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 Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a European country. Due to its relatively central position, it has a mix of different traits from both Eastern, Western, and also Northern Europe. The five most similar countries are predominately Catholic. Four of the top five countries natively speak Slavic languages and use the Latin alphabet. With the exception of Poland, they were all once part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
- Slovakia was part of the Czech Republic until 1992, so they share similar traits. Czech and Slovak are mutually intelligible languages. Both countries have St. Cyril and Methodius Day as a public holiday. Their diets are similar since they eat a lot of pork. In addition, both countries enjoy ice hockey and soccer. They also have won many medals in canoeing at the Olympics. However, Slovakia is more mountainous and less densely populated. It also relies on nuclear power plants to create energy, not coal plants like in the Czech Republic.
- Poland is located to the north of the Czech Republic. Besides their demographic and cultural similarities, Poland’s technology is extremely similar as well. They both produce most of their energy from coal. They both have potable tap water. In addition, they also have similar electrical, road, and railroad infrastructure. However, Poland is much more religious than the Czech Republic.
- Slovenia does not border the Czech Republic, but it is similar in many ways. They are the two most wealthy Slavic countries. The people of both countries tend to drink and smoke a lot. However, Slovenians prefer to drink wine over beer. Another difference is that Slovenia is more mountainous and forested so it has a lower percentage of agricultural land than the Czech Republic.
- Croatia is yet another Catholic, Slavic-speaking country on this list. They have a relatively similar standard of living, although Croatia is slightly poorer. One big difference is that Croatia borders the Mediterranean and it has many beaches in contrast to the landlocked Czech Republic. Furthermore, Croatians are more interested in basketball than ice hockey. Both countries have a mix of deciduous forests and agricultural land, but Croatia tends to grow more corn.
- Hungary is the only non-Slavic country on this list. Like Czechoslovakia, it was once part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, before its dissolution after World War I. It is another landlocked country in Europe with an extremely similar climate and terrain. Furthermore, neither country is especially religious. Both countries have parliamentary governments with heads of state elected by popular vote, however Hungary has a unicameral legislature.
- Luxembourg, 7. Germany, 8. Belgium, 9. France, 10. Lithuania
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Top 10 Countries Least Similar to the Czech Republic
Four of the five least similar countries to Czech Republic are located in Africa. Their standard of living is much lower and they have a far greater percentage of people in poverty. In addition, their governments are less democratic and more conservative. The five least similar countries are also mostly desert and have a low percentage of farmland. Four of the five least similar countries are close to the Red Sea and are not landlocked.
- Eritrea‘s government has been a dictatorship for almost 20 years. Its Afro-Asiatic language and unique Ge’ez script are completely different from Czech. Although a majority of its people are Christian, they are mostly Oriental Orthodox and much more religious. Furthermore, the most of the country is in close proximity to the coast.
- Sudan is located next to Eritrea, in the Sahara Desert. It is a predominately Muslim country where most people speak Arabic. Due to civil war, the country’s infrastructure is not well developed. The country recently lost some territory to the newly formed country of South Sudan. Its laws are much more conservative than the Czech Republic since alcohol, prostitution, and gambling are not allowed there. However, most of the water in both countries drains to the Mediterranean Sea.
- Somalia is an anarchic, mostly Muslim country that has poorly developed infrastructure, due to civil war. In addition, it has a hot desert climate, not a cool temperate forest landscape. It also has a lot of coastline in contrast to the Czech Republic. Still, both countries do use the Latin alphabet, although their respective native languages are completely unrelated.
- Yemen is located on the Arabian Peninsula, across the Gulf of Aden from Somalia. It is another conservative Muslim country that has poorly developed infrastructure, due to Civil War. Yemen is also much hotter and drier than the Czech Republic. One thing they do share is that both of their people are considered to be Caucasian, although their ancestry is still significantly different.
- Niger is a predominately Muslim country in the Sahara Desert. The average age of its people is the youngest in the world. The country is mostly barren landscape and has little agricultural land. However, both the Czech Republic and Niger are landlocked. They also both use Type C, E electrical outlets, although Niger’s infrastructure is far less developed.
- Papua New Guinea, 7. Chad, 8. Gambia, 9. Bangladesh, 10. South Sudan
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Czech Republic is like if Slovakia was more like Luxembourg
The Czech Republic and Slovakia are two of the most similar countries in the world, so few countries are far more similar to the Czech Republic than Slovakia. Luxembourg is one country that has many traits of the Czech Republic that Slovakia lacks. The Czech Republic and Luxembourg are more prosperous and less religious than Slovakia. They are also less mountainous, so they use more fossil fuels and less hydropower to create electricity. There is a greater degree of rule of law in the Czech Republic and Luxembourg than Slovakia as well.
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to the Czech Republic
All data accurate as of 2020.
Most Similar Demographics: Slovakia
Most Similar Culture: Slovakia
Most Similar Government: Italy
Most Similar Infrastructure: Poland
Most Similar Geography: Germany
Least Similar Demographics: Niger
Least Similar Culture: Afghanistan
Least Similar Government: Sudan
Least Similar Infrastructure: Haiti
Least Similar Geography: Solomon Islands