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 Tanzania
Tanzania is a country in the Tropical Africa region. The top five countries most similar to it have English as one of their official languages, since they were once British colonies in the past. They all have majority Christian populations, although Tanzania has a significant Muslim population as well. In addition, they are all located in tropical savannas. They all drive on the left side of the road and commonly use Type G electrical outlets.
- Uganda is another country that has both English and Swahili as its official language. The diets of their people are nearly identical, since they both eat a lot of corn and cassava. Neither country eats a lot of meat. Despite Tanzania’s large Muslim population, both countries also drink a relatively large amount of homemade liqueur. Furthermore, their laws are also nearly identical. Both countries are very conservative and do not allow prostitution or homosexual relations.
- Kenya, like Uganda and Tanzania, borders Lake Victoria and has both English and Swahili as its official language. In addition, both countries call their currency shillings. They also like soccer, but do not have particularly good national teams. However, Kenya is much more successful in the Olympics, since its long distance runners are some of the best in the world. In addition, their diet is different, since they eat more millet, potatoes, and wheat.
- Zambia borders Tanzania to the southwest and the countries have long been allies. Their laws are similar although Tanzania has stricter prostitution laws. The countries have a similar standard of living as well. However, Zambia has few Muslims. It is also less densely populated. Furthermore, Zambia gets most of its electricity from hydropower and uses more energy per capita.
- Malawi is yet another former British colony similar to Tanzania. Both nations border Lake Malawi. They also have extremely young populations and have high rates of poverty. Their infrastructure is also quite similar. However, like Zambia, it gets most of its electricity from hydropower, unlike Tanzania. It also has a higher population density.
- Zimbabwe is even further to the south of Tanzania than Zambia and Malawi. The countries both have very high employment rates and most of their people work in agriculture. In addition, both countries are have unstable governments. However, like Zambia, Zimbabwe has few Muslims. Its laws are also different, since it does not allow polygamy and has less restrictions on abortion.
- Nigeria, 7. Ghana, 8. Mozambique, 9. Rwanda, 10. Cameroon
Top 10 Countries Least Similar to Tanzania
Three of the five least similar countries to Tanzania are located in East Asia, while the other two are located in Europe. All of these countries have a higher standard of living than Tanzania. Four of the five least countries are located in much colder climates as well. They are all located in the Northern Hemisphere in contrast to Tanzania.
- Japan is by far the least similar country to Tanzania. Not only is its geography significantly different, but also its demographics, culture, and technology. There isn’t much in common between the two, except that both drive on the left. Although, Tanzania does have Africa’s tallest mountain, the rest of the country is not particularly mountainous.
- South Korea is another East Asian country with little similarity to Tanzania. One thing that does make South Korea more like Tanzania than Japan is that it has a much larger Christian population. Furthermore, most males in Tanzania and South Korea are circumcised. However, South Korea drives on the right side of the road, unlike Tanzania and Japan.
- Iceland and Tanzania are extremely different in demographics, politics, technology and geography. Its climate is far colder and its people are far more liberal. Although Iceland is mostly Christian, a significant number are irreligious in contrast to the Tanzania. Another similarity is that both use the Latin alphabet.
- Taiwan is another Asian country located in the Pacific Ocean on this list. Like Japan, its demographics and culture are quite different from Tanzania. However, Taiwan’s subtropical climate is more similar to Tanzania than Japan. The country’s infrastructure is also significantly different from Tanzania, since it drives on the right and uses Type A, B electrical outlets.
- Luxembourg is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. The country is densely populated and landlocked. Although both countries are mostly Christian, Luxembourg has a higher percentage of Catholics and is less religious. In addition, its people are far less outgoing than Tanzanians, according to the Lewis Model. The country is a constitutional democracy. It also has less conservative laws than Tanzania.
- Denmark, 7. Finland, 8. Belgium, 9. Netherlands, 10. Norway
Tanzania is like if Uganda was more like Mozambique
According to the Index, Uganda is the most similar country to Tanzania. However, they do have a few differences as well. One country that is significantly more similar to Tanzania than it is to Uganda is Mozambique. Both Tanzania and Mozambique border the Indian Ocean, while Uganda is landlocked. They also grow more corn than Uganda and less plantains. Furthermore, there are higher rates of suicide and homicide in Uganda than Tanzania and Mozambique.
All data accurate as of 2020.