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 Oman
Oman is an Arab country in the Middle East. The top five countries most similar to it are all part of the Gulf Cooperation Council. They are also predominately Muslim and use Arabic as their official language. Furthermore, while these countries do not have a shared currency, all of their currencies have a fixed exchange rate with the US dollar. They are also all monarchies and are some of the richest Arab countries. Another aspect they share in common is that they have barren landscape due to their hot, dry climate.
- United Arab Emirates is north of Oman. In fact, there are several enclaves of Oman within the United Arab Emirates. Furthermore, although neither country has a lot of agricultural land, most of it is used to grow dates. There are some big differences as well. While skyscrapers are banned in Oman, the United Arab Emirates has the tallest building in the world. It also has more immigrants than Oman.
- Bahrain also borders the Persian Gulf and has a long history trading. In addition, Oman and Bahrain are both reliant on natural gas to create electricity. Furthermore, neither country has a railroad. However, Bahrain is much more densely populated and has a lot of skyscrapers. It also has faster internet speeds.
- Kuwait is another country that borders Saudi Arabia. Both Oman and Kuwait have great maritime trading traditions and still have important port cities. As a result, these countries tend to be more religiously tolerant than other Arab countries. They both have a mix of different Muslim denominations, although Kuwait has more Shi’ites, while Oman has more Ibadi Muslims.
- Saudi Arabia and Oman are both absolute monarchies with no judicial review. Both countries do not allow gambling, prostitution, or the possession of pornography. However, unlike Saudi Arabia, Oman does allow alcohol. In addition, both countries are mostly barren desert and have a similar population density.
- Qatar is yet another country on the Arabian Peninsula on this list. Although both countries are ruled by monarchs, Qatar has a head of government that is appointed by the monarch. Their laws are also very similar. Both countries provide tuition free college for their citizens. Still, it is much more densely populated than Qatar and less mountainous.
- Jordan, 7. Libya, 8. Iraq, 9. Egypt, 10. Yemen
Top 10 Countries Least Similar to Oman
The four of the five least similar countries to Oman have a lower standard of living and less developed infrastructure. In addition, four of the five have a much greater area of forested and agricultural land, since they get more rainfall. These countries also tend to have far fewer immigrants than Oman as well.
- Japan is also technically in Asia, but other than that it has little similarity to Japan. It has temperate climate and much of its land is forested, in contrast to the hot, dry Oman. Not only is its geography significantly different, but also its demographics, culture, politics, and technology. While Japan has an extensive railroad network, Oman does not even have a railroad, although there are plans to create one.
- North Korea is another East Asian country on this list, although it is vastly different from Japan. Although both Oman and North Korea are both ruled by autocratic leaders, the countries have little else in common. The country’s climate is much colder and more of its land is used for agriculture. Furthermore, North Koreans tend to be far less religious than people from Oman. The country also has a much lower standard of living.
- Lesotho is completely surrounded by South Africa. Although both countries are relatively dry, Lesotho has a colder climate. Even though both countries have few forests, Lesotho’s terrain is vegetated, unlike Oman. The country is mostly Christian. English is the official language there, but its people speak Bantu languages. In addition, the country drives on the left and uses Type M electrical outlets.
- Mozambique is a former Portuguese colony in Africa. Although both countries border the Indian Ocean and Omanis historically traded as far south as Mozambique, the country has little else in common with Oman, except that about 20% of people in Mozambique are Muslim. It is far less developed than Oman. Its infrastructure is also much different, since it drives on the left and use C, F, and M electrical outlets.
- Haiti is the least similar country in the Western Hemisphere. Its people are predominately Catholic and have mostly African ancestry. Although there is little forest cover in both countries, Haiti’s climate is wetter and it has a much higher percentage of farmland. Most of its people are farmers, in contrast to more urbanized Oman. However, much of the land in both countries is close to the coast and they are at a similar latitude.
- Democratic Republic of Congo, 7. Taiwan, 8. Switzerland, 9. South Korea, 10. Burundi
Oman is like if the United Arab Emirates was more like Yemen
According to the Index, the United Arab Emirates is the most similar country to Oman. Still, the data indicates that Yemen is one country that is a lot more like Oman than it is like the United Arab Emirates. Both Yemen and Oman are on the southern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Another difference is these countries do not have skyscrapers, unlike the United Arab Emirates, which has the tallest building in the world. Furthermore, Oman and Yemen have less immigrants and they have a lower level of development, albeit Yemen’s is far lower.
All data accurate as of 2020.