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.
Jordan is a Middle Eastern country. It fact, according to the Index, it is one of the most average countries in the region. The five most similar countries to Jordan have Arabic as their official language. A majority of their population is Muslim as well. These countries also have a similar climate, since they are mostly sparsely populated deserts. Its government is still a monarchy, but it does have more democratic elements than some other countries in the region.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Jordan
- Syria is another country in the Levant. After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the area was partitioned. While Syria was colonized by France, Jordan was colonized by Britain. Still, the countries have deep historical ties. Their agricultural lands both grow olives and barley. However, due to the on-going civil war there, Syria has significantly more poverty and its infrastructure is not as well developed.
- Egypt is another Arabic-speaking country that was once occupied by Great Britain. However, it is located in Africa. Both countries border the Red Sea, although Egypt has much more coastline. The countries have a similar standard of living. They also share the same electrical grid. Both countries have conservative laws, however Egypt is currently a military dictatorship.
- Iraq was actually part of Jordan in 1958, when the two countries formed the Arab Federation, however it only lasted 6 months. In addition, both were colonized by Great Britain. This part of the reason why they both use Type D and G electrical outlets. However, Iraq is also significantly more diverse, since it has more Shi’ite Muslims and Kurds. Both countries border each other and have little coastline.
- Saudi Arabia is another Sunni Muslim country next to Jordan. Jordan’s royal family, the Hashemites, once ruled the Kingdom of Hejaz, which comprises both Mecca and Medina, but were taken over by the Saudis in the 1920s. Therefore, Jordan’s demographics are similar to Saudi Arabia. Their currencies both have a hard peg to the US Dollar. However, Jordan’s economy and infrastructure is not as advanced. In addition, its laws are less conservative.
- Algeria is another North African country on this list. The countries have a similar standard of living. Still, there are some significant differences as well. Algerian Arabic is significantly different from the Arabic spoken in Jordan. Algeria also has a significant population of Berbers. In addition, Algeria was colonized by France, not Great Britain. Algeria also no longer has a monarchy.
- Libya, 7. Tunisia, 8. Oman, 9. Kuwait, 10. Morocco
The five least similar countries to Jordan are all located on islands, four of which are in the Pacific Ocean. In addition, four of the five least similar countries are predominately Christian. Four of the five also drive on the left side of the road, in contrast to Jordan. Even though Jordan still has a monarchy, the four least similar countries also have monarchies, but they are significantly more democratic.
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Jordan
- Japan is also technically in Asia, but other than that there is very little similarity between the two. Japan is a mountainous archipelago with a temperate climate in contrast to the dry and nearly landlocked Jordan. Not only is its geography significantly different, but also its demographics, culture, politics, and technology.
- Papua New Guinea is another country located in the Pacific Ocean, although it is much less developed than Japan and Jordan. In contrast to the deserts of Jordan, it is one of the wettest countries on Earth. It is also mostly Christian, although both countries are fairly religious. In addition, its people are Melanesians, so they have relatively little genetic similarity to Arabs.
- Solomon Islands is very similar to Papua New Guinea. It is a mountainous and heavily forested archipelago in Pacific Ocean. Most of its land is within 100 km from the coast. Its government is quite democratic, compared to Jordan’s. The country also does not have an active military, while Jordan has a high percentage of its population in the military.
- New Zealand is another wet and extremely mountainous archipelago in the Pacific Ocean far away from Jordan. Their infrastructure also is very different as New Zealand uses Type I plugs, drives on the left. In addition, New Zealand is far more liberal than Jordan. However, most of the people in both countries are considered to be Caucasian.
- Haiti is the least similar country in the Western Hemisphere. The county is far less developed than Jordan. Its people are mostly Catholic and their official language is French. In addition, most of its people have African ancestry. The country has a much higher percentage of agricultural land, in contrast to Jordan’s barren landscape.
- Taiwan, 7. South Korea, 8. North Korea, 9. Central African Republic, 10. Liberia
Jordan is like if Syria was more like Saudi Arabia
According to the Index, Syria is the most similar country to Jordan. The data indicates that Saudi Arabia is one country that is significantly more like Jordan than Syria. Unlike Syria, they border the Red Sea, not the Mediterranean Sea. The infrastructure in Jordan and Saudi Arabia is also more developed than in Syria, due to recent civil war. Furthermore, although all these countries have authoritarian governments, both Jordan and Saudi Arabia have monarchs.
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