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 Guinea
Guinea is a country in the Tropical Africa region. The majority of the people in the five most similar countries natively speak Niger-Congo languages. Four of the five have French as one of their official languages. They all border the Atlantic Ocean and have tropical climates. Their infrastructure is not well developed and their technology standards are similar. They all drive on the right and use Type C, E electrical outlets. With the exception of Guinea-Bissau their railroad tracks are all one meter gauge as well.
- Ivory Coast is to the east of Guinea. Their climates and population densities are very similar, although Ivory Coast is less forested. Furthermore, it tends to grow more cocoa and less rice. Still, these former colonies of France have a similar standard of living and development of infrastructure. Most of their tanks and guns are Russian-made. One significant difference is that there are fewer Christians in Guinea.
- Senegal is located to the north of Guinea. It is yet another former French colony on the Atlantic Ocean. Both countries are mostly Muslim and have a significant percentage of people that natively speak Fula. However, Senegal’s climate is noticeably drier, especially in its northern regions. The people in this countries tend to eat a lot of rice, but Guineans eat far more cassava than Senegal.
- Benin is another impoverished country with very few vehicles and televisions. Both countries also have little improved sanitation. Although the lingua franca of both countries is French, their native languages are only distantly related. Both countries have endured several different coups d’etat. Both use the presidential form of government and unicameral legislatures as well.
- Guinea-Bissau is just to the north of Guinea. Their landscape is especially similar, both countries have a tropical savanna climate. Both countries have many people that natively speak Fula and Mandinka. However, Guinea-Bissau was once a colony of Portugal, while Guinea was a French colony. Although both countries are predominately Muslim, Guinea-Bissau has more Christians.
- Cameroon is another heavily forested country in Africa. However, most people in Cameroon are Christians, although about 25% are Muslim. Their laws are also very similar, except that polygamy is legal in Cameroon. Interestingly enough, despite the long distance between these countries, both have large populations of Fula people.
- Togo, 7. Mali, 8. Sierra Leone, 9. Burkina Faso, 10. Gambia
Top 10 Countries Least Similar to Guinea
All the least similar countries to Guinea are much more developed and have a higher standard of living. In three of the five least similar countries, Germanic languages are natively spoken. The other two are located in East Asia. The four least similar countries are located on islands. In addition, they all have much colder climates.
- Japan‘s geography is significantly different from Guinea. It is a mountainous archipelago with a temperate climate. Its demographics, culture, and technology are also quite different. There just isn’t much in common between the two, except that both countries have more males than females. Their people also have a similar average height and weight.
- New Zealand borders the Pacific Ocean like Japan, but it is an English-speaking country on island with a temperate climate. It is also quite mountainous in contrast to Guinea. Furthermore, its laws are also far more liberal. It allows same sex marriage and has decriminalized prostitution. Its abortion laws are less strict as well. New Zealanders are also more interested in cricket and rugby.
- Iceland is the least similar country in Europe, despite both countries bordering the Atlantic Ocean. It is far more mountainous than Guinea. Furthermore, its landscape is sparsely vegetated, due in part to its cold climate. The country is also far less religious than Guinea. In contrast to Guinea, it uses far more energy and most of it is produced by renewable energy sources.
- United Kingdom is another European country located on an island in the Atlantic Ocean, where its native people speak a Germanic-language. In addition, its people are not particularly religious. Its infrastructure standards are especially different from Guinea, since it drives on the left, uses Type G electrical outlets, and the standard railroad gauge.
- South Korea is yet another East Asian country on this list. The countries have little in common demographically or culturally. However, they do share some similarity in technology standards. They both use Type C electrical outlets and drive on the right. However, Guinea’s infrastructure is not nearly as well developed.
- Australia, 7. Taiwan, 8. Ireland, 9. United States, 10. Canada
Guinea is like if Ivory Coast was more like Mali
According to the Index, Ivory Coast is the most similar country to Guinea, however there are some noticeable differences between them. Mali is one country that has much more in common with Guinea than the Ivory Coast. Like Guinea, the vast majority of people in Mali are Muslim. As a result, their people tend to drink less alcohol and also more of their males are circumcised. They both rely on oil and hydropower to create electricity, unlike Ivory Coast, which uses more natural gas.
All data accurate as of 2020.