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 Paraguay
Paraguay is a Latin American country. The five most similar countries to Paraguay are all predominately Catholic and most of their people natively speak Romance languages. The four most similar use Spanish as their official language. However, Paraguay is also unique since most people there can speak both Spanish and Guarani. The five most similar countries also have tropical climates as well.
- Bolivia is the only other landlocked South American country. Paraguay gained control over a large section of Bolivia during the Chaco War. Both countries have many speakers of native South American languages. However, Guarani is not even in the same language family as Quechua and Aymara, the indigenous languages most spoken in Bolivia. In addition, Paraguay has more conservative laws.
- Peru is another country with many native South Americans. Both countries have a similar standard of living too. They both use the standard gauge railroad tracks and drive on the right but do not have well developed infrastructure. However, Peru is much more mountainous and the crops grown in both countries are not similar. Peru grows less soybean, but more coffee and corn than Paraguay.
- Uruguay‘s climate is very similar to Paraguay’s. As a result, both countries grow a lot of soybean. In addition, they also are not very mountainous. Both countries rely primarily on hydropower to create electricity. However, Uruguay is significantly wealthier than Paraguay. In addition, its government is more liberal. Furthermore, Uruguay’s population has much less Native American ancestry and more European ancestry.
- Colombia is located to the north of Peru. Both countries have a similar standard of living and also many people with mixed European and Native South American ancestry. Like Paraguay, its people mostly work in the service sector, but there are also significant percentages of agricultural and industrial workers. However, Colombia’s laws are more liberal than Paraguay’s since it allows abortion and same sex marriage.
- Brazil is also similar to Paraguay, although most of their people speak Portuguese, not Spanish. Southern Brazil’s landscape is extremely similar to Paraguay’s. Both countries are relatively flat and mainly grow soybean. Brazil and Paraguay also primarily rely on hydropower for electricity. They also are part of the Mercosur free trade zone. However, Brazil has far more coastline.
- Venezuela, 7. Ecuador, 8. Argentina, 9. Nicaragua, 10. Mexico
Top 10 Countries Least Similar to Paraguay
Four of the five least similar countries to Paraguay are located on the Arabian Peninsula. They are predominately Muslim and use Arabic as their official language. These countries also get much less rainfall and a lower percentage of their land is used for agriculture in stark contrast to Paraguay. They are also much wealthier.
- Japan is by far the least similar country to Paraguay. It is an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean that is one of the furthest countries in distance to Paraguay. The country has little technological or cultural similarity to Japan. In addition, while Japan is quite mountainous, Paraguay is flat. The country is far less religious. Its technology standards are also quite different, since it drives on the left, uses Type A, B electrical outlets, unlike Japan.
- Bahrain is a small, densely populated island located in the Persian Gulf. While Paraguay is a democracy with liberal laws, Bahrain is a monarchy with conservative laws. Its climate is much drier than Paraguay’s as well. The country relies on natural gas to create electricity. Still, both countries are relatively flat.
- Qatar is extremely similar to Bahrain. It is a peninsula in the Persian Gulf, connected to Saudi Arabia. It has one of the highest GDPs per capita in the world in contrast to Paraguay. Furthermore, it has a far higher percentage of males, since a high percentage of its population consists of migrant construction workers.
- Saudi Arabia‘s government is an absolute monarchy and it has much more conservative laws than Paraguay. The country does not allow alcohol, prostitution, or pornography. While Saudi Arabia’s electricity depends on fossil fuels, Paraguay primarily uses hydropower. Its landscape is barren and more mountainous than Paraguay.
- Kuwait is a small Arabic-speaking country on this list. It is located between Iraq and Saudi Arabia. It is another oil-rich country that is ruled by a monarch. It is also highly developed and urbanized, in contrast to Paraguay. While Paraguay is landlocked, Kuwait has far more shipping infrastructure.
- Singapore , 7. United Arab Emirates, 8. Taiwan, 9. Oman, 10. Eritrea
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Paraguay is like if Bolivia was more like Uruguay
According to the Index, Bolivia is the most similar country to Paraguay. However, there are a few characteristics of Paraguay that Bolivia lacks. The data shows Uruguay has many of these traits. Uruguay and Paraguay are less mountainous than Bolivia. They are also more democratic than Bolivia. In addition, they both primarily use hydropower to create electricity. They also have better internet speeds.
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Paraguay
All data accurate as of 2020.
Most Similar Demographics: Ecuador
Most Similar Culture: Colombia
Most Similar Government: Honduras
Most Similar Infrastructure: Albania
Most Similar Geography: Brazil
Least Similar Demographics: Niger
Least Similar Culture: Japan
Least Similar Government: Saudi Arabia
Least Similar Infrastructure: Japan
Least Similar Geography: Bahrain