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.
Peru is a Latin American country. Many countries in the region are similar to it. The five most similar countries to Peru are predominately Catholic. They were all once colonies of Spain, so they use Spanish as one of their official languages. These countries also have some of the highest amounts of Native American ancestry in Latin America. Another similarity is that they are all democracies that use the presidential system of government. With the exception of Bolivia, they all border the Pacific Ocean.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Peru
- Ecuador is another country located in the Andes Mountains that also has a significant population of Quechuan speakers. In addition, their governments are similar since they are both multi-party democracies with unicameral legislatures. Both countries have mandatory military service and legalized prostitution. However, one difference is that Ecuador allows same sex marriage, while Peru does not.
- Colombia is also in the Andes Mountains and has large percentage of rainforest. Both countries have a relatively low percentage of agricultural land, but grow coffee and rice. In addition, most of their electricity comes from hydropower and natural gas. However, Colombia has a larger percentage of people with African and European ancestry. Another difference is that Colombia has a much higher rate of homicide.
- Bolivia like Peru, has a significant amount of Quechuan speaking people. They were both part of the Incan Empire. Peru and Bolivia also have mostly tropical climates with some mountainous desert areas. Both have both Type A and Type C electrical outlets with 220 voltage. They also use the ISDB broadcast standard for their television networks. However, Bolivia is less affluent and its infrastructure is not as well developed.
- Guatemala is the most similar county to Peru outside of South America. Both countries have a high percentage of Native American ancestry and many people there still natively speak indigenous languages, not Spanish. However, Guatemala’s indigenous Mayan culture is quite different from Bolivia’s. Another difference is that there is a significantly higher percentage of Protestants in Guatemala, although both are mostly Catholic.
- Mexico is in North America, but it still shares many similar traits with Peru. The predominant race of both countries is Mestizo. They also have both rainforest and desert areas, although Mexico’s climate is drier on average. In addition, both countries drive on the right and have standard gauge railroads, but their networks are mainly for freight, not passengers. One big difference is that the Mexican diet has far more corn in it than Peru’s.
- Panama, 7. Chile, 8. El Salvador, 9. Paraguay, 10. Nicaragua
Four of the five least similar countries to Peru are predominately Muslim, Arabic-speaking countries located in desert climates. These countries also have more conservative laws than Peru. In addition, the four least similar countries are all far wealthier and have more developed infrastructure. With the exception of Sudan, these countries tend to have many skyscrapers.
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Peru
- Bahrain is a small, densely populated, and highly developed island in the Persian Gulf. Its climate is extremely dry, in contrast to the tropical rainforests of Peru. Furthermore, the country is mostly Muslim. In addition, its government is a monarchy, not a democracy. However, it is slightly less wealthy than some of the other countries on the Arabian Peninsula.
- 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 Peru. In addition, its government is a monarchy, not a democracy. Like Bahrain, its government is also run by an absolute monarch. It also has far more men than women, since the country has many immigrant construction workers.
- Kuwait is located in the Arabian Desert between Iraq and Saudi Arabia. It is another extremely wealthy, developed, and highly urbanized Muslim country on this list. Its terrain is quite flat and it does not get much rainfall. While both countries drive on the right, Kuwait uses Type G electrical outlets. There are also no railroads in Kuwait.
- Japan also borders the Pacific Ocean, but it is located in Asia. The country has little demographic, technological, or cultural similarity to Peru. Japan’s infrastructure is much more developed. Unlike Peru, they drive on the left and use the 3′-6″ railroad gauge. However they both use the same TV broadcasting standard. Another similarity is that Japan and Peru are both quite mountainous and recieve a lot of rainfall.
- Sudan is the least similar country to Peru in Africa. Unlike other countries on this list, is far poorer than Peru. In addition, its government is much more conservative and anarchic than Peru’s. It does not allow alcohol, prostitution, or gambling. Its people have a mix of African and Middle Eastern ancestry. Although it is not located on the Arabian peninsula, its people natively speak a variety of Arabic.
- Saudi Arabia, 7. United Arab Emirates, 8. Somalia, 9. Yemen, 10. Singapore
Peru is like if Ecuador was more like Bolivia
According to the Index, Ecuador is the most similar country to Peru. However, the data indicates that Bolivia is one country that has many of the traits of Peru that Ecuador lacks. Both countries do not allow same sex marriage. They also primarily use the Type C electrical outlet and have a higher standard voltage than Ecuador. In addition, although they are mostly rainforest, portions of both Peru and Bolivia are desert. They also have lower population densities than Ecuador.
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Peru
All data accurate as of 2020.
Most Similar Demographics: Ecuador
Most Similar Culture: Ecuador
Most Similar Government: Ecuador
Most Similar Infrastructure: Vietnam
Most Similar Geography: Ecuador
Least Similar Demographics: Senegal
Least Similar Culture: Japan
Least Similar Government: Sudan
Least Similar Infrastructure: Ireland
Least Similar Geography: Bahrain
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fun fact, peru has one of the biggest japanese colonies outside japan, alberto fujimori, who has japanese blood, was president of peru and his daughter keiko is still involved in peruvian politics