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.
Hungary is a European country. The five most similar countries to it are predominately Catholic. Interestingly enough, they are all Slavic speaking countries as well, despite the fact that Hungarian is unrelated. In addition, they are all a part of the European Union. The top four were once part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, but no longer have monarchs. With the exception of Poland, they all have a parliamentary system of government.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Hungary
- Slovakia is another landlocked country just to the north of Hungary. Around 10% of people in Slovakia speak Hungarian natively. Both countries are flawed democracies with relatively corrupt governments by European standards. Slovakia and Hungary also have a similar diet, which is heavy in chicken and pork. One difference is that Slovakians are more interested in ice hockey, while Hungarians are more interested in water polo.
- Czechia‘s geography is similar to Hungary, although it does not border it. They are both landlocked and have a similar climate and terrain. Although both countries are predominately Catholic, Czechia has more irreligious people. Another difference is that Czechia’s gun control laws and marijuana laws are not as strict. According to the Lewis Model, their people tend to be more outgoing than Hungarians as well.
- Slovenia lies to the west of Hungary. The countries have about the same standard of living. Both have generous welfare benefits for their citizens. Nuclear energy provides a significant portion of their electricity. However, Slovenia is much more mountainous and has a lower percentage of agricultural land than Hungary. In addition, the divorce rate is much higher in Hungary.
- Croatia is yet another Catholic, Slavic-speaking country on this list. The agricultural areas in both countries predominately grow corn and wheat. The infrastructure in both countries is also extremely similar. One big difference is that Croatia borders the Mediterranean and it has many beaches in contrast to the landlocked Hungary. Still, both countries are excellent in water polo.
- Poland is the only country in the top five that was not part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Both are relatively flat countries that have a high percentage of agricultural land. Both have legalized prostitution and no death penalty. However, unlike other countries on this list, Poland has a semi-presidential system of government, not a parliamentary system. Poland also has a bicameral legislature, unlike Hungary
- Serbia, 7. Romania, 8. Bulgaria, 9. Germany, 10. Belgium
Four of the five least similar countries to Hungary are located close to the Red Sea. Their standard of living is much lower than Hungary. In addition, their governments are less democratic and have more conservative laws. Four of the five least similar countries are also mostly desert and have a low percentage of farmland.
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Hungary
- Yemen is a mountainous country located on southern-most portion of the Arabian Peninsula. It is a conservative Muslim country that has poorly developed infrastructure, due to civil war. Their government is best described as anarchic, but it is supposed to use the semi-presidential system, unlike Hungary. One similarity is that both Hungarians and Yemenis could be considered Caucasian, although their ancestry is still quite different.
- Sudan is located in the Sahara Desert, across the Red Sea from Yemen. Like Yemen, it is another Arabic speaking country on this list. Due to civil war, the country recently lost some territory to the newly formed country of South Sudan. Sudan’s laws are much more conservative than Hungary. They do not allow abortion or homosexuality. In addition, prostitution, gambling, and alcohol are also banned.
- Eritrea is another country in Africa that borders the Red Sea. Its government has been a dictatorship for almost 20 years. It also has a unique language and writing system are completely different from Hungarian. In addition, it is mountainous and most of its land is in close proximity to the sea. Still, most people in Eritrea are Christian, although they are of the Oriental Orthodox denomination.
- Papua New Guinea is a predominately Christian country, but it is mostly Protestant and more religious than Hungary. It is a mountainous and sparsely populated island country with a low standard of living. Its technology is especially different from Hungary since it drives on the left, uses Type I electrical outlets, and does not have any railroads in use. Furthermore, its native people have mostly Melanesian ancestry.
- Somalia is another poor Muslim country like Yemen and Sudan. Its climate is much drier and a low percentage of its land is used for agriculture. It also has a lot of beaches in contrast to Hungary. In addition, Somalia has no Olympic medals, while Hungary is one of the most successful countries in the Olympics per capita. Still, although their languages are completely unrelated, both use the Latin script.
- Solomon Islands, 7. Mali, 8. Niger, 9. Chad, 10. Cambodia
Hungary is like if Slovakia was more like Estonia
According to the Index, Slovakia is the most similar country to Hungary. However, there are a few significant differences between them. The data shows that Estonia is one country that is much more like Hungary than it is like to Slovakia. The majority of Estonians and Hungarians both speak Uralic languages, unlike Slovakians. Hungary and Estonia are also significantly less mountainous than Slovakia. They both use Type C, F electrical outlets as well.
Do you agree with the list?
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