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.
Denmark is a European country. It is similar to many countries that are located around the North Sea. The top five all natively speak Germanic languages. In addition, their people are mostly Protestant, but not very religious. They all have an especially high standard of living as well. It is the transitional country between Nordic countries and other Germanic-speaking countries with more temperate climates.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Denmark
- Norway and Denmark were a united country until 1814. Danish was the official language in Norway for many years and therefore it is extremely similar to Bokmål Norwegian. Both languages use the same alphabet. However, Denmark’s geography is quite different from Norway, since it is extremely flat, has a far greater percentage of agricultural land, and a more temperate climate. As a result Denmark is also much more densely populated. Still, both countries have a lot of coastline and are located in the same time zone.
- Germany is just to the south of Denmark. One big difference is that Germany has more Catholics, although neither country is especially religious. Germany’s climate is quite similar to Denmark, but it has less coastline. Their energy sources are similar as well. Both use coal, but also biomass and wind power to create electricity. Their sports culture is similar since both countries love soccer but also have significant interest in handball.
- Netherlands is another extremely flat Germanic country, where most people live near the coast. Both countries have won a significant number of Olympic medals in cycling and rowing. In addition, both of their governments are constitutional monarchies with relatively liberal laws, although Denmark still criminalizes drug use. The Netherlands is also more densely populated and has a lower percentage of farmland than Denmark.
- Sweden and Denmark were part of the Kalmar Union between 1397 and 1523. The countries have especially similar governments. They are both constitutional monarchies with unicameral legislatures. Although they do not border each other, they are linked by the Øresund Bridge. However, Denmark has little interest in ice hockey and is not nearly as good in the Winter Olympics as other countries on this list. Furthermore, Denmark has a far higher percentage of farmland than Sweden and is more densely populated. Another difference is that the Swedish tend to be less outgoing than Danish people, according to the Lewis Model.
- Great Britain‘s geography is very similar to Denmark. Both countries border the North Sea and have a lot of coastline, but are not very mountainous. In fact, the Danes ruled a large part of England for over 100 years. Both countries are predominately Protestant. Furthermore, Denmark and the United Kingdom are constitutional monarchies with similar laws. Both countries allow unorganized prostitution, gambling, and same sex marriage. Still, although both countries are highly developed, the United Kingdom’s infrastructure is quite different, since it uses Type G electrical outlets and drives on the left side of the road.
- Belgium, 7. Luxembourg, 8. Ireland, 9. France, 10. Estonia
The four least similar countries border the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea, so their climate is much hotter and drier than Denmark. In addition, the five least similar countries have a far lower standard of living. They are far less democratic and their laws tend to be much more conservative. They also are less densely populated.
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Denmark
- Eritrea is an African country located on the Red Sea. It is the only country on this list with a majority Christian population. However, they are mostly Oriental Orthodox and more religious than Danish people. Its people natively speak Semitic languages and use the Ge’ez writing system. In addition, it is extremely poor and its government has been a dictatorship for almost 20 years.
- Sudan is located in the Sahara Desert, next Eritrea. It is a predominately Muslim country and most of its people speak Arabic natively. The country has recently experienced civil war, so its standard of living is much lower than Denmark. Its laws are also far more conservative. Alcohol, gambling, and prostitution are not allowed there.
- Somalia is another country located on the Horn of Africa on this list. It is an anarchic, war-torn, Muslim country in stark contrast to Denmark. The country is mostly Muslim and its people natively speak an Afroasiatic language. However, both countries do use the Latin alphabet. Although Somalia is much hotter and drier than Denmark, both countries are fairly flat and have a lot of coastline.
- Yemen is located across the Gulf of Aden from Somalia. It is another war-torn and extremely conservative Muslim country that unlike other countries on the Arabian Peninsula, is not well developed. Like Sudan, they also natively speak Arabic and use the Arabic script. The country is also far more mountainous than Denmark and has little agricultural land.
- Laos is a landlocked and mountainous country, located in Southeast Asia. It is predominately Buddhist and uses a writing system related to the Grantha script. It country’s standard of living is also far lower than Denmark. Furthermore, Laos has a lower percentage of agricultural land and its main crop rice, not wheat or barley.
- Chad, 7. Mali, 8. Mauritania, 9. South Sudan, 10. Niger
Denmark is like if Norway was more like the Netherlands
While Norway is Denmark’s most similar country, especially in regards to demographics and climate, it also has a few differences. The data indicates that the Netherlands is one country that is significantly more similar to Denmark than Norway. This is primarily because of their geography. Denmark and the Netherlands have extremely flat terrain in contrast to Norway. They are also more densely populated and have warmer climates. Furthermore, Denmark and the Netherlands are part of the European Union, while Norway is not.
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