcohol.
- Montenegro is a predominately Orthodox Christian country, but also has a significant Muslim population, just like Cyprus. Both countries have a relatively high percentage of their people in their military. However, Montenegro is not in the European Union like the other four countries on this list. Another difference is Montenegro less wealthy than Cyprus. Montenegrins also tend to be taller on average than Cypriots.
- Italy also has a lot of beautiful coastline bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Furthermore, Italy’s laws are also incredibly similar to Cyprus. Both allow civil unions for same sex couples. They also allow abortion and unorganized prostitution. While both countries are democracies, the rule of law in Cyprus is far lower.
- Spain is yet another country on the Iberian peninsula on this list. Both countries are big tourist destinations and have similar climates. In addition both Spain and Cyprus have been occupied by Muslim powers in their past. Spain was ruled by the Moors, while Cyprus was once ruled by the Ottomans. Spain’s agriculture is also similar. Both countries grow olives and barley. However, like it is like religious, and like other countries on this list, is predominately Catholic.
- Croatia, 7. Albania, 8. Bulgaria, 9. Slovenia, 10. North Macedonia
Three of the least similar countries to Cyprus are in Africa, while the other two are located in Southeast Asia. These countries have a much lower standard of living than Cyprus. They are also less democratic. Their infrastructure is also different than Cyprus, since the five least similar countries all drive on the right and do not use Type G, electrical outlets.
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Cyprus
- Democratic Republic of Congo is a nearly landlocked, heavily forested country in Africa. It was once a colony of Belgium, so its official language is French. Although both countries are mostly Christian, the Democratic Republic of Congo has few Orthodox Christians, since there are mostly Protestants and Catholics there.
- Cambodia is the least similar country to Cyprus in Asia. The country gets much more rainfall than Cyprus and much of its land is devoted to growing rice. In addition, most people in Cambodia are Buddhist. Furthermore, they use the unique Khmer script for their writing.
- Sudan is a Muslim country located in the Sahara Desert. Both countries were once protectorates of Great Britain, although they have little else in common. Sudan recently lost some territory to the newly formed country of South Sudan. As a result of Civil War, its infrastructure is very poor. Its conservative Muslim policies and authoritarian government also make it quite different from Cyprus.
- Mali is another African country located in the Sahara Desert. However, its people speak Niger-Congo languages, not Afro-Asiatic languages like in Sudan. It is one of the least developed countries in the world. It was once a colony of France, but its people are mostly Muslim. However, its laws are less conservative than Sudan’s.
- North Korea’s government is a one party state that has been ruled by a single family for over 50 years. Its censorship of media is the most extreme in the world. The Korean language and its unique writing system, Hangul, are completely different from Greek. Furthermore, their people are not very religious, due to state sponsored atheism.
- Mauritania, 7. Laos, 8. Somalia, 9. Niger, 10. Chad
Cyprus is like if Greece was more like Bahrain
Although Greece is by far the most similar country to Cyprus, it does have a few significant differences. Cyprus has more Muslims and was once ruled by Britain. Because of these factors, the data indicates that Bahrain is one country that is much more similar to Cyprus than Greece. Bahrain is mostly Muslim. Furthermore, both countries were once under British rule. As a result, signs in English are widespread there along their respective native languages. Also, both Bahrain and Cyprus use Type G electrical outlets. They are also nations located on islands.
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