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.
Venezuela is a Latin American country. The majority of the people natively speak Spanish in the five most similar countries to Venezuela. They are also mostly Catholic. Furthermore, they all use the presidential form of government. Four of the five most similar countries border the Caribbean Sea. With the exception of Mexico, these countries are dominated by tropical rainforests as well.
Top 10 Places Most Similar to Venezuela
- Colombia is easily the most similar country to Venezuela. The biggest difference is politics. Venezuela is less democratic and isn’t an ally of the United States. Colombia and Venezuela’s demographics and culture are extremely similar. Both countries enjoy soccer but also have significant interest in baseball. They both are mostly rainforest and border the Caribbean Sea. However, its farms tend to grow less corn and more rice than Venezuela.
- Ecuador is another country that was part of Colombia, before it gained its independence. The countries have similar culture and demographics, although there is a higher percentage of people with indigenous ancestry in Ecuador. Its homicide rate is also much lower than Venezuela’s. Its geography is slightly different as well, since it does not border the Caribbean. It is also much more mountainous.
- Nicaragua is the highest Central American country on this list. Nicaragua and Venezuela are similar politically. They are both countries that are lead by socialist governments. In addition, both have fairly conservative laws, since they do not allow either abortion or gay marriage, although they do allow gambling and do not heavily restrict prostitution. However, Nicaragua is less wealthy than Venezuela.
- Panama and Venezuela both used to be part of Colombia before gaining independence. Their infrastructure is fairly similar. Both countries drive on the right side of the road, have standard gauge railroad tracks, and use Type A, B electrical outlets. However, unlike Venezuela, Panama has close ties to the United States. Panama is also far more democratic. Due to the Panama Canal it gets much more shipping traffic.
- Mexico is another country on this list that borders the Caribbean Sea. Mexico and Venezuela have a similar standard of living. They have about the same GDP per capita. In addition, they have similar technology since they both use Type A, B electrical outlets and standard gauge railroad tracks. One difference is that Mexico has a drier climate. Still, their farms both predominately grow corn and it is a huge part of their diets.
- Dominican Republic 7. Costa Rica, 8. Honduras, 9. El Salvador, 10. Cuba
The four least similar countries to Venezuela are located in Asia, but they are not all located in the same region. Since Venezuela is neither especially rich or poor, countries with extremely high and low standards of living both appear in their list of least similar countries. Three of the five least similar are predominately Muslim, while the other two have many Buddhists.
Top 10 Places Least Similar to Venezuela
- Japan is a densely populated, highly developed island country. Japan’s culture and demographics are quite dissimilar from Venezuela as well. Few Japanese are Christian and they are also less religious. However, both do use Type A,B electrical outlets and also have a lot of rainfall. Both countries enjoy playing soccer and baseball as well.
- Bahrain is a densely populated desert island in the Persian Gulf. The country is extremely wealthy. Its people are mostly Muslim. Due to a vast amount of migrant construction workers in the country, it has far more men than women. Its government is a relatively stable monarchy that has more conservative laws than Venezuela.
- Bhutan has the highest average elevation in the world and is landlocked, unlike Venezuela. The country has especially unique traditions since its people are mostly Buddhist. Its native people speak Sino-Tibetian languages and use Indic scripts. In addition, its government is a constitutional monarchy. However, a high percentage of the land in both countries is forested.
- Somalia and Venezuela are at similar latitudes, however Somalia has a much drier climate. Both Somalia and Venezuela have unstable governments, however Somalia far fewer entitlements. While college is free in Venezuela, in Somalia, even primary school is not free. Somalia also has few welfare programs for its citizens. Still, despite their native languages being unrelated, Somalia uses the Latin alphabet.
- Yemen is located in the Arabian Desert, like Bahrain, but it is far less affluent, due to civil war. However, the anarchic nature of its government is not dissimilar to Venezuela. Still, their laws are far different. Yemen has less restrictions on guns and it does not allow alcohol. It has a desert climate and most of its land is barren.
- Qatar, 7. Kuwait, 8. Niger, 9. Nepal, 10. Singapore
Venezuela is like if Colombia was more like Cuba
According to the Index, Colombia is the most similar country to Venezuela. The biggest differences between them are their governments and their laws. The data shows that Cuba has many of the traits of Venezuela that Colombia lacks. Both countries are led by authoritarian governments that do a lot of censorship. They also have extremely little rule of law. While Colombia’s laws are some of the most liberal in the world, Cuba and Venezuela do not allow same sex marriage. They also have more restrictive drug laws.
Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Venezuela
All data accurate as of 2020.
Most Similar Demographics: Chile
Most Similar Culture: Mexico
Most Similar Government: Turkey
Most Similar Infrastructure: Cuba
Most Similar Geography: Colombia
Least Similar Demographics: Niger
Least Similar Culture: Japan
Least Similar Government: Saudi Arabia
Least Similar Infrastructure: Solomon Islands
Least Similar Geography: Bahrain
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