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.
Few countries are similar to Suriname. The five most similar countries are located in close proximity to the Caribbean Sea. They also have tropical climates and a lot of forested land. While Suriname is religiously diverse, Christianity is the largest religion there, like the other top five countries. These countries also tend to have a great amount of racial diversity as well. Another aspect these countries have in common is that their governments are all democracies.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Suriname
- Guyana is the only other country in South America that speaks a Germanic language. Since it was a colony of the Britain its official language is English. Suriname and Guyana border each other and have nearly exactly the same geography. They are two of the most forested countries by percentage in the world. In the few agricultural areas that they have, both mostly grow rice. Both countries have many people with African and Indian ancestry, although Suriname has more Asians. In addition, Guyana did not adopt a parliamentary system of government, like Suriname.
- Trinidad & Tobago is a small island group in the Caribbean, but it has similar demographics and culture to Suriname. Both countries have many people of Indian and African ancestry. There are some big differences as well since Suriname is far less wealthy and much less densely populated. Their agriculture is different from Suriname as well, since the country grows more cocoa and far less rice.
- Belize is another former British colony on this list, but it is located on the mainland of North America. It has a similar tropical climate and standard of living. Both countries have many Catholics and Protestants, although unlike Suriname, Belize has few Hindus or Muslims. Both countries have a lot of forested land and their terrain is relatively flat. However, Belize has a much higher murder rate and a much lower suicide rate than Suriname.
- Dominican Republic is yet another country bordering the Caribbean Sea with a racially diverse population on this list. The countries have a similar standard of living. Although Dominican Republic does not drive on the left side of the road, both countries use Type A, B electrical outlets and the same voltage. They also use the same TV broadcast standard. Although the agriculture in the Dominican Republic is more diverse than Suriname, both grow a significant amount of rice.
- Panama is another Central American country on this list. Their diets are fairly similar. In both countries, chicken is the most popular meat, while rice and wheat are the most common staple grains. They also have a fairly similar standard of living, although Panama has far more college graduates. Another difference is that Suriname does not have any skyscrapers, in contrast to Panama.
- Jamaica, 7. Brazil, 8. Ecuador, 9. Colombia, 10. Bahamas
Because Suriname is so religiously diverse, its standard of living is not especially high or low, and its government is not that democratic or authoritarian, few countries are extremely dissimilar to it. Its geography is one of the most extreme features, since it is one of the most forested countries in the world. It is also is not very mountainous. Therefore, the least similar countries tend to have a lot of barren land. They are also far more mountainous. These countries are also far less democratic than Suriname. Four of the five are located in Asia.
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Suriname
- North Korea is far different politically from Suriname, especially due to its extremely authoritarian government. A far larger percentage of its population is in the military as well and its weapons are more advanced than Suriname’s. Although the country is located in East Asia, it does not grow as much rice as other countries in the region, due to its cooler climate.
- Yemen is located in the Arabian Desert and borders the Indian Ocean. It is a conservative Muslim country with little cultural or geographic similarity to Suriname. The country is much drier and its landscape is much more mountainous, although both countries typically have high temperatures. Due to on-going civil war, its government is more anarchic.
- Afghanistan is an extremely mountainous and landlocked Asian country with a drier and colder climate than Suriname. Its infrastructure and government also differ significantly from Brazil. It is mostly Muslim and the country uses the Arabic script, although most people there speak a variety of Persian.
- China has a higher standard of living and is more developed than Suriname. The country’s infrastructure is also far different, since it drives on the right and primarily uses Type I electrical plugs. Much of the western portion of the country is barren land, due to high elevation and dry climate. Furthermore, its government is controlled by one party that does a lot of censorship.
- Eritrea is the least similar country to Suriname located in Africa. It is the only country on this list with a majority Christian population, however its Christians are of the unique Oriental Orthodox religion. Its government has also been a dictatorship for almost 20 years. They also don’t use the Latin script for writing their native language, and instead use the Ge’ez script.
- Saudi Arabia, 7. Bahrain, 8. Israel, 9. Japan, 10. United Arab Emirates
Suriname is like if Guyana was more like the Netherlands
The most similar country to Suriname is Guyana, according to the Index. The biggest difference between these countries is that Suriname was a Dutch colony, not a British colony. So it is no surprise that the Netherlands is one country that has far more in common with Suriname than it does with Guyana. Both countries have Dutch as their official language. Their judicial system is based on Civil Law, not Common Law like in Guyana. Furthermore, Type C, F electrical outlets are widespread in these countries. While cricket is the most popular sport in Guyana, soccer is much more popular in the Netherlands and Suriname.
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