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.
Equatorial Guinea is a Sub-Saharan African country. The top five countries most similar to Equatorial Guinea are all countries with French as an official language, although its primary official language is Spanish. These countries are also all located in the tropical regions of Africa and are heavily forested. The majority of the people in these countries are Christian and speak Niger-Congo languages. Four of the five most similar countries use the same currency: the Central African Franc. In addition, the top four border the Atlantic Ocean.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Equatorial Guinea
- Cameroon borders Equatorial Guinea to the north. Both of their governments are one-party states that are run by two of the longest serving dictators in Africa. Both countries have significant population of Beti people. Although both countries have tropical forests, Cameroon’s climate is drier in the north. While corn and sorghum are popular crops in Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea tends to grow cassava and coffee.
- Gabon is the only other country that borders Equatorial Guinea. It is another heavily forested county. Both countries are reliant on oil revenue for income. Both countries have many people from the Fang ethnic group. They are also mostly Catholic, although Gabon has more Protestants. Like Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon, it is also a one-party state. One significant difference is that Equatorial Guinea criminalizes polygamy, while Gabon is the only country that allows it for both men and women.
- Republic of Congo is another sparsely populated, heavily forested country in Africa. While both countries are mostly Christian, the Republic of Congo is mostly Protestant. Furthermore, both rely on oil to create electricity. However, the people in the Republic of Congo are not as wealthy or as educated as Equatorial Guinea’s. Their sex ratios are also far different, since the Republic of Congo has more women than men.
- Democratic Republic of Congo was a Belgian colony, so unlike the other top countries on this list, it uses a different currency than Equatorial Guinea. Both countries have authoritarian dictators as presidents and often hold rigged elections. Although both countries are heavily forested, Democratic Republic of Congo has a higher percentage of tropical savannas. In contrast to Equatorial Guinea, little of the country is close to the coast. It also relies on hydropower to create electricity, not oil.
- Central African Republic is a landlocked country to the east of Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon. Both countries are mostly Christian, although Central African Republic has more Muslims. It is mostly tropical savanna, not tropical forest like Equatorial Guinea. Both countries have also received weapons from Ukraine. Their assault riffles and battle tanks both countries have are Russian in origin.
- Burundi, 7. Ivory Coast, 8. Rwanda, 9. Angola, 10. Togo
The least similar countries to Equatorial Guinea are from a wide variety of locations. However, four of the five are located in temperate climates. They are all much wealthier nations with higher standards of living than Equatorial Guinea. Furthermore, their governments are more democratic and their laws are less conservative.
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Equatorial Guinea
- Japan is by far the least similar country to Equatorial Guinea. Its demographics, culture, politics, and technology are significantly different. There isn’t much in common between the two, except that both countries have a lot of forested area and most of their land is close to the coast. While Japan has one of the most well developed railroad systems in the world, Equatorial Guinea does not even have a railroad.
- Israel is on the African tectonic plate and most of its land is close to the coast, but there is little else the country has in common with Israel. Its people are mostly Jewish and the country uses a different writing system, the Hebrew alphabet. It is also densely populated and has a much lower percentage of forested land.
- South Korea has more in common with Equatorial Guinea than Japan does, since many of its people are Christian, although they are less religious. Furthermore, it drives on the right side of the road and uses a similar electrical outlet. Still, Korean is completely unrelated linguistically to languages in Equatorial Guinea and uses a different system of writing.
- United Kingdom is a densely populated island that is far different from Equatorial Guinea. Although both countries border the Atlantic Ocean and they are at about the same longitude, the United Kingdom is much further north and its climate is much colder. A low percentage of its land is forested, since much of its land is devoted to agriculture. The country also drives on the left and uses Type G electrical outlets, unlike Equatorial Guinea.
- New Zealand is yet another archipelago in the Pacific Ocean with little similarity to Equatorial Guinea. It is one of the most democratic countries in the world in contrast to Equatorial Guinea’s authoritarian dictatorship. It also uses the parliamentary system of government. Furthermore, the country is more mountainous.
- Canada, 7. Australia, 8. Iceland, 9. Taiwan, 10. Netherlands
Equatorial Guinea is like if Cameroon was more like Nicaragua
According to the Index, Cameroon is the most similar country to Equatorial Guinea. However, Nicaragua is one country that has many of the traits of Equatorial Guinea that Cameroon lacks. Equatorial Guinea is unique since it is the only country in Africa to have Spanish as its official language. Both countries Equatorial Guinea and Nicaragua have few Muslims, unlike Cameroon. In addition, they do not have working railroads.
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