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 Mauritius
Very few countries are similar to Mauritius, since it has a unique history. Despite being located in the Indian Ocean near Madagascar, it has more in common with countries in the Caribbean. The five most similar countries to Mauritius all have tropical climates. In addition, they all have a significant percentage of people who have Indian ancestry. Another thing these countries have in common is that they all drive on the left side of the road. The top four countries have English as one of their official languages.
Note: If the island of Reunion was considered a sovereign nation, then it would be by far the most similar country. It is another French speaking island in the Indian Ocean close to Mauritius, although it has a lower percentage of people with Indian ancestry.
- Trinidad & Tobago is another British colony where around half of the population has African ancestry and the other half has Indian ancestry. Both countries have a religiously diverse population as well, although Trinidad has more Christians, while Mauritius has more Hindus. Another difference is that its people natively speak English and not French Creole. Although they are both tropical islands, their agriculture is different. Nowadays, Trinidad & Tobago tends to grow more cocoa and coconuts than sugarcane.
- Fiji is located in the South Pacific Ocean. While both countries have a significant amount of people with Indian ancestry, Fiji also has many Melanesian people. Also the Indian people in Fiji generally speak Hindi natively, while those in Mauritius generally no longer do. The primary crop in both countries is sugarcane. One difference is sports, Fijians are much more interested in rugby and less interested in soccer than Mauritius.
- Sri Lanka is another densely populated tropical island located in the Indian Ocean, although it is much closer to India. Despite their similar climates, most of Sri Lanka’s farms produce rice. In addition, most of its people are Buddhist, not Hindu. Furthermore, Sri Lankans tend to be more interested in cricket than soccer. Sri Lanka also does not have a parliamentary system of government, like others on this list, but both countries have tuition free college and a single payer healthcare system.
- Guyana, unlike the first three countries, is not located on an island. It is former British colony located in South America. It has very similar demographics and culture to Trinidad & Tobago. Both countries have many people with African and Indian ancestry. However, Guyana is far less wealthy and much less densely populated. It is also more heavily forested and has a lower percentage of farmland than Mauritius.
- Suriname is to the east of Guyana. It was once ruled by the Netherlands, so its official language is Dutch, but English is still widespread there. Both countries have many people with African and Indian ancestry. However, Suriname has a much higher percentage of people with Asian ancestry. Like Guyana, it is also more heavily forested and has a lower percentage of farmland. Suriname’s public holidays are very similar to Mauritius. They both celebrate the Lunar New Year, Indian Arrival Day, Christmas, Diwali, and Eid al-Fitr.
- Belize, 7. Panama, 8. Jamaica, 9. Dominican Republic, 10. Costa Rica
Top 10 Countries Least Similar to Mauritius
Mauritius is relatively stable politically and also quite prosperous in contrast to the five least similar countries to it. Four of the five are located in deserts. With the exception of North Korea, they also have a large percentage of Muslims. Most people in these four countries natively speak Afro-Asiatic languages.
- Afghanistan is a landlocked, conservative Muslim country that is far less wealthy than Mauritius. Furthermore, the infrastructure in Afghanistan is far different from Mauritius since it drives on the right, uses Russian broad gauge railroad tracks, and Type C, F electrical outlets. Afghanistan also relies on hydropower for electricity, while Trinidad & Tobago relies on coal and oil.
- North Korea is the least similar country to Mauritius in East Asia. They havee little religious, cultural, or demographic similarity. North Korea’s government is especially different from Mauritius, since it is ruled by an authoritarian leader and a one-party communist government. While North Korea’s climate is much colder, they have a similar amount of forested and agricultural land. Furthermore, the land in both countries is close to the ocean.
- Yemen is in the Arabian Desert. Like Afghanistan, it is extremely poor and warn torn due to Civil War. It is another Muslim country with little demographic, cultural, or technological similarity to Mauritius. The country is mostly Muslim and its people natively speak Arabic. However, both countries do border the Indian Ocean.
- Eritrea is the only country on this list with a majority Christian population. However, they are mostly Oriental Orthodox. Its government has been a dictatorship for almost 20 years, while Mauritius is more democratic. However, most of the land in both countries is near the coast and they both have hot climates. Still, Eritrea’s climate is much drier.
- Sudan is located in the Sahara Desert. It borders Eritrea and the Red Sea. It is yet another conservative Muslim country on this list. In addition, its government is lead by the military, following a recent coup. However, both countries were under British administration in the past. Both countries also have a large amount of Sub-Saharan African ancestry.
- Mongolia, 7. China, 8. Laos, 9. Syria, 10. Mauritania
Mauritius is like if Trinidad & Tobago was more like India
According to the Index, Trinidad & Tobago is the most similar country to Mauritius. However, these countries are still quite different. Trinidad & Tobago is far away from Mauritius and it has a higher percentage of Christians and less Hindus. Furthermore, Trinidad & Tobago has had far more success in the Olympics. Because of these factors, the data indicates that India is one country that is significantly more like Mauritius than it is like Trinidad & Tobago.
All data accurate as of 2020.