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.
Moldova is a European country. The five most similar countries to it were all members of the Eastern Bloc or part of the Soviet Union, until the end of the Cold War. In addition, the majority of the people in the these countries are Orthodox Christians. These countries all have temperate climates and most of their landscape is covered by farmland. Interestingly enough, most people in four of the five most similar countries are Slavic, unlike Moldovans.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Moldova
- Romania had ruled Moldova until the end of World War II, when it became part of the Soviet Union. Both countries speak Romanian and have similar customs and traditions. However, Romania is larger and more developed. It also borders the Black Sea and is fairly mountainous. However, unlike Moldova, it is now part of the European Union. Its people are also wealthier on average.
- Ukraine is the only country in the former Soviet Union that borders Moldova. It has similar infrastructure and standards of living. Its agriculture is almost identical as well, since they both grow a mix of corn, sunflower, and wheat on their many farms. The biggest difference between Moldova and Ukraine is their language. Still, the Russian language understood by a large percentage of people in Moldova. Another difference is that most of Ukraine’s electricity comes from nuclear power.
- Serbia was not in the Soviet Union, but it also many similar traits with Moldova. Both countries are landlocked and have a similar climate. In addition, both countries use the Latin alphabet, although Cyrillic is also used in Serbia. Both countries have a coat of arms displayed on their flag with an eagle. They also have a parliamentary system of government with a unicameral legislature.
- Belarus is another country in the former Soviet Union that is landlocked and quite flat, with a high percentage of its land devoted to agriculture. In addition, both countries rely on natural gas to create electricity. However, one big difference is that Belarus is not a democracy, although the governments of both countries are quite corrupt. Its climate is also colder and cornfields are less common in Belarus.
- Bulgaria is another predominately Orthodox Christian nation, although it is less religious. It is just to the south of Romania, across the Danube River. Their laws are also quite similar, except that unorganized prostitution is allowed in Bulgaria. However, like other countries on this list, linguistically Bulgaria and Moldova are far apart since Bulgaria speaks a Slavic language and uses the Cyrillic script. Its climate is also warmer, since it is further south.
- Hungary, 7. Slovakia, 8. Lithuania, 9. North Macedonia, 10. Armenia
Few countries are far different from Moldova. The least similar countries to it are in two geographic regions: the Red Sea and the South Pacific Ocean. These countries have drastically different landscapes than Moldova. A low percentage of their land used for agriculture. In addition, these countries tend to have a lot of coastline as well.
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Moldova
- Solomon Islands, like Moldova, is a Christian country, however they are mostly Protestant. Apart from their religion and writing system, the countries have little similarity, especially geographically. Solomon Islands is a sparsely populated, tropical island, with a small percentage of agricultural land. Most of its people have Melanesian ancestry. The country’s infrastructure is also quite different. It drives on the left and use Type I electrical outlets.
- Papua New Guinea is similar to the Solomon Islands. It is another country located in the South Pacific. Not only does the country have little agricultural land, but its crops are vastly different from Moldova’s. It primarily grows coconuts and palm oil. The country is also far more mountainous than Moldova as well. In part due to the terrain, hydropower is the biggest source of electricity in the country.
- Somalia is across the Gulf of Aden. It is another anarchic, Muslim country that has poorly developed infrastructure. In addition, its hot desert climate contrasts Moldova’s temperate fields of agriculture. The country is also more sparsely populated and has a long coastline. Although the languages natively spoken in these countries are unrelated, the Somali language has adopted to Latin script.
- Yemen is located on the Arabian Peninsula, from Somalia. It is a conservative Muslim country whose infrastructure is underdeveloped due to civil war. The country has extremely loose gun control laws and only the United States has more guns per capita. However, the people in both countries are considered to be Caucasian.
- Brunei, unlike other countries on this list, is a much wealthier nation than Moldova. The country is mostly Muslim. Its land is almost entirely forested and much of its land is close to the coast. In addition, its government is ruled by an absolute monarch, so it is far less democratic. Its laws are also more conservative.
- Eritrea, 7. Bhutan, 8. Taiwan, 9. Japan, 10. Singapore
Moldova is like if Romania was more like Belarus
Romania is by far the most similar country to Moldova. However, they still have a few differences. Belarus is one country that has many characteristics of Moldova that Romania lacks. Both countries were once part of the Soviet Union, unlike Romania. In addition, they are landlocked and less mountainous than Romania. Furthermore, both Belarus and Moldova are highly reliant on natural gas to create electricity.
Do you agree with the list?
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