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 Guyana
Guyana is located in the Caribbean region. Few countries are similar to it. The five most similar countries all have tropical climates. The use of English is widespread in these countries as well. The top five countries were all once colonies of Great Britain (although Suriname was only a British colony for a short time before it was traded to the Netherlands in exchange for New York in 1667). They all are a part of CARICOM as well.
- Suriname is the only other country in South America where most people speak Germanic languages. However, since it was a colony of the Netherlands its official language is Dutch. Suriname and Guyana border each other and have nearly exactly the same geography. They are two of the most forested countries by percentage in the world. In the few agricultural areas that they have both mostly grow rice. Both countries have many people with African and Indian ancestry, although Suriname has more people with East Asian ancestry.
- Trinidad & Tobago has very similar demographics and culture with Guyana. Like Suriname and Guyana, their population is primarily made up of people with African and Indian heritage. Both countries are mostly Protestant, but also have significant percentages of Catholics, Muslims, and Hindus. The most popular sport in both countries is cricket. However, Trinidad is wealthier and it is a densely populated island.
- Belize is another former British colony that borders the Caribbean Sea, but it is located on the mainland of North America. It has a similar tropical climate and standard of living. However, despite English being its official language, more than 30% of its people natively speak Spanish. It also has far fewer people with African and Indian ancestry. Neither country has railroads, although Belize drives on the right, while Guyana drives on the left. Both countries still use the analog NTSC TV broadcasting standard as well.
- Jamaica is a tropical island in the Caribbean, like Trinidad and Tobago, although its people are almost entirely of African descent and Protestant. The diet of Jamaicans is similar to Guyana since both primarily eat chicken and fish with bread and rice, although Jamaica eats more yams. Both countries rely on oil to create electricity and use about the same amount of energy per capita. One big difference is that Jamaicans have a much lower rate of suicide.
- Bahamas is yet another former British colony on this list. However, the Bahamas is much more wealthy than Guyana. Although both countries are quite flat and have little less agricultural land, the Bahamas is an island archipelago that mostly grows coconuts. Most of Guyana’s land, in contrast, is far from the coast. Its vegetation is also significantly different since the Bahamas has more coniferous trees.
- Nicaragua, 7. Fiji, 8. Panama, 9. Brazil, 10. Dominican Republic
Please note that some of the other countries in the West Indies, Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, would all be candidates for this list, but they are too small in population and land area to have enough reliable data for this project.
The Top 12 Things to Do in Guyana
Top 10 Countries Least Similar to Guyana
All five countries least similar to Guyana are located in Asia, with four of them being East Asian countries. Guyana’s culture and geography is especially from these countries. These countries all have more temperate climates and are also more mountainous. In addition, they do not use the Latin alphabet or speak languages related to English.
- China‘s demographics and culture are far different from Guyana. While China does have some tropical rainforests in its southern region, it has a much greater diversity of landscapes and is also more mountainous and densely populated. While China has a huge amount of media and internet censorship, Guyana has very little. Its technology is also quite different since it drives on the right and primarily uses Type I electrical plugs.
- Japan has little demographic or cultural similarity to Guyana. In addition, while Japan is quite mountainous and densely populated, Guyana is relatively flat and sparsely populated. While Japan has one of the most advanced railroad networks in the world, Guyana does not even have a railroad. Still there are some similarities since both countries drive on left and use Type A, B electrical outlets.
- North Korea is also far different from Guyana, especially due to its authoritarian government. Although the infrastructure in both countries is not well developed, North Korea drives on the right, uses Type C, F electrical outlets, unlike Guyana. A far larger percentage of its population is in the military as well and its weapons are more advanced.
- Israel is a densely populated country in the Mediterranean. In contrast to the dry climate of Israel, Guyana is made up of lush tropical rainforest. It also has little infrastructure in comparison with Israel. The country is mostly Jewish and uses the Hebrew alphabet. It also has a parliamentary form of government, unlike Guyana.
- South Korea is yet another Asian country on this list. However, it does have a significant percentage of Protestant Christians, like South Korea. Furthermore, both countries use the presidential system of government. Still, its culture and geography are far different. The country is also much more developed and densely populated. Still, the primary crop in both countries is rice.
- Afghanistan, 7. Saudi Arabia, 8. Qatar, 9. Bahrain, 10. Iran
Guyana is like if Suriname was more like Jamaica
Suriname is the most similar country to Guyana, however they still have some significant differences. Since Suriname was once a Dutch colony, not a British colony, Jamaica is much more like Guyana than it is to Suriname. Both Jamaica and Guyana use English as their official language. They also have a higher percentage of Protestant Christians than Suriname. In addition, their people are most interested in cricket. Their legal systems both use Common Law as well.
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Guyana
All data accurate as of 2020.
Most Similar Demographics: Trinidad & Tobago
Most Similar Culture: Trinidad & Tobago
Most Similar Government: Belize
Most Similar Infrastructure: Belize
Most Similar Geography: Suriname
Least Similar Demographics: Japan
Least Similar Culture: Japan
Least Similar Government: Sudan
Least Similar Infrastructure: Switzerland
Least Similar Geography: Tajikistan