The Most Similar Countries to Uganda


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 Uganda

Uganda is a country located in the Tropical Africa region. The top five countries most similar to it are all in East Africa around the African Great Lakes. The majority of their people natively speak Bantu languages as well. In addition, four of the top five have English as one of their official languages. They also all have a majority Christian population as well. The infrastructure is these countries is less developed than the global average.

  1. Tanzania is another country that has English and Swahili as their official languages. 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. They 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. However, Tanzania has a higher percentage of Muslims.
  2. Rwanda is located to the south of Uganda. Like Uganda, it has nearly an equal mix of Protestants and Catholics. Uganda and Rwanda have a high percentage of their land used for agriculture and they both grow beans, corn, sorghum, and sweet potato. Both countries have received significant military aid and equipment from Russia. However, Rwanda does not use the Type G electrical outlet or drive on the left side of the road, since it was once a Belgian colony, not a British one. Still, it has adopted English as one of its official languages.
  3. Zambia, like Uganda, is another landlocked former British colony in East Africa. The countries have similar infrastructure. Both countries drive on the left side of the road and have Type G electrical outlets. They also are primarily powered by hydroelectricity. However, Zambia has fewer Muslims than Uganda. It is also less densely populated and has a much higher percentage of forested area.
  4. Burundi also borders Tanzania, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Both Burundi and Uganda have unstable governments and often have rigged elections. Both countries have criminalized homosexual relationships and also prostitution. Like Uganda, Burundi gets most of its electricity from hydropower. One big difference is that Burundi’s official language is French, since it was once a Belgian colony.
  5. 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 use Type G electrical outlets, drive on the left, and use one meter wide railroad gauge. However, Kenya is much more successful in the Olympics than Uganda, 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. Furthermore, Kenya’s climate is drier and it has more desert.
  6. Malawi, 7. Zimbabwe, 8. Ghana, 9. Cameroon, 10. Nigeria

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Top 10 Countries Least Similar to Uganda

The least similar countries to Uganda are all much wealthier and more democratic. Furthermore, their laws are less conservative than Uganda. Four of the five have much cooler climates than Uganda. The three least similar countries are located in East Asia. In contrast to landlocked Uganda, three of the five least similar countries are located on islands and most of their people live near the coast.

  1. Japan is by far the least similar country to Uganda. Their native languages and writing systems are completely different. Not is its culture significantly different, but also its demographics, geography, and technology. There really isn’t much in common between the two, except that they both drive on the left. 
  2. South Korea is another country with a temperate climate located in East Asia. Like Japan, it is a highly developed, densely populated country with a lot of coastline. However, South Korea does have a significant Christian population, although they have little else in common with Uganda. Its infrastructure is significantly different as well since they drive on the right side of the road and use Type C electrical outlets.
  3. Iceland is the least similar country to Uganda in Europe. Iceland’s laws are far different, since it legalized abortion, but does not allow surrogacy, gambling, or polygamy. However, since Uganda was a British colony, most of its people are Christian, like Uganda, although they are far less religious. Furthermore, both countries use the Latin script. Still, Iceland’s climate is also far colder and it is much more sparsely populated than Uganda.
  4. Taiwan is another East Asian country located in the Pacific Ocean on this list. Like Japan, its demographics and culture are far different from Uganda. It drives on the right side of the road and uses Type A, B electrical outlets, in contrast to Uganda. However, Taiwan’s subtropical climate is more similar to Uganda than Japan.
  5. Finland is another Nordic country that is much different from Uganda. Although both countries are mostly Christian, Finland is far less religious. Finland’s standard of living is higher and its infrastructure is more developed. Furthermore, it is one of the most democratic countries in contrast to Uganda. However, one similarity is that both countries have an abundant amount of freshwater.
  6. Norway, 7. Israel, 8. Netherlands, 9. Denmark, 10. Belgium

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Uganda is like if Tanzania was more like Rwanda

According to the Index, Tanzania is the most similar country to Uganda. However, the two countries also have a few differences as well. The data shows that Rwanda has many attributes of Uganda that Tanzania lacks. Both countries have a higher percentage of Christians and fewer Muslims than Tanzania. They are also both landlocked countries that are more densely populated. Uganda and Rwanda have higher rates of incarceration as well.

Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Uganda

All data accurate as of 2020.


Country Superlatives

Most Similar Demographics: Rwanda
Most Similar Culture: Rwanda
Most Similar Government: Tanzania
Most Similar Infrastructure: Tanzania
Most Similar Geography: Rwanda

Least Similar Demographics: Japan
Least Similar Culture: Japan
Least Similar Government: Finland
Least Similar Infrastructure: United States
Least Similar Geography: Bahrain

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