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 the Republic of Congo
The Republic of Congo is a country in the Tropical Africa region. It is similar to many countries in its vicinity. The five most similar countries to the Republic of Congo are all have French as their official language. The majority of people in these countries are Christian. With the exception of Central African Republic, they all border the Atlantic Ocean. Furthermore, these countries tend to have a low standard of living.
- Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo are incredibly similar countries. Not only are their names essentially the same, but also they are both are sparsely populated, tropical French-speaking countries. However, the Democratic Republic of Congo was colonized by Belgium, not France. Both have large populations of native Kikongo and Kituba speakers. In addition, both countries are mostly Protestant, but also have many Catholics. The biggest difference may be their electrical production. The Democratic Republic of Congo almost entirely relies on hydropower to generate electricity, while the Republic of Congo mostly uses oil.
- Cameroon is another former French colony, located to the north of the Republic of Congo. Both countries are heavily forested. In addition, their governments are similar since both have been ruled by long-lasting authoritarian dictators. Both countries allow polygamy and criminalize prostitution. Although both countries drive on the right side of the road and use Type C electrical outlets, Cameroon uses the 1 meter wide railroad gauge, not 3′-6″. Their agriculture is also quite different. Cameroon tends to grow more corn and sorghum as well.
- Central African Republic is just to the north of the Republic of Congo. Both countries are quite poor and have little infrastructure. Both countries have a mix of Protestants and Catholics. Although these countries have a low percentage of agricultural land, much of it is used to grow cassava. Still, Central African Republic has a drier climate and is also landlocked, unlike the Republic of Congo.
- Gabon is a heavily forested country with a low population density. It is located to the west of the Republic of Congo also borders the Atlantic Ocean. Like Cameroon and the Republic of Congo, it uses the Central African Franc as its currency. Still, Gabon is wealthier and a much lower percentage of its people are living in poverty. Furthermore, Gabon’s government puts a much higher percentage of its people in prison.
- Togo is another French-speaking tropical country that borders the Atlantic Ocean. Both countries are ruled by authoritarian dictators. However, Togo is much more religiously diverse. Although a plurality of people there are Christian, they also have many Muslims and people who practice Voodoo. Togo has very similar laws, except that it has significantly less restrictive laws restricting abortion. Togo is also more densely populated and has a lower percentage of forested land.
- Ivory Coast, 7. Equatorial Guinea, 8. Benin, 9. Burundi, 10. Guinea
Top 10 Countries Least Similar to the Republic of Congo
The five least similar countries to the Republic of Congo are located in Asia. Three of them are located in East Asia, while the other two are in the Middle East. These countries are all much wealthier and have more developed infrastructure than the Republic of Congo. In addition, these countries are all much more densely populated and their cities have far more high-rises and skyscrapers.
- Japan is by far the least similar country to the Republic of Congo. Its demographics, culture, politics, and technology are significantly different. There isn’t much in common between the two. Both countries do get about the same amount of rainfall and have a similar percentage of forested area. However, Japan is a mountainous archipelago, while the Democratic Republic of Congo is fairly flat and is nearly landlocked.
- South Korea is similar to Japan, but it has slightly more in common with the Republic of Congo. Many of its people are Christian, although they are still significantly less religious. Furthermore, they both drive on the right side of the road and use the Type C electrical outlet. While both countries are heavily forested, South Korea’s climate is much colder.
- Taiwan, like Japan, has very little similarity to the Republic of Congo. Both countries have tropical climates, although Taiwan is more subtropical. Both countries drive on the right and primarily use 3’6″ gauge railroad track, however Taiwan has a much denser network of infrastructure. Other than that there is not much in common.
- Israel is on the African tectonic plate, but there is little else the Republic of Congo has in common with it. Its people are mostly Jewish and the country uses a different writing system, the Hebrew alphabet. It is also much more densely populated and has a much lower percentage of forested land, since it is mostly desert.
- Bahrain is a predominately Muslim, Arabic-speaking country. It is a densely populated island located in the Persian Gulf. Both countries have authoritarian governments, however Bahrain is an absolute monarchy. A far higher percentage of its people are immigrants as well.
- Qatar, 7. Iceland, 8. United Kingdom, 9. New Zealand, 10. Singapore
The Republic of Congo is like if the Democratic Republic of Congo was more like Gabon
By far the most similar country to the Republic of Congo is the Democratic Republic of Congo. Still there are a few aspects in which they are different. Gabon is one country that has many of the aspects of the Republic of Congo that the Democratic Republic of Congo lacks. Since they were once both part of French Equatorial Africa, they both use the same currency, the Central African Franc. Beer is the most popular alcohol in both countries and they also tend to drink more alcohol than the Democratic Republic of Congo. Unlike in the Democratic Republic of Congo, both countries allow polygamy but do not allow prostitution. Furthermore, they rely less on hydropower to create electricity.
Most Similar Demographics: Democratic Republic of Congo
Most Similar Culture: Democratic Republic of Congo
Most Similar Government: Chad
Most Similar Infrastructure: Benin
Most Similar Geography: Democratic Republic of Congo