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.
Liberia is a country in Sub-Saharan Africa. The top four countries most similar to Liberia are other West African countries which have English as one of their official languages. In addition, all of the countries in the top five have tropical climates and border the Atlantic Ocean. Another characteristic the most similar countries to Liberia have in common is significant populations of both Christians and Muslims. These countries also do not have well developed infrastructure.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Liberia
- Sierra Leone is located just to the north of Liberia. It is another country founded to resettle freed African slaves. The official language is English in both countries as well. However, Sierra Leone was founded by the the British, not Americans. Still, the countries both have governments that modeled after the United States. They both use presidential system and their courts use a mixture of common and customary African law. Liberia and Sierra Leone are mostly tropical rainforest and their main crop is rice. The biggest difference is that Sierra Leone has a higher Muslim population than Liberia.
- Ghana is another English-speaking country in West Africa. Both countries are mostly Protestant, but also have a significant percentage of Muslims. They are also both democracies that use the presidential system of government. However, their diets aree significantly different. While both countries eat a lot of cassava, Liberia grows and eats more rice. Another difference is that people in Ghana tend to be more educated and they have higher rates of literacy.
- Nigeria is similar to Ghana. It is yet another English-speaking African country in West Africa. However, Nigeria has a higher percentage of Muslims. It also gets less rainfall, so the country is less densely forested. Nigeria is also more densely populated. Furthermore, many people in Nigeria speak Afro-Asiatic languages, not Niger-Congo languages. Its climate is also drier than Liberia’s.
- Cameroon is not in West Africa, but it still has a lot in common with Liberia. Both countries are mostly Christian, although Cameroon has more Catholics, since it was once a French colony. Although French is the lingua franca there, English is also an official language. Furthermore, their geography is quite similar. Both countries have tropical forests, although Cameroon has more savanna land. Cameroon’s government is also less democratic, but their laws are extremely similar. Both criminalize same sex relationships and allow polygamy. Furthermore, both countries do not allow prostitution, but allow the sale of pornography.
- Guinea borders Liberia to its north. Both countries grow a lot of rice, although Guinea’s climate tends to be a little drier. A significant amount of the population in both countries speak Mande languages. Their diets are also extremely similar, both countries eat a lot of rice and cassava. However, Guineans are mostly Muslim and drink a lower amount of alcohol than Liberians. Furthermore, it was once a French colony.
- Tanzania, 7. Ivory Coast, 8. Democratic Republic of Congo, 9. Benin, 10. Zambia
The least similar countries to Liberia are all located in Asia and four of the five are in the Middle East. With the exception of Japan, the native people in these countries speak Afro-Asiatic languages and also have much drier climates than Liberia. The infrastructure in the five least similar countries is far more developed as well. Four of the five countries still have monarchs, although Japan’s has little power.
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Liberia
- Japan is by far the least similar country to Liberia. Its demographics and culture are especially different. Its language and writing system are completely unrelated than those used in Liberia. Its people are also less religious than Liberians. Not only is their infrastructure much more developed, but they also drive on the left and use a different TV broadcast standard. Still, one similarity is that they both use Type A, B electrical plus. Furthermore, both countries tend to farm and eat a lot of rice.
- Bahrain is a small densely populated island that is located in the Persian Gulf. It is a mostly Muslim country. The country has many skyscrapers, while Liberia does not have any skyscrapers in the entire country. Its population is also far wealthier than Liberia as well. Furthermore, Bahrain has a much higher percentage of males.
- Saudi Arabia‘s government is far different from Liberia. Its laws are more conservative. It does not allow alcohol, abortion, prostitution, or gambling. It is less densely populated than Liberia and much of its land is far from the coast. Due to an abundance of oil, like other countries on this list it is far wealthier than Liberia.
- Israel is located on the African tectonic plate, but it has little else in common with Liberia. Its population is mostly Jewish and most of its people natively speak Hebrew. The country’s infrastructure is also far more advanced than Liberia. They also have less strict gun control laws and far more guns per capita.
- Qatar is yet another Arab country on this list. Qatar is quite similar to Bahrain. It is very wealthy and has a high standard of living. However, it is also less democratic than Liberia, since monarchs there still have a lot of power. Like Bahrain, it has a much higher percentage of males, since many migrant construction workers have moved there.
- Kuwait, 7. Luxembourg, 8. United Arab Emirates, 9. Finland, 10. China
Liberia is like if Sierra Leone was more like the Bahamas
The most similar country to Liberia is Sierra Leone, according to the Index. However, Liberia has a greater degree of characteristics from North America, since it was founded by Americans. The data shows that the Bahamas is another country that has many of the aspects that Sierra Leone lacks. Both the Bahamas and Liberia are mostly Protestant, while Sierra Leone is predominately Muslim. The Bahamas and Liberia also use Type A, B electrical outlets. They use the same voltage and frequency as well.
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