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.
Mexico is a Latin American country. Many countries are similar to it in the region. The five most similar countries to Mexico are all predominately Catholic and most of their people natively speak Spanish. In addition, their infrastructure is similar. They all use Type A, B electrical outlets and drive on the right side of the road, but their railroad track gauge varies.
One surprising country that did not make the top five is Guatemala. One reason is that Guatemala has a much greater Native American influence. Around 30% of its people natively speak a Mayan language instead of Spanish. Furthermore, it has one of the highest percentage of Protestants in Latin America, although Catholics are still in the majority there. It is also less affluent than Mexico.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Mexico
- Colombia is the only South American country to border both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. It shares similar culture and demographics with Mexico. Both countries have a presidential system of government with civil law legal systems. Colombia’s electrical system is also very similar to Mexico since it uses Type A, B and uses a similar voltage. In addition, Colombia and Mexico have the most prominent drug trafficking cartels in history.
- Costa Rica was originally part of the Mexican Empire but later became independent. Like Colombia, it too has similar demographics and culture with Mexico. In addition, Mexico and Costa Rica have similar GDP per capita. However, Costa Rica is a safer and more peaceful country. It is one of the few countries that does not have a standing army. Furthermore, it gets much more rainfall on average than Mexico.
- El Salvador‘s agriculture is similar to Mexico. Both countries grow a lot of beans and corn. Although its culture and demographics are generally similar to Mexico, it is less wealthy and has less developed infrastructure. Furthermore, its government is more religious. While abortion is completely legal in Mexico, El Salvador is more conservative. It is one of the few countries that has banned abortion without any exceptions. El Salvador is also more densely populated.
- Ecuador is yet another Spanish speaking country similar to Mexico. It has particularly similar demographics, with a high percentage of Mestizos, however it has a larger percentage of people with African ancestry than Mexico. Both countries are quite mountainous and have about the same percentage of agricultural land. However, Ecuador’s climate is not as dry and less corn is grown there.
- Venezuela is another country that borders the Caribbean Sea. It also has similar sports culture. Both countries have won Olympic medals in Boxing, Taekwondo, and Track & Field. In addition, both countries love soccer, but also have interest in baseball and basketball. However, its government is significantly less democratic and more anarchic. Their infrastructure is also similar, since both countries use Type A, B electrical outlets, drive on the right side of the road and use the standard railroad gauge.
- Dominican Republic, 7. Panama, 8. Guatemala, 9. Honduras, 10. Peru
The five least similar countries to Mexico are all predominately Muslim. Most people in four of the five countries natively speak Afro-Asiatic languages. With the exception of Bangladesh, their landscapes tend to be drier and more barren than Mexico’s. Their governments also have more conservative laws. They do not allow abortion or same sex marriage. Furthermore, they have more restrictions on drugs.
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Mexico
- Somalia is African country located on the Indian Ocean. Its governmental policies influenced by its Muslim population are extremely conservative, compared to more liberal Mexico. In addition, its diet is quite different since Somalians drink very little alcohol and eat little meat. The biggest similarity between the two countries is that they have dry climates and a lot of coastline, although it is far less mountainous. They also both use the Latin alphabet, although the Somali language is unrelated to Spanish.
- Sudan is another predominately Muslim country in Africa, but it is located in Sahara Desert. Like Somalia, it has recently gone through civil war. As a result, it lost some territory to the newly formed country of South Sudan. Its conservative governmental policies are quite unlike Mexico’s. It does not allow alcohol or gambling. The country is also much less democratic.
- Yemen is located in the Arabian Desert across the Gulf of Aden from Somalia and Sudan. It is another Muslim country with little demographic, cultural, or technological similarity to Mexico. Its government is also less democratic and more anarchic. Yemen also has significantly more firearms per person and its gun control laws are less restrictive. Still, both countries are fairly mountainous and have lots of coastline.
- Bangladesh is located in a low-lying wet river delta landscape and is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. In comparison, Mexico is dry, mountainous, and sparsely populated. Their cuisine is also far different. While Mexico’s is heavily based in corn, Bangladesh’s is based in rice. Their sports culture is especially different, since Bangladesh is much more interested in cricket than soccer. Although most people in both countries speak Indo-European languages, Bangladesh does not use the Latin script.
- Niger is a relatively flat, landlocked country in the middle of the Sahara Desert. It was once a colony of France, before becoming independent. It is one of the least developed countries in the world. A low percentage of people are literate there. Its agriculture is also far different from Mexico, since they tend to grow a lot of millet and sorghum there.
- Eritrea 7. Mauritania, 8. North Korea, 9. Afghanistan, 10. Chad
Mexico is like if Colombia was more like the United States
According to the Index, Colombia is the most similar country to Mexico. However, they still have some significant differences. The data indicates that the United States is one country that is significantly more like Mexico than it is to Colombia. Both the United States and Mexico are in North America, unlike Colombia. They also get much less rainfall on average and have more cornfields. Furthermore, Mexico and United States use the same TV broadcasting standard and typical railroad track gauge, unlike Colombia. Mexico is also slightly wealthier than Colombia.
Do you agree with the list?
Please leave any thoughts in the comments section.