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 Tunisia
Tunisia is an Arabic-speaking country in North Africa. With the exception of Jordan, the five most similar countries to Tunisia border the Mediterranean Sea. Most people in these countries are Muslim. They also have similar geography, since they have hot, dry climates. In addition, these countries are neither especially wealthy nor especially poor.
- Morocco was also a French protectorate in North Africa, but only before World War I. The two countries are predominately Muslim and share the same public religious holidays. However, Morocco is a constitutional monarchy. Despite this, their laws a fairly similar. Both countries allow alcohol and casinos, unlike many predominately Muslim countries. Still, Morocco allows polygamy and does not allow prostitution, unlike Tunisia.
- Algeria was also controlled by the French, like Tunisia. Although both do not have French as an official language, a high percentage of their people can speak it. In addition, both countries are part of synchronous electrical grid of Continental Europe and also use mostly natural gas to create electricity. One difference is that it has a higher percentage of Berbers. It also has a higher percentage of barren land.
- Egypt is another Arabic-speaking country in North Africa with a similar standard of living. The countries have the same semi-presidential system of government, although it is much less democratic than Tunisia. Egypt has more of a British influence than Tunisia as well. One big difference is the crops they produce. Egypt tends to grow more wheat and corn, while Tunisia grows more olives.
- Libya is Tunisia’s neighbor to its east, so it shares similar geography and infrastructure. Its main agricultural products, consisting of wheat, barley, and olives, are essentially the same as Tunisia, although Tunisia has a much higher percentage of agricultural land. One big difference is that Libya is much more lawless since there is an ongoing civil war there. In addition, Libya was once a colony of Italy, not France.
- Jordan is the only country outside of Africa in the top five. Although both countries primarily speak Arabic, the dialect in Jordan is quite different from the Arabic Tunisians speak. Still, Jordan and Tunisia have a similar standard of living and both are mostly Sunni Muslim. The countries also have a similar climate, although Jordan does not border the Mediterranean and has little coastline.
- Syria, 7. Lebanon, 8. Iraq, 9. Mauritania, 10. Saudi Arabia
Top 10 Countries Least Similar to Tunisia
The least similar countries to Tunisia all border the Pacific Ocean. Since Tunisia is neither extremely wealthy or poor, the five least similar countries either have a much higher standard of living or a much lower standard of living. Four of the five are located on islands and drive on the left side of the road. In addition, these countries all get much more rainfall than Tunisia.
- Japan is a temperate and mountainous archipelago in the Pacific Ocean with little similarity to Tunisia. Not only is its geography significantly different, but also its demographics, culture, politics, and technology. It has a completely different writing system and language. The country’s infrastructure is also more advanced.
- Papua New Guinea is one of the wettest countries in the world, in contrast to Tunisia’s drier climate. Furthermore, its people are mostly Christian. Their Melanesian ancestry has little genetic similarity to Tunisians. Not only is their infrastructure significantly less developed, but they drive on the left and use Type I electrical outlets.
- Solomon Islands is another country similar to Papua New Guinea in the Pacific Ocean. Unlike Tunisia, which has a developed military with an active draft, Solomon Islands doesn’t even have a military. The islands also need to import all their energy in the form of oil, while Tunisia uses mostly natural gas.
- Cambodia was also colonized by France at one time, but other than that they have little in common. Its people are mostly Buddhist and the use the Khmer script. Cambodia is quite flat and also has a higher percentage of farmland than Tunisia. Furthermore, it is less mountainous. Its government is also less democratic.
- Singapore is a densely populated tropical Asian country, in contrast to Tunisia, which is sparsely populated and has a dry climate. It was once a British colony before becoming independent. Singapore is also a much wealthier country than Tunisia and its infrastructure is more developed. However, around 15% of its citizens are Muslims.
- Bhutan, 7. North Korea, 8. Laos, 9. New Zealand, 10. Taiwan
Tunisia is like if Morocco was more like Lebanon
According to the Index, Morocco is the most similar country to Tunisia. However, the countries do have a few differences as well. Tunisia and Lebanon are both democracies and use the semi-presidential form of government. Their agriculture is similar as well, since both countries grow a lot of olives. They both primarily rely on natural gas to create electricity, while Morocco relies on coal instead.
All data accurate as of 2020.