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 Morocco
Morocco is an Arab-speaking country located in North Africa. The five most similar countries have Arabic as one of their official languages. Furthermore, most of their people are Sunni Muslims. They also have similar geography, since they have hot, dry climates. With the exception of Jordan, they all border the Mediterranean Sea. In addition, these countries are all reliant on fossil fuels to create electricity.
- Algeria is another former French protectorate. Both countries have many Berber people, but most people natively speak Arabic. From an infrastructure standpoint, they are also quite close. They are both part of synchronous electrical grid of Continental Europe and also use mostly natural gas to create electricity. Furthermore, both uses the standard railroad gauge as well. Still, Algeria’s territory is much larger than Morocco and most of it is inhabitable desert.
- Tunisia was also a French protectorate, like Algeria and Morocco, albeit for a longer time. The two countries share the same public religious holidays. They also both use Type C, E electrical outlets. Their geography is also quite similar, although they do not border each other. One difference is that Morocco is a constitutional monarchy and less democratic. Another difference is that Tunisia has a lower percentage of Berbers.
- Egypt is also located in North Africa and has a similar standard of living. However, Egypt has more of a British influence than Morocco. In addition, both countries governments are classified as authoritarian regimes, although Morocco is a constitutional monarchy, while Egypt is currently a military dictatorship. Their legal systems are also alike, since they use a mix of Civil and Muslim Law.
- Jordan is another Arabic-speaking country where the monarchy has considerable power, but both are reforming their governments to have more democratic elements. Both countries are relatively mountainous countries that are mostly desert. However, Jordan is in Asia and is nearly landlocked. Another difference is that it uses Type G electrical outlets.
- Syria is located to the north of Jordan. Both Morocco and Syria were once colonized by France. However, due to recent civil war, Syria’s infrastructure has been ravaged. While both countries use Type C, E electrical outlets, they are not on the same electrical grid. Another difference is that Syria is ruled by an authoritarian leader. It also has a higher percentage of Christians.
- Libya, 7. Mauritania, 8. Iraq, 9. Lebanon, 10. Oman
Top 10 Countries Least Similar to Morocco
The five least similar countries to Morocco are all islands located in the Pacific Ocean. They all get far more rainfall as well. Four of the five least similar countries drive on the left side of the road. The four least similar countries all have significantly more developed infrastructure. In addition, with the exception of Taiwan, they all use the parliamentary form of government.
- Japan‘s demographics, culture, and technology are especially different from Morocco. Its population is much older and its birth rate is quite low. Furthermore, its people are much less religious. Not only is its infrastructure much more developed, but it uses different standards. Vehicles drive on the left, the electrical outlets are Type A, B, and its trains mostly use the 3’6″ rail gauge.
- Taiwan is another island in the Pacific where most people have East Asian ancestry. Furthermore, Taiwan is one of the most liberal East Asia countries. Its government legalized gay marriage and also has few restrictions on abortion. Furthermore, its language and writing system are both unrelated to Arabic.
- Singapore is a densely populated island off the coast of Malaysia. In contrast to Morocco, it is not mountainous and it has far more skyscrapers. Singapore was once a British colony, so English is widespread there, although many people also natively speak Chinese there. However, one similarity is that around 15% of its citizens are Muslims.
- New Zealand is another archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, like Japan. It is also quite far away from Morocco, since it is in the Southern Hemisphere. Its infrastructure is also very different from Morocco since New Zealand uses Type I electrical outlets, drives on the left, and generates most of its electricity through hydropower. In addition, New Zealand’s laws are far more liberal. Still, both countries are mountainous.
- Solomon Islands is yet another former British colony on this list. It is a heavy forested group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean. The country’s demographics and culture are also quite different from Morocco. The country is predominately Christian and most of its people have Melanesian ancestry. Unlike other countries on this list, its standard of living is lower than Morocco’s.
- Bahamas, 7. South Korea, 8. North Korea, 9. Papua New Guinea, 10. Iceland
Morocco is like if Algeria was more like Turkey
Algeria is the most similar country to Morocco, according to the Index. However, one country that has a few traits of Morocco that Algeria lacks is Turkey. Morocco and Turkey have less restrictions on abortion than Algeria. They also rely more heavily on coal to create electricity. Turkey and Morocco are also more densely populated and have a higher percentage of agricultural land than Algeria.
All data accurate as of 2020.