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.
Guinea-Bissau is a country in Sub-Saharan Africa. A majority of the people in the five most similar countries to it natively speak Niger-Congo languages. Since these countries were once colonized by European countries, they all use the Latin alphabet. Four of the five most similar border the Atlantic Ocean. Furthermore, the infrastructure in this countries is not well developed and they have a relatively low standard of living.
One slightly surprising country that did not rank high on Guinea-Bissau’s list is Cape Verde. Both are former Portuguese colonies in Africa located in close proximity to each other. However, there are huge differences between these countries. Cape Verde is far wealthier and has a higher standard of living. It also is mostly Catholic and has few Muslims, in contrast to Guinea-Bissau.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Guinea-Bissau
- Guinea is just to the south of Guinea-Bissau. Their landscape is especially similar, both countries have a tropical savanna climate. Both countries have many people that natively speak Fula and Mandinka as well. However, while Guinea-Bissau was once a colony of Portugal, Guinea was a French colony. Despite this, Guinea actually does not use the West African Franc, while Guinea-Bissau does.
- Benin is another country in West Africa that also has a mix of Christians, Muslims, and people practicing traditional African religions. Both countries are extremely poor and their infrastructure is not well developed. On the positive side, they also have low rates of murder and narcotic use. Although both countries natively speak languages from the Niger-Congo family, their languages are not closely related.
- Mozambique is another former Portuguese colony in Africa, although it is located on the Indian Ocean. Despite this, both are mostly tropical savanna, however Mozambique’s climate is cooler. Both countries have a mix of Christians and Muslims, although there is a higher percentage of Christians in Mozambique. Like other Portuguese colonies, neither the death penalty nor life in prison is legal there. However, Mozambique drives on the left, unlike other countries on this list.
- Senegal is just to the north of Guinea-Bissau. The staple food of both countries is rice. Both countries have a significant amount of Fula people. However, a much greater percentage of the people in Senegal are Muslim. Furthermore, its climate is drier than Guinea-Bissau. Still, both countries rely on oil to create electricity.
- Ivory Coast is yet another former colony of France that borders the Atlantic Ocean. Their demographics are quite similar. Both countries have a mix of Christians and Muslims. Most of their people work in agriculture. They also both use the semi-presidential system of government. However, their agriculture is quite different. The people in Ivory Coast tend to eat much more cassava than rice.
- Burkina Faso, 7. Gambia, 8. Togo, 9. Sierra Leone, 10. Angola
All the least similar countries to Guinea-Bissau are much more developed and have a higher standard of living. In addition, they all have much colder climates than Guinea-Bissau. Three of the five least similar countries are former colonies of Great Britain where a lot of Europe immigrants settled. The other two are located in East Asia.
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Guinea-Bissau
- Japan‘s geography significantly different from Guinea-Bissau. It is a mountainous archipelago with a temperate climate and a lot of rainfall. Its demographics, culture, and technology are also quite different. There isn’t much in common between the two, except that most of the land in both countries is close to the coast.
- Canada is the least similar country to Guinea-Bissau in the Western Hemisphere. It is one of the coldest countries, in contrast to Guinea-Bissau’s hot tropical savanna climate. In addition, its government is extremely different from Canada’s, since its laws are much more liberal and it is also more democratic.
- United States is another English-speaking country in North America. Its technology is especially different from Guinea-Bissau, since it has so many guns per capita and its military is much more sophisticated. It also uses Type A, B electrical outlets with a different voltage than in Guinea-Bissau.
- New Zealand borders the Pacific Ocean like Taiwan and Japan, but it is an English-speaking country like the United States and Canada. It is a mountainous, temperate island with well developed infrastructure, in contrast to Guinea-Bissau’s relatively flat and tropical savanna landscape. Like Canada, its laws are also far more liberal.
- South Korea is another East Asian country on this list. The countries have little in common demographically or culturally, except that both have a significant percentage of Christians. However, they do share some similarity in technology. They both use the same electrical outlets and drive on the right. However, Guinea-Bissau’s infrastructure is less well developed.
- Australia, 7. Iceland, 8. Taiwan, 9. Norway, 10. United Kingdom
Guinea-Bissau is like if Guinea was more like Cape Verde
The most similar country to Guinea-Bissau is Guinea. However, there are a few ways they are significantly different. The data indicates that Cape Verde is one country that has several characteristics of Guinea-Bissau that Guinea lacks. Both countries were once colonies of Portugal, so their official language is Portuguese and many people in these countries speak a creole language based on Portuguese. Most of the land in both countries is close to the coast. In addition, Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde do not have railroads.
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