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.
Lithuania is a European country. Many countries in the region are similar to it. The top five countries most similar to Lithuania are all multi-party democracies that are part of the European Union. With the exception of Estonia, most people in these countries speak languages from the Balto-Slavic branch and use the Latin alphabet. Furthermore, except for Poland, these countries are not especially religious. In addition, the most similar countries to Lithuania all have relatively temperate climates.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Lithuania
- Latvia is just north of Lithuania. Latvian is the most similar language to Lithuanian. In addition, among former countries that were once part of the Soviet Union, it has the next highest percentage of Catholics, comprising roughly 25% of the population. The countries also have extremely similar geography. Both countries grow mostly wheat, but also barley, oats, and rapeseed. However, Latvia has a parliamentary form of government. It also has less conservative laws, since it allows prostitution and the sale of pornography, unlike Lithuania.
- Estonia is another former country Soviet country that borders the Baltic Sea. However, there are some significant differences as well. Estonian is not an Indo-European language. Furthermore, the country is mostly Protestant, however neither country is particularly religious. Both countries have very little air traffic, but have a relatively high number of vehicles per capita.
- Poland and Lithuania were united for over 200 years, before being split up by Austria, Prussia, and Russia. They are both Catholic countries that speak languages from the Balto-Slavic branch. In addition, both countries use the semi-presidential system of government, although Poland has a bicameral legislature. However, their infrastructure is slightly different, since Poland was not part of the Soviet Union, so it uses Type C, E electrical outlets and standard gauge railroad tracks.
- Czechia is located to the south of Poland. While both countries are primarily Catholic, Czechs tend to be less religious. The people in both countries also consume a lot of alcohol, however Lithuanians drink more spirits. Another big culture difference is that Czechs are much more interested in soccer and ice hockey than basketball. It also relies on coal to create electricity, unlike Lithuania.
- Slovakia borders both Poland and Czechia. However, unlike those countries, Slovakia has adopted the Euro as currency. Their economic situation and level of development is comparable to Lithuania as well. One big difference is that Slovakia is landlocked and more mountainous. Another difference is that it produces most of its electricity from nuclear power.
- Slovenia, 7. Croatia, 8. Belarus, 9. Ukraine, 10. Hungary
The majority of the people in the five least similar countries to Lithuania speak Afro-Asiatic languages. The four least similar countries are all located close to the Red Sea and have hot, dry climates. With the exception of Eritrea, the least similar countries are also mostly Muslim. Furthermore, these countries have a much lower standard of living than Lithuania. They are also far less democratic.
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Lithuania
- Somalia is the least similar country to Lithuania. It is an anarchic, Muslim country that has poorly developed infrastructure. In addition, its hot desert climate contrasts Lithuania’s cool temperate forest landscape. Furthermore, pork is by far the most consumed meat in Lithuania, while in Somalia, it is forbidden. Still, one similarity is that both of their languages use the Latin alphabet.
- Eritrea is located on the Red Sea to the northwest of Somalia. Its government has been a dictatorship for almost 20 years, unlike the current stable democracy in Lithuania. Its also has a unique language and writing system that is completely different from Lithuanian. However, over half of the people in the country are Christian, although they are part of the unique Oriental Orthodox denomination.
- Sudan is in the Sahara Desert, next to Eritrea. The country recently lost some territory to the newly formed country of South Sudan, due to civil war. A majority of its people speak Arabic. It is mostly Muslim and has far more conservative laws than Lithuania. It does not allow alcohol, abortion, or gambling.
- Yemen is located on the Arabian Peninsula, across the Red Sea from Eritrea. It is another conservative Muslim country that has poorly developed infrastructure, due to civil war. The country is also quite mountainous and its landscape is mostly barren, in contrast to Lithuania. However, most people in these countries are considered to be Caucasian, although they tend to look considerably different.
- Niger is a landlocked, predominately Muslim country in the middle of the Sahara Desert. The country has the youngest population in the world, in stark contrast to Lithuania, which is much older. It also has one of the highest birthrates in the world, while Lithuania has one of the lowest. However, they do use the Latin alphabet, since it was colonized by France.
- Chad, 7. Solomon Islands, 8. Bhutan, 9. Ethiopia, 10. Papua New Guinea
Lithuania is like if Latvia was more like Poland
According to the Index, Latvia is the most similar country to Lithuania. However, these countries also have some significant differences. The data shows that Poland has many of the characteristics of Lithuania that Latvia lacks. Both Poland and Lithuania are mostly Catholic. Their people also tend to be more outgoing than Latvians, according to the Lewis Model. Furthermore, they both use the semi-presidential form of government.
Do you agree with the list?
Please leave any thoughts in the comments section.