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 Places Most Similar to Poland
Poland is a European country. Many countries in the region are similar to it. The five most similar countries to Poland are predominately Catholic and most of their people natively speak Balto-Slavic languages. They also use the Latin alphabet for their writing. The five most similar countries are all currently part of the European Union and members of NATO as well. In addition, these countries tend to have more women than men.
- Czechia is located to the south of Poland. Besides their demographic and cultural similarities, Czechia’s technology is extremely similar to Poland as well. They both produce most of their energy from coal. In addition, they also have similar electrical, road, and railroad infrastructure. However, although both countries are Catholic, Czechia is much less religious, in fact it is one of the least religious countries in the world.
- Slovakia is extremely similar to Czechia, since the two were part of the same country until 1993. The exact border between Slovakia and Poland has changed several times in the past hundred years. The countries also have a similar standard of living. However, Slovakia is more mountainous and has a higher percentage of forest land. Another big difference is that ice hockey is more popular in Slovakia, while volleyball is more popular in Poland.
- Croatia is another Slavic-speaking country on this list. Both countries are also predominately Catholic and fairly religious. However, Croatia borders the Mediterranean and is much more mountainous than Poland. Its beaches make it much more of a scenic tourist destination. Croatia’s climate is on average warmer than Poland, although they have similar flora and fauna.
- Slovenia is similar to Croatia, except it is slightly more prosperous and has few beaches. Both countries were heavily influenced by their Germanic neighboring countries. Unlike Poland, its electricity is created by hydroelectric dams and nuclear power plants. In addition, its agricultural production is different. It produces much more corn and grapes than Poland. Furthermore, Slovenia has a parliamentary government with a unicameral legislature, in contrast to Poland.
- Lithuania is another country bordering the Baltic Sea. The two countries were united for over 200 years, before being split up by Austria, Prussia, and Russia. Both countries also have a semi-presidential form of government. However, since Lithuania became part of the USSR, it has a much greater Soviet influence than Poland. In addition, Lithuanians are more interested in basketball than soccer, unlike most other European countries.
- Romania, 7. Hungary, 8. France, 9. Belgium, 10. Germany
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Poland
The four least similar countries to Poland are all clustered around the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. Most people in these countries natively speak Afro-Asiatic languages. These countries are all significantly poorer than Poland. Their demographics and culture are also quite different. The four least similar countries have large Muslim populations. Their climate is also much drier and a low percentage of their land is used for agriculture.
- Sudan is located in the Sahara Desert. The country recently lost some territory to the newly formed country of South Sudan. Due to civil war, its infrastructure is much less developed than Poland. The country is predominately Muslim and speaks Arabic. Still, one similarity between Poland and Sudan is that they are both in the same time zone.
- Somalia is another war-torn, Muslim country that has poorly developed infrastructure, due to civil war. In addition, its hot desert climate contrasts Poland’s much cooler climate. As a result, Somalia has a far lower percentage of farmland. Still, both countries use the Latin alphabet, although the Somali language is completely unrelated to Polish.
- Eritrea also borders the Red Sea, like Sudan. Its government has been a dictatorship for almost 20 years. Its unique language and Ge’ez writing system are also completely different from Polish. Furthermore, most of the country is close to the coast, in contrast to Poland. However, Eritrea is around 50% Christian, although they are mostly Orthodox Christian.
- Yemen is located on the Arabian Peninsula, across the Gulf of Aden from Somalia. It is another conservative Muslim country on this list. Unlike other countries on the Arabian Peninsula, it is in a state of civil war and has poorly developed infrastructure. The country is also much more mountainous. Still, the people in both countries are considered to be Caucasian, although they still tend to look significantly different.
- Papua New Guinea, like Poland, is a predominately Christian country, however it is mostly Protestant. Apart from their religion, the countries have very little similarity. Papua New Guinea is a sparsely populated, mountainous tropical island, in contrast to Poland’s more densely populated relatively flat landscape. Furthermore, Papua New Guinea drives on the left and uses Type I electrical outlets. Still, it is more democratic than other countries on this list.
- Chad, 7. Niger, 8. Solomon Islands, 9. Laos, 10. South Sudan
Poland is like if the Czech Republic was more like Romania
According to the Index, the Czech Republic is the most similar country to Poland. However, these countries have a few significant differences as well. The data shows that Romania is one country that is much more similar to Poland than it is to the Czech Republic. Romania and Poland are two of the most religious countries in Eastern Europe, in stark contrast to the Czech Republic. As a result, they also have lower divorce rates and do not permit same sex marriage. Both Romania and Poland have semi-presidential governments as well.
All data accurate as of 2020.