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 Montenegro
Montenegro is a European country. The four most similar countries to it were once part of Yugoslavia. Most of their people speak Slavic languages. With the exception of Croatia, they also use the Cyrillic alphabet. In addition, four of the five countries have predominately Christian populations. Another aspect they have in common is that they have parliamentary governments and similar laws.
- Bosnia & Herzegovina is to the north of Montenegro. Both countries speak Serbo-Croatian and have a mix of Christians and Muslims, although Bosnia has a higher percentage of Muslims and Catholics. As a result of such religious diversity, its political system is also unique. Both have quite hilly terrain and border the Mediterranean Sea, although Bosnia & Herzegovina has less coastline.
- Serbia and Montenegro were one country until they split up in 2006. Both countries speak Serbo-Croatian and a majority of their people are Orthodox Christian. They also use a mix of coal and hydropower to create electricity. However, there are some minor differences between the two countries. Serbia is landlocked, while most of the people in Montenegro live near the coast. In addition, Serbians tend to drink less wine than people from Montenegro.
- Croatia also speaks Serbo-Croatian, but it is mostly Catholic and does not use the Cyrillic alphabet. Interestingly enough, although Croatia is part of the European Union, it has not adopted the Euro as its currency yet, while Montenegro has despite not actually being in the European Union. Croatia also has a higher standard of living than Montenegro. Still, both countries have a lot of coastline on the Adriatic Sea.
- North Macedonia is yet another country on this list that was once part of Yugoslavia. The majority of the people in both countries are Orthodox Christians, but they also have a significant Muslim population. However, the Macedonian language isn’t mutually intelligible with Serbo-Croatian, although they are both Slavic languages. Furthermore, it has a greater percentage of Albanians than Montenegro. Another difference is that the country is landlocked.
- Bulgaria is the only country on this list that was not part of Yugoslavia. It is another predominately Slavic country that is mostly Orthodox Christian. In addition, both countries use Cyrillic for their writing. They also have nice beaches, but Bulgaria is located on the Black Sea, not the Adriatic Sea. While both countries have a small minority of Muslims in their country, the ones in Bulgaria tend to be Turkish.
- Slovenia, 7. Slovakia, 8. Albania, 9. Greece, 10. Ukraine
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Top 10 Countries Least Similar to Montenegro
The least similar countries to Montenegro are all predominately Muslim. Most people in four of the five least similar countries speak Afro-Asiatic languages. They also have a much lower standard of living than Montenegro. With the exception of Bangladesh, their landscapes are mostly barren, due to their climate being much drier and hotter.
- Somalia is an impoverished Muslim country in Africa that is currently in a civil war. Its climate is much hotter and drier than Montenegro. Somalia also has a lot of coastline, but is not very mountainous. A low percentage of its land is used for agriculture. Still both countries drive on the right side of the road and use Type C, F outlets.
- Chad is a landlocked country in the Sahara Desert. It was once a colony of France, but uses both French and Arabic as official languages. Although it is mostly Muslim, it also does have a significant Christian population as well. Its government has been run by a dictator for decades, so it is significantly less democratic.
- Sudan is between Chad and Somalia. It is located in the Sahara Desert and borders the Red Sea. Due to civil war, the country recently lost some territory to the newly formed country of South Sudan. Sudan follows conservative Muslim laws that forbid abortion or homosexuality, but allow polygamy, so its laws are far different from Montenegro.
- Yemen is also far different from Montenegro. Yemen has a desert climate and a low percentage of forested and agricultural land. It has much more conservative laws than Montenegro as well. Its infrastructure is far less developed than Montenegro due to civil war. Still, the people in both countries are considered to be Caucasian.
- Bangladesh is located in a low-lying wet river delta landscape and is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. It gets far more rainfall than Montenegro. Their cuisine is also far different. Bangladesh’s is heavily based on rice. Their sports culture is especially different, since Bangladesh is much more interested in cricket than soccer. However, one similarity is that most people in both countries speak Indo-European languages.
- Eritrea, 7. Solomon Islands, 8. South Sudan, 9. Niger, 10. Cambodia
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Montenegro is like if Bosnia was more like Greece
While Bosnia & Herzegovina is the most similar country to Montenegro, according to the Index, it also has a few significant differences. Greece is one country that has more traits in common with Montenegro than it does with Bosnia. Greece and Montenegro have a higher percentage of Orthodox Christians. In addition, they both use the Euro as currency. They also tend to drink more wine than Bosnians. Furthermore, Bosnia has not yet made the full transition from analog to digital TV broadcasting. They also have more coastline, since Bosnia is nearly landlocked.
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Montenegro
All data accurate as of 2020.
Most Similar Demographics: Serbia
Most Similar Culture: Serbia
Most Similar Government: Slovakia
Most Similar Infrastructure: North Macedonia
Most Similar Geography: Bosnia & Herzegovina
Least Similar Demographics: Niger
Least Similar Culture: Myanmar
Least Similar Government: Yemen
Least Similar Infrastructure: Haiti
Least Similar Geography: Bahrain
6. SLOVAKIA and Montenegro were both once part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Both countries are highly religious and speak Slavic languages. However, unlike Montenegro, Slovakia is in the European Union. One difference is that Slovakians prefer ice hockey to basketball. Both countries are fairly mountainous, but Slovakia is landlocked. Another difference is that Slovakia is a Catholic country, in contrast Montenegro being Orthodox.
7. SLOVENIA is the only other former country of Yugoslavia that also borders Croatia. Both countries are also quite religious. Both countries exclusively use the Latin script, however the Slovenian language is slightly different from Serbo-Croatian. The two have also won skiing and rowing medals at the Olympics. Their agriculture is similar as well, since they both predominately produce corn and wheat. However, Slovenia has very little coastline, is in the European Union, and is Catholic.