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 Egypt
Egypt is an Arab-speaking country, located in North Africa. The five most similar countries to Egypt are predominately Sunni Muslim. Furthermore, these countries have a similar landscape, since they are mostly hot, barren deserts. They tend to be reliant on the abundant fossil fuels in the region. The top five most similar countries are neither extremely wealthy, nor extremely poor.
- Jordan is another Arab country that was occupied by Great Britain. Both countries feature many ancient ruins. They also border the Red Sea, although Egypt is mostly in Africa. The countries have a similar standard of living. They also share the same electrical grid. Both countries have conservative laws, however Egypt is currently a military dictatorship, while Jordan is a constitutional democracy.
- Syria was actually part of Egypt for three years between 1958 and 1961, as part of the United Arab Republic. Although Syria is in Asia, both countries border the Mediterranean Sea. Syria and Egypt are also extremely similar religiously, as both are about 90% Muslim and 10% Orthodox Christian. Both countries also have unstable governments. However, Syria was once a ruled by France, not Great Britain.
- Libya is Egypt’s neighbor to its west, so it shares very similar geography and infrastructure. Both countries use the same electrical grid and use oil and gas to generate power. The countries have similar conservative Muslim policies. The vast majority of the land in both countries is unpopulated Sahara Desert regions, although it is also less densely populated than Egypt. One difference is that Libya was once an Italian colony.
- Algeria is another Arab country in North Africa that is largely desert. The countries have the same semi-presidential system of government and also similar Muslim laws. In addition, the countries have a similar level of development. However, Algeria has more of a French influence than Egypt, since it was colonized by France for many years. Furthermore, Algerian Arabic is significantly different from Egyptian Arabic.
- Iraq is similar to Egypt since it is another country that is mostly desert, where most inhabitants live near a major river. Its flag is extremely similar to Syria and Egypt as well, since they were all derived from the Arab liberation flag. However, its demographics are slightly different. The majority of its people are Shia Muslims, although it has many Sunnis as well. Furthermore, about 15% of the population in Iraq are Kurds.
- Tunisia, 7. Morocco, 8. Saudi Arabia, 9. Mauritania, 10. Yemen
Top 10 Countries Least Similar to Egypt
Interestingly enough, the five least similar countries to Egypt happen to be all countries located on islands. A high percentage of the people in these countries live near the coasts. They also have better developed infrastructure. Their governments tend to be more democratic and they have less conservative laws. Their climates have more rainfall than Egypt as well.
- Japan is by far the least similar country to Egypt. It has a temperate climate and gets a lot of rainfall. It is a mountainous archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. Not only is its geography significantly different, but also its demographics, culture, politics, and technology. Its people are far less religious than Egyptians. There simply is not much they have in common.
- New Zealand is a wet and mountainous archipelago in the Pacific Ocean far away from Egypt. Their infrastructure also is very different since New Zealand uses Type I plugs, drives on the left, and generates most of its electricity through hydropower. In addition, New Zealand is far more liberal than conservative Egypt. However, the majority of people in both countries are considered to be Caucasian.
- Bahamas is another country located on an archipelago, but it is located in the Atlantic Ocean. The country has a higher standard of living than Egypt. Its population is mostly Sub-Saharan African in ancestry. While Egypt has a fairly developed train system, the Bahamas does not even have a railroad. Still, both countries have hot climates, although the Bahamas is more densely populated and forested.
- Taiwan is yet another country in the Pacific Ocean on this list. Its demographics, culture, and politics are all very different from Egypt. Most of its people are ethnically Chinese. The country is more densely populated and has far more forests. Still, unlike other countries on this list, they both drive on the right side of the road.
- Iceland, like Egypt, is sparsely vegetated. However, its climate is far colder than Egypt’s. It is mostly Protestant but the country has many atheists. In contrast to Egypt’s dependence on fossil fuels, Iceland is powered by sustainable energy sources, like hydropower and geothermal. Its people tend to eat a lot of fish, unlike Egypt.
- Solomon Islands, 7. Canada, 8. Singapore, 9. Papua New Guinea , 10. South Korea
Egypt is like if Syria was more like Libya
Syria and Egypt are quite similar countries. However, the data indicates that Libya is much more like Egypt than it is to Syria. This is for a variety of reasons. Unlike Syria, Libya and Egypt are in Africa and their people tend to have more Sub-Saharan African ancestry. They are also less densely populated than Syria.
All data accurate as of 2020.