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.
Georgia is part of the North Eurasia region. It is a unique country, especially linguistically. Only a few countries have a high degree of similarity. Four of the five most similar countries are located in Eastern Europe. These countries also have populations that are primarily Orthodox Christian. In addition, these countries were either part of the Soviet Union, or heavily influenced by it. Their people are fairly well-educated, but their economies are not especially good.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Georgia
- Armenia is another Orthodox Christian country to the east of Georgia. Even before the USSR, there was a period of time where Armenia was a part of Georgia. Both countries are very mountainous, although Georgia borders the Black Sea, while Armenia is landlocked. Armenians and Georgians especially like wrestling and weightlifting, with both countries winning Olympic medals in these disciplines. One big difference is that their languages and writing systems are quite different.
- Bulgaria is located on the opposite side of the Black Sea, but it has many of the same characteristics as Georgia. Both countries are primarily Eastern Orthodox, but about 10 percent of their population is Muslim. In addition, they both have a federal holiday for St. George’s Day. Although Bulgaria was never part of the Soviet Union, both countries use Russian-made battle tanks and assault weapons.
- Montenegro is yet another country on this list that is mostly Eastern Orthodox, but also has a significant Muslim population. In addition, Georgia and Montenegro are both mountainous, but also have a coastline, although Montenegro does not border the Black Sea. The countries drink about the same amount of alcohol and primarily drink wine and spirits. According to the Lewis Model, their people both typically have an outgoing personality.
- Moldova is another country that was once part of the Soviet Union. Their governments are especially similar. Both use the parliamentary system, but also have unicameral legislatures. In addition, same sex marriage and prostitution is not allowed there, while abortion and gambling are legal. There are also some big differences between these countries. Moldova is landlocked, mostly flat, and has a much higher percentage of agricultural land than Georgia.
- Romania also borders the Black Sea, but unlike Moldova it was not part of the Soviet Union. For the most part, their laws are extremely similar, except that unorganized prostiution is allowed in Romania and marijuana is illegal. Both countries are fairly mountainous and their agricultural lands have many cornfields. However, a lower percentage of people work in agriculture than in Georgia.
- North Macedonia, 7. Serbia, 8. Ukraine, 9. Croatia, 10. Belarus
The four least similar countries to Georgia are all located in Africa. These countries all have hotter and drier climates than Georgia. Furthermore, they have a lower standard of living than Georgia as well. Another trait common among the least similar countries is that they primarily use the Latin alphabet. The average age of people in these countries is far below Georgia’s.
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Georgia
- Somalia is located on the Horn of Africa and borders the Indian Ocean coast. It is conservative Muslim country with poorly developed infrastructure. It does not allow alcohol, abortion, or gambling. Its climate is much drier and hotter than Georgia. However, one similarity is that they are located at about the same longitude. Unlike Georgia, it is relatively flat and has more coastline.
- Niger is a landlocked country in the middle of the Sahara Desert, so its landscape is mostly barren. It was once a French colony before becoming independent in 1960. Its population is much younger than Georgia’s and it is also far less educated. Like Somalia, it is almost 100 percent Muslim. Its agriculture is also far different, since it mostly grows millet and cow pea.
- Chad is located between Niger and Sudan. It is yet another country in the Sahara Desert that was once a colony of France on this list. However, both French and Arabic are official languages there. Chad has been ruled by an authoritarian government for a long period. Still, both countries have a mix of Christians and Muslims, although Chad is mostly Muslim.
- South Sudan is a landlocked and sparsely populated country in Africa. It recently got its independence from Sudan. While both countries are landlocked and have a dry climate, South Sudan is much hotter and its terrain is quite flat. Still, one similarity is that much of the water in both countries eventually flows into the Mediterranean. They are also both predominately Christian, although South Sudan is mostly Protestant.
- Solomon Islands is the only country that is not in Africa on this list. It is a tropical archipelago located in the Pacific Ocean, in contrast to Georgia’s colder climate. The country was a colony of Great Britain until 1978. In addition, its infrastructure is far different. The country drives on the left and uses Type I electrical outlets. Still, both countries are predominately Christian, although they are mostly Catholic and Protestant.
- Gambia, 7. Mali 8. Singapore, 9. Papua New Guinea, 10. Sudan
Georgia is like if Armenia was more like Bulgaria
Armenia is the most similar country to Georgia, according to the Index. However, one country that is much more like Georgia than it is to Armenia is Bulgaria. Both Bulgaria and Georgia border the Black Sea. In addition, these countries get more rainfall than Armenia, so more of their land is forested. Furthermore, most Bulgarians and Georgians are Eastern Orthodox Christians, while Armenians are part of the unique Oriental Orthodox denomination.
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