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 Places Most Similar to Kenya
Kenya is located in the Tropical Africa region. Many countries in the region are similar to it. The five most similar countries are all former British colonies and have English as one of their official languages. Due this influence they use Type G electrical outlets and, with the exception of Ghana, drive on the left. Furthermore, most people in these countries are Christian. In addition, most of the land in these countries is tropical savanna.
- Tanzania is just to the south of Kenya. Both countries border the Indian Ocean and have a similar climate. It was originally a German colony, until World War I, when it became a British colony. Like Kenya, it uses both English and Swahili as its official languages. However, the percentage of Muslims is significantly higher in Tanzania. It is also less developed than Kenya and its people tend to be less educated.
- Uganda, along with Kenya was administered by the British East Africa Company, before it was transferred to the British government in 1894. Like Tanzania and Uganda, it has both English and Swahili as its official language. Both countries also primarily use one meter wide railroad tracks. However, Uganda has more Catholics. It also has far more diverse agricultural products than Kenya, which primarily grows corn.
- Zambia is another former British colony in East Africa. Zambia is especially similar politically to Kenya. Both are part of the COMESA free trade area. Their legal systems are both based on common law as well. They are also both democratic hybrid regimes with a low degree of rule of law. However, Zambia tends to get more rainfall and it is much less mountainous.
- Zimbabwe is quite similar to Zambia. It is another landlocked country in Africa. It also has a lot of British influence like Kenya. In addition, both countries mostly grow corn and have a similar percentage of agricultural area. However, Zimbabwe has a higher rate of poverty than Kenya. The country is also less democratic. It has far fewer Muslims than Kenya as well.
- Ghana is the only West African country on this list. However, their climates are quite similar, since both countries have significant amount of tropical savanna land. In addition, Ghana and Kenya are relatively well developed in comparison to other countries in the region. However, Ghana’s agriculture consists mostly of cocoa and cassava, while Kenya’s is mostly corn and beans.
- Nigeria, 7. Malawi, 8. Lesotho, 9. Botswana, 10. Rwanda
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Kenya
The least similar countries to Kenya have cooler climates, because they are located at higher latitudes. The three least similar countries are located in East Asia, while the rest of the top ten are in Europe. Not only are their cultures quite different, but also their infrastructure is much more developed. They have a higher standard of living than Kenya as well.
- Japan is by far the least similar country to Kenya. Not only is its geography significantly different, but also its demographics, culture, and technology. Its native language, writing system, and religion are all unrelated to those practiced in Kenya. There isn’t much in common between the two, except that both drive on the left.
- Taiwan is another Asian country located in the Pacific Ocean. Like Japan, its demographics and culture are far different from Kenya. Still, Taiwan’s infrastructure and standard of living is not as high as Japan, so it lower on this list. It also has a warmer subtropical climate, although it still gets far more rainfall than Kenya.
- South Korea is similar to Japan and Taiwan. It has little demographic or cultural similarity with Kenya. One thing that does make South Korea more like Kenya than Japan and Taiwan is that it has a much larger Christian population. Furthermore, most males in Kenya and South Korea are circumcised. However, Kenya has a far higher prevalence of female circumcision.
- Iceland is a sparsely populated country in the North Atlantic Ocean. Its climate is much colder than Kenya. In addition, Kenya’s governmental policies are far more conservative. Another difference is that Iceland drives on the right, uses Type C, F electrical outlets, and does not even have an active railroad system.
- Luxembourg is a landlocked, extremely wealthy country in Western Europe. Although both countries are mostly Christian, Luxembourg is less religious and predominately Catholic. While both countries are democracies, Kenya uses the presidential system of government, while Luxembourg uses the parliamentary system.
- Norway, 7. Denmark, 8. Finland, 9. Belgium, 10. Netherlands
The Best Safaris in South Africa
Kenya is like if Tanzania was more like South Africa
Tanzania is by far the most similar country to Kenya. However, they do have a few noticeable differences. Tanzania has far more Muslims. It also gets more rainfall than Kenya. Furthermore, its infrastructure is not as well developed. South Africa is one country that has these traits of Kenya than Tanzania lacks. Both countries have drier climates and less Muslims than Tanzania.
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Kenya
All data accurate as of 2020.
Most Similar Demographics: Uganda
Most Similar Culture: Tanzania
Most Similar Government: Nigeria
Most Similar Infrastructure: Tanzania
Most Similar Geography: Tanzania
Least Similar Demographics: Japan
Least Similar Culture: Japan
Least Similar Government: North Korea
Least Similar Infrastructure: United States
Least Similar Geography: Iceland