Have you ever wondered which countries are the most average in the world? Obviously, every country is unique, but some are closer to the world average than others. One way to answer this difficult question is by analyzing the data from the Country Similarity Index. The index attempts to quantify how similar countries are to each other relative to other countries, using a variety of statistics. It weighs equally five major aspects of countries: their demographics, culture, politics, infrastructure, and geography. An analysis of the data gives some suggestions for what countries might be the most average in the world. Interestingly enough, five of the ten are in Latin America, while the other five are in the Balkans.
Brazil is a Latin American country in South America. According to the data from the Country Similarity Index, it is the world’s most average country.
Brazil’s population is a melting pot of different races. People with European, African, and Native South American ancestries are common there. The average age of Brazilians is 33 years old, close to the world average of 31 years. In addition, the average income there is only slightly lower than the world average. Furthermore, their people are about the average height and weight.
Brazil’s infrastructure and level of development is neither especially advanced not especially poor. Like most countries, it drives on the right side of the road and uses Type C electrical plugs. It is one of a few countries that uses both 220 and 127 voltage, depending on the region. The country has many skyscrapers in its large cities, but it also its share of slums.
Like many countries, Brazil is mostly Christian. Although Portuguese is not spoken by many countries in the world, it is similar to Spanish, the world’s second most natively spoken language after Chinese. As a result, it also uses the Latin alphabet, which is in widespread use across the globe. Soccer is the most popular sport there, as it is for the rest of the world.
Albania is a European country on the Mediterranean coast. Few countries are far different from Albania. The least similar country to it, according to the Index, is Singapore, but they still share some things in common.
Albanian culture has traits of both Europe and the Middle East. On the one hand its people are mostly Sunni Muslim, although it has a significant Christian population and many atheists as well. Still, its people natively speak Indo-European languages and use the Latin alphabet. Like most predominately Muslim countries, its divorce rate is extremely low and its marriage rate is high.
Albania’s laws are neither especially liberal nor conservative. It does not allow same sex marriage, but same sex relations are not illegal either. It does not allow prostitution, but it does not significantly restrict abortion and alcohol, unlike most predominately Muslim countries. Like most countries, it is a democracy. However, the rule of law there is relatively low.
Due to the country’s Mediterranean climate, it is neither especially hot or cold nor is it especially dry or wet. Wheat and corn are two of the most common crops there. Furthermore, the country has a mix of agricultural and forested land, like most countries. It is not especially densely or sparsely populated as well.
Mexico is another Latin American country on this list, but it is located in North America, unlike Brazil. Few countries are far different from it, due to its mix of characteristics.
Mexico has many different climate zones, spanning the range from rainforests to deserts. The country has a mix of forests, desert shrub lands, and agricultural areas. The country borders the world’s two largest oceans, the Atlantic and the Pacific. It has a mix of flora and fauna from Holarctic and Neotropic realms.
Mexico’s infrastructure and level of development is neither especially advanced not especially poor. Like most countries, it drives on the right side of the road and uses the standard railroad gauge. It also primarily relies on fossil fuels to create electricity. Its energy consumption is close to the world average.
Mexico’s population is has a mix of people with European and Native American ancestry. The average age of Mexicans is 29 years old, close to the world average of 31 years. In addition, the average income there is only slightly lower than the world average. Most of its people natively speak Spanish, the world’s second most natively spoken language after Chinese.
Romania is another European country in the Balkans on this list, however unlike Albania, it is located on the Black Sea. According to the Index, it has the highest overall average similarity to other countries, although this metric tends to be skewed towards European countries, since it has many relatively small countries in comparison with the rest of the world.
On one hand, Romania is like Latin American and some Mediterranean countries, since its language is closely related. It also uses the Latin alphabet. However, most Romanians are Orthodox Christians, like much of Eastern Europe. Furthermore, it is one of the most religious countries in Europe.
Since its infrastructure is one of the least developed in Europe, it is closer to the world average. Its technology standards are common through much of the world, since it drives on the right, has Type C electrical outlets, and uses the standard railroad gauge. It also uses the DVBT digital broadcasting standard. Its electricity comes from a diverse set of sources, including coal, nuclear, and hydropower.
Despite being a relatively small country in land area, Romania has many different climates. Much of it is temperate, but it has an Oceanic climate close to the Black Sea and an Alpine climate in the Carpathian Mountains. It also has a range of biomes, including temperate forests, coniferous forests, and grasslands. It also has a significant amount of farmland. Wheat and corn are two of the most common crops there.
Peru is the third Latin American country in the top five. It is a mountainous country in South America that borders the Pacific Ocean.
Most people in Peru have either Native South American or European ancestry, although there is a significant population with African ancestry as well. Most of its people natively speak Spanish, the world’s second most natively spoken language. In addition, most people are Christians, the world’s largest religious group. The average age of Peruvians is about 31 years old, the same as the world average.
Peru’s technology standards are common throughout the world. It drives on the right and uses the standard railroad gauge. In addition, its electrical outlets can accommodate both Type A and Type C plugs. The country uses both fossil fuels and hydropower to create electricity. Not everyone has access to drinking water and electricity.
While Peru is mostly rainforest, it does have several other climate zones, including the Atacama Desert along its southern coast. Despite being located close to the equator, many highlands in the country reach freezing temperatures regularly. Its farms grow a mix of corn, coffee, rice, and potatoes.
6. Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is another Spanish-speaking country on this list. It is located in the Caribbean Sea and shares an island with Haiti. Very few countries are extremely different from it. Even Japan is located on a mountainous island and both countries love baseball. They also both use Type A, B electrical outlets, like the United States.
Most Dominicans are mixed race. They typically have ancestry originating in Africa and Europe, although it is a country in North America. Like most countries, the Dominican Republic has high literacy rates, but the vast majority of its people do not attend college. Its infrastructure is not especially advanced, but most people do have access to electricity and water.
Montenegro is a European country that borders the Mediterranean coast. According to the Index, it has the fifth highest average similarity, but this tends to be skewed toward European countries, since there are many small ones. Serbia and Bosnia are extremely similar to it, as well as other countries that were once part of Yugoslavia.
The country is mostly Orthodox Christian, but more than 20 percent of its people are Muslim as well. It is one of the least wealthy countries in Europe, but its average GDP per capita is still slightly above the world average. Furthermore, it is one of the few countries in the world that uses the Latin and Cyrillic alphabets interchangeably. Its climate is not especially hot or cold, since it is mountainous and its location by the sea moderates the temperatures. It is not a desert, but it typically does not get a large amount of rainfall.
Turkey has traits of Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia, since it is at the confluence of these three different regions. It is also one of the few countries that is considered to be in two different continents. When the data is weighted by the population of each country, Turkey has the highest average, outside of the top five most populous countries.
The country is predominately Muslim, but its laws are secular. It allows alcohol, prostitution, and abortion. Politically, Turkey could be classified as a democracy or an autocracy. The country has many parties in its congress, but its leader is accused of electoral fraud and censorship is common. Like most languages, Turkish now uses the Latin script, although it once use the Arabic script. Furthermore, the country has a wide range of climates, including subtropical, temperate, and desert zones.
Colombia is another South American country on this list. It is a Spanish speaking country that is mostly Catholic. It borders both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The country has many people with Caucasian, Native South American, and African ancestry. The average age of its people is only slightly older than the world average.
10. Bosnia & Herzegovina
Bosnia & Herzegovina is a European country that has a mix of Catholics, Muslims, and Orthodox Christians, so it represents many of the word’s major religious denominations. The country recently experienced a civil war, but it is now improving its infrastructure, but it is still one of the least developed countries in its region. Although it borders the Mediterranean Sea, it is nearly landlocked.
Highest Overall Average, Unweighted
Highest Overall Average, Weighted by Population
Highest Overall Average, Weighted by Land Area
Highest Least Similar Countries
- Albania – 43.4 (to Singapore)
- Dominican Republic – 42.1 (to North Korea)
- Mexico – 41.6 (to Somalia)
- Philippines – 41.5 (to Finland)
- Brazil – 41.3 (to Yemen)
In contrast, here are the world’s 10 most unique countries.
Do you agree with this list? How would you reorder the rankings?
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