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 Togo
Togo is a country in the Tropical Africa region. The top five countries most similar to Togo were colonized by France and use French as their lingua franca. A large portion of the land in all these countries is tropical savanna. Four of the top five most similar border the Atlantic Ocean. Their infrastructure tends to be poor and they have a lower than average standard of living.
- Benin is by far the most similar country to Togo. It is another country bordering the Gulf of Guinea located to the east of Togo. Although Togo started out as a German colony, a majority of the land was taken over by France after World War I. Both countries have a diverse mix of Muslims, Christians, and followers of Voodoo. One of the bigger differences is their governments. Benin is more democratic and its legislature is not dominated by a single party.
- Ivory Coast does not border Togo, but it has a lot in common with it. It is another country with a mix of Christians and Muslims, although less people believe in Voodoo there. Furthermore, the countries have nearly identical climate, although Ivory Coast’s agricultural areas tend to produce less corn and more cocoa than Togo. Still, the diet of both countries is primarily cassava and yams.
- Cameroon‘s colonial history is very similar to Togo. Both countries were once German colonies before being taken over by France after World War I. Furthermore, both of their governments have been ruled by long lasting dictators, who often rig elections. Their agriculture is similar as well. Both countries tend to produce corn and sorghum. However, Cameroon is the only country in the top five that was part of French Equatorial Africa, not French West Africa.
- Burkina Faso borders Togo to its north. Both countries have a significant portion of their populations that natively speak Gur languages. They also have a diverse mix of religions practiced there. However, their diets are quite different, since people in Burkina Faso eat more millet and sorghum products and less yams and cassava. It is also landlocked and has drier climate than Togo.
- Guinea also borders the Atlantic Ocean, but does not border Togo. The countries have a similar standard of living and development of infrastructure. One big difference is religion. Most people in Guinea are Muslim. Another difference is that unlike some other countries on this list it does not use the West African Franc, despite being in ECOWAS. Furthermore, the diet and agriculture in Guinea involves more rice. Still, both countries have a similar climate and use French as their official language.
- Republic of Congo, 7. Central African Republic, 8. Senegal, 9. Democratic Republic of Congo, 10. Burundi
Top 10 Countries Least Similar to Togo
The five least similar countries to Togo have a much higher standard of living and their infrastructure is far more developed. The three least similar are located in East Asia, while the majority of the people in the other two natively speak Germanic languages. Furthermore, the average temperature is much lower four of the five countries, since they are at higher latitudes.
- Japan is by far the least similar country to the Togo. It is a mountainous and heavily populated archipelago with many skyscrapers. Its demographics, culture, and technology are also quite different. Its infrastructure standards are especially different, since it drives on the left, uses Type A, B electrical outlets, and one meter railroad track gauge. There just isn’t much in common between the two.
- Taiwan is yet another East Asian country on islands in the Pacific Ocean. Due to its more southern location, its tropical climate does makes help to make it lower on the list than Japan. Another similarity is that both countries drive on the right side of the road. Other than those characteristics, there is very little they have in common, especially in demographics and culture.
- Iceland is the least similar country in Europe to Togo, despite both countries bordering the Atlantic Ocean. It is far more mountainous and its landscape is sparsely vegetated, due in part to its cold climate. It is also much less densely populated. While both countries have a significant amount of Christians, the country is also far less religious than Togo.
- South Korea is another country that borders the Pacific Ocean on this list. Togo and South Korea have little in common demographically or culturally, except that a significant portion of the population in both countries is Christian. They also do share some similarity in technology. They both use Type C electrical outlets and drive on the right. However, Togo’s infrastructure is much less developed.
- Canada is the least similar country to Togo in the Western Hemisphere, despite both countries having French as one of their official languages. It is one of the coldest countries, in contrast to Togo’s hot tropical savanna climate. In addition, their governments are extremely different. While Canada uses a parliamentary form of government with a constitutional monarch, Togo has a presidential form of government that is run by a dictator.
- New Zealand, 7. United Kingdom, 8. United States, 9. Norway, 10. Bahrain
Togo is like if Benin was more like Uganda
By far the most similar country to Togo is its neighbor, Benin. The countries are two of the most similar in the world. Because of this, few countries are far more like Togo than they are like Benin. The data shows that Uganda has the most traits of Togo that Benin lacks. One reason is because of their differing laws. Uganda and Togo both criminalize same sex relations, prohibit all forms of prostitution, and allow polygamy, unlike Benin. Togo and Uganda also primarily rely on hydropower for electricity, unlike Benin.
All data accurate as of 2020.