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 Yemen
Yemen is an Arab-speaking country on the southern-most portion of the Arabian Peninsula. The five most similar countries to Yemen are predominately Muslim. These countries also have a similar climate, since they are mostly sparsely populated deserts. Four of the five most similar countries have been recently affected by civil war in the recent decades. They are also among the least affluent Arab countries.
- Sudan is another country that borders the Red Sea. Like Yemen, it was also once a British colony. A vast majority of the people in both countries are farmers and they primarily grow sorghum. Both of their governments are extremely conservative and have endured recent coups d’etat. However, Sudan is in Africa and the ancestry of its people is more similar to Sub-Saharan Africans.
- Iraq is another Arab country that has a mix of Sunni and Shia Muslims. Like Sudan and Yemen, it had once been a British colony. As a result, both countries adopted both Type D & G electrical outlets. Both countries have been attacked by Saudi Arabia. Although both have suffered from recent war, Iraq’s infrastructure is more developed. Iraq is also nearly landlocked and less mountainous than Yemen.
- Jordan is another Arab country that borders the Red Sea. Both countries are fairly mountainous. They also have a similar climate as well. However, Jordan has far less coastline. It also has a higher standard of living than Yemen and its government is more stable. Jordan’s laws are less conservative. Furthermore, it has stricter gun control laws than Jordan.
- Mauritania is quite distant from Yemen, since it borders the Atlantic Ocean, not the Indian. Nevertheless, like Yemen, it is in the transitional zone between the Arab world and Sub-Saharan Africa. Both countries are sparsely populated deserts and have a small percentage of agricultural land, where they mostly grow sorghum. However, like Sudan, the ancestry of its people is more similar to Sub-Saharan Africans.
- Egypt is another country in North Africa that is similar to Yemen. Both countries border the Red Sea. Their flags are almost the same as well. In fact, North Yemen was once in a confederation with Egypt and Syria, called the United Arab States. These are mostly desert and have a low percentage of agricultural land, but Egypt tend to grow more wheat and corn than Yemen. It is also less mountainous.
- Syria, 7. Libya, 8. Oman, 9. Saudi Arabia, 10. Algeria
Top 10 Countries Least Similar to Yemen
The five least similar countries to Yemen are all East Asian or former British colonies, although part of Yemen also had once been a British colony too. The least similar countries all border the Pacific Ocean as well. These countries have far better infrastructure and more stable governments than Yemen. Their climates all have more average rainfall as well.
- Japan is by far the least similar country to Yemen. There is very little these countries have in common, except for the fact that they are both located in Asia. In fact, it is the least similar in demographics, culture, and infrastructure to Yemen. It is also less religious and uses an unrelated system of writing.
- South Korea is similar to Japan. It is another East Asian country located in a temperate climate. It is one of the most well educated countries in the world and has the highest percentage of college graduates. The country has a mix of Christians and Buddhists, but it is also less religious than Yemen. While both countries are mountainous and have a lot of coastline, South Korea has many forests in contrast to the barren landscape of Yemen.
- New Zealand is another rainy archipelago in the Pacific Ocean far away from Yemen. Their infrastructure also is very different from Yemen as New Zealand uses Type I plugs, drives on the left. In addition, New Zealand’s government is less corrupt and far more liberal. It allows abortion, same sex marriage, and gambling, unlike Yemen.
- Taiwan is another densely populated Asian country on this list. Like Japan and South Korea, its demographics and culture are quite different from Yemen. Its infrastructure is far more developed as well. Both countries are mountainous and have a hot climate, but Yemen is much drier.
- Canada is one of the coldest countries in the world, with lots of lakes and freshwater, in contrast to Yemen. Most of its electricity comes from hydropower, unlike fossil fuel dependent Yemen. Furthermore, Canada uses a different electrical voltage and its grid coverage is more developed.
- Netherlands, 7. Finland, 8. Singapore, 9. Luxembourg, 10. Denmark
Yemen is like if Sudan was more like Oman
According to the Index, Sudan is the most similar country to Yemen. However, these countries also have some significant differences. Sudan is located in Africa and its people have more Sub-Saharan African ancestry than people in Yemen. This is part of the reason why Oman is one country that has many similar characteristics of Yemen that Sudan lacks. In addition, these countries are more mountainous than Sudan as well. Another similarity is that they both border the Indian Ocean.
All data accurate as of 2020.