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.
Dominican Republic is a Latin American country located on an island in the Caribbean Sea. The top five most similar countries are all mostly Catholic and their people natively speak Spanish. They are all located in Central America and have tropical climates as well. Furthermore, they use the presidential system of government. These countries are all part of the Central American Integration System, a regional economic and political organization.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to the Dominican Republic
- Panama has also been heavily influenced by the United States. Both countries use 911 for emergencies and Type A & B electrical outlets. They also produce many baseball players. In addition, their agriculture is similar since they both grow a lot of rice and sugarcane. Panama also has the highest percentage of people with African ancestry in Spanish-speaking Central America. However, Panama is wealthier and its infrastructure is better developed than the Dominican Republic.
- El Salvador is another densely populated tropical country in Latin America. Their laws are especially similar. They do not allow abortion or same-sex marriage. They also have abolished both the death penalty and even life in prison. One big difference is that El Salvador has far fewer people with African ancestry. It also does not border the Caribbean Sea. Another difference is that corn is a bigger part of the diet in El Salvador.
- Costa Rica is located across the Caribbean Sea from Dominican Republic. Both countries have an extremely similar diet, consisting of mostly of rice and wheat staple foods as well as a similar mix of beef, pork, chicken, and fish. In addition, they are some of the more peaceful countries in the region, since they have relatively low murder rates. Both also have a mountainous rainforest landscape with many beautiful beaches.
- Nicaragua is located between El Salvador and Costa Rica. It is another country around the Caribbean that likes baseball, but does not do especially well in soccer. Neither country has qualified for the World Cup. Both countries are mostly Catholic but also around 30% of their people are Protestants. One big difference is that Nicaragua’s government is less democratic and it is an ally of Russia, not the United States.
- Honduras is yet another Central American country on this list. There is not one particular aspect that Honduras is especially more similar to the Dominican Republic than other countries in the region. It is further down this list in part because it is poorer and more violent than the Dominican Republic.
- Colombia, 7. Guatemala, 8. Mexico, 9. Venezuela, 10. Ecuador
Four of the five least similar countries to the Dominican Republic are predominately Muslim, Arab speaking countries. Furthermore, they all do not have democratic governments. In addition, all these countries are all located in Asia. Four of the five have much drier climates. Few countries are extremely different from the Dominican Republic, in part because it is neither especially poor nor especially rich.
Top 10 Places Least Similar to the Dominican Republic
- North Korea‘s government and laws are far different from the Dominican Republic. Its climate is also colder and it also gets less rainfall. They have very little cultural similarity as well. Korean is completely unrelated to Spanish and they use a different system of writing. Furthermore, the country is far less religious than the Dominican Republic.
- Yemen is an extremely poor and dangerous country in the Arabian Desert. As a result of the civil war there, the standard of living is quite low there. Furthermore, its citizens have far more guns per capita. There is little political or cultural similarity with the Dominican Republic as well, except that both countries have banned abortion.
- Saudi Arabia is located in the Arabian Desert as well. However it is far more wealthy and developed than Yemen. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia is ruled by a monarchy and has much harsher penalties for its criminals. It has a lower population density and its landscape is also mostly barren desert.
- Kuwait is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. It is predominately Muslim and its people speak Arabic. It is located in the Arabian Desert between Iraq and Saudi Arabia. It is highly developed and urbanized. Most of its water is desalinized ocean water, unlike in the Dominican Republic where water is significantly more plentiful. Still, unlike the other countries on this list, most of its borders are land, not coastline.
- Bahrain, is quite similar to Kuwait. It is another oil-rich country in the Persian Gulf that is far wealthier than Colombia. It is a small, flat, densely populated desert island in the Middle East. Their infrastructure is especially different since they use Type G electrical outlets and a higher voltage. Still, both countries drive on the right side of the road. It is ruled by an absolute monarch, that appoints a head of government to run the country.
- Sudan, 7. Qatar, 8. Afghanistan, 9. Bhutan, 10. China
Dominican Republic is like if Panama were more similar to Haiti
Panama is Dominican Republic’s most similar country. However, the data indicates that Haiti is one country that is a lot more like the Dominican Republic than Panama. This is for a variety of reasons. The Dominican Republic and Haiti share the island of Hispanola. Their people also have a higher percentage of African ancestry than Panama’s population. Furthermore, the Dominican Republic and Haiti are not as well developed as Panama. Their cities do not have as many skyscrapers or as much shipping infrastructure.
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