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 Countries Most Similar to Luxembourg
Luxembourg is a European country. Many countries are similar to it in the region. The top five most similar countries to Luxembourg all have significant Catholic populations, although their people are not very religious. Four of the five most similar countries to Luxembourg border the North Sea. These countries also have a high level of development and their democratic governments also have relatively liberal laws.
- Belgium is another country with a mix of French and Germanic traits. French and German are official languages in both countries, although Dutch is more commonly spoken in Belgium. A province of Belgium was even v once part of Luxembourg and is actually named Luxembourg too. Both countries are mostly Catholic. One difference is that Luxembourg is landlocked. According to the Lewis Model, Belgians also tend to be more outgoing as well.
- Germany is to the northeast of Luxembourg. They were both once part of the Holy Roman Empire. Luxembourg had also been part of the German Customs Union before the European Union. Luxembourgish is a Germanic language that is similar to German. However, Germany has a higher percentage of Protestants than Luxembourg. Although both countries have parliamentary governments and have similar laws, Germany has a bicameral legislature and an elected head of state.
- Austria and Luxembourg were both ruled by the Habsburgs, even though they are not adjacent to each other. Both countries are mostly Catholic and have German as an official language. One big difference is their geography. Austria is much more mountainous, although both countries are landlocked. It is also less densely populated and has more forested land. Furthermore, Austria does not depend on natural gas to create electricity, like Luxembourg does, since it has more hydropower plants.
- France is to the southwest of Luxembourg. Both countries have many French speakers and are mostly Catholic. Luxembourg had actually been under French control between 1686 to 1815, when it was given autonomy during the Congress of Vienna. One difference is that Luxembourg has a parliamentary form of government with a constitutional monarch, while France was one of the first countries to abolish their monarchy.
- Netherlands is even further to the north of Luxembourg than Belgium. Luxembourgish is a Germanic language that is similar to Dutch. Like Germany, it has a higher percentage of Protestants than Luxembourg, although both countries are not very religious. While both countries are quite flat and densely populated, one big difference is that the Netherlands has a lot more coastline.
- Switzerland, 7. Czechia, 8. Slovenia, 9. Denmark, 10. Slovakia
Top 10 Countries Least Similar to Luxembourg
The four least similar countries to Luxembourg are located around the Red Sea. These countries all have large populations of Muslims. In addition, they have hot desert climates and sparsely populated, barren landscapes that are massively different from Luxembourg. Furthermore, the standard of living in all these countries is quite low.
- Somalia is located in Africa on the Indian Ocean coast. It is an anarchic, Muslim country with poorly developed infrastructure, due to civil war. Its laws are very conservative, in contrast to more liberal Luxembourg. However, despite the fact that Somali is completely unrelated to French or German, they also use the Latin alphabet.
- Eritrea borders Sudan and the Red Sea. While a majority of its population is Christian, its people are part of the unique Oriental Orthodox denomination and more religious than people in Luxembourg. Its government has been a dictatorship for almost 20 years. Its people natively speak a semitic language and use the unique Ge’ez writing system.
- Sudan borders the Red Sea. It is located in the Sahara Desert. It is a predominately Muslim country and most of its people speak Arabic natively. Like Somalia, its infrastructure and standard of living have suffered due to civil war. It recently lost some territory to the newly formed country of South Sudan..
- Yemen is across the Red Sea from Eritrea. Unlike other countries on the Arabian Peninsula, it is poorly developed due to civil war. While people in Luxembourg tend to be quite tall, Yemen is one of the shortest countries in the world. The country is also more mountainous than Luxembourg. Still, Yemenis are considered to be Caucasian, although their ancestry is significantly different from people in Luxembourg.
- Papua New Guinea is country located on a tropical island in the Pacific Ocean. Its infrastructure is especially different from Luxembourg, since it drives on the left, uses Type I electrical outlets, and does not have a railroad. Still, both countries are mostly Christian and use the Latin alphabet for their writing.
- South Sudan, 7. Myanmar, 8. Cambodia, 9. Tanzania, 10. Gambia
Luxembourg is like if Belgium was more like Switzerland
The most similar country to Luxembourg is Belgium, according to the Index. However, the data indicates that Switzerland has some characteristics of Luxembourg that Belgium lacks. These countries are wealthier than Belgium, due in part to their respective banking industries. Another difference is that people from Switzerland and Luxembourg tend to be less outgoing than Belgians, according to the Lewis Index. In addition, both countries are landlocked.
All data accurate as of 2020.