Similar Countries, but Different Demographics

For the most part, countries that are alike often have the similar ancestry and ethnic groups. Still, there are some unique pairs of countries that are fairly similar, except for the fact that their demographics are notably different. A list of these countries was developed by analyzing the data from the Country Similarity Index, which weighs equally five major aspects of countries: their demographics, culture, politics, infrastructure, and geography. The following six pairs of countries were found to have a biggest difference between their demographics and their other aspects, including geography, culture, politics, and infrastructure.

ARMENIA-KYRGYZSTAN

Armenia and Kyrgyzstan are two former republics of the Soviet Union. Because they were once part of the same country, their technology standards are almost the same. Despite not bordering each other, their geography is strikingly similar as well. Both are extremely mountainous and landlocked. Their climate is generally cold and dry, so they have a lot of grassland. Furthermore, they are both democracies that have parliamentary governments and unicameral legislatures.

However, Armenians have Caucasian ancestry, while people from Kyrgyzstan tend to have more East Asian ancestry. Another difference is that Armenians speak an Indo-European language, whereas Kyrgyz is a Turkic language. In addition, most people in Armenia are Christian. In contrast, most Kyrgyz are Muslim. Moreover, the average person in Armenia is nearly ten years older than the average person in Kyrgyzstan.

FIJI-SAMOA

Fiji and Samoa are both tropical island nations located in the Pacific Ocean. English is one of the official languages in both countries. In addition, these countries are especially interested in rugby. Their governments are extremely similar as well. Both countries use the parliamentary system and have unicameral legislatures. These countries also have a relatively high degree of rule of law. Furthermore, Fiji and Samoa drive on the left and use Type I electrical outlets.

However, Fiji has a unique mix of indigenous people with Melanesian ancestry, along with former indentured servants brought to the island from South Asia. In contrast, while Samoans also have Melanesian ancestry, their people have more East Asian ancestry. In addition, there is a far higher percentage of Hindus in Fiji. Another difference is that the average age of Fijians is more than five years older than Samoans.

MADAGASCAR-SENEGAL

Madagascar and Senegal are both former colonies of France in Africa, so one of their official languages is French. This colonization influenced their technology standards as well. Both countries drive on the right, use one meter railroad gauge, and have Type C, E electrical outlets. Another similarity is that both countries are democracies. Their laws are alike as well. These countries do not allow abortion or same sex marriage, but allow gambling and alcohol.

However, people from Madagascar have less Sub-Saharan African ancestry and more East Asian ancestry than people from Senegal. Their native people also speak unrelated languages. Malagasy is an Austronesian language, while most languages spoken in Senegal are from the Niger-Congo family. Another difference is that most people in Senegal are Muslim, whereas most people in Madagascar are Christian.

BHUTAN-NEPAL

Bhutan and Nepal both border China and India. They are both landlocked and the Himalayas run through them so they are extremely mountainous. They both use Indic scripts. They are also both democracies, use the parliamentary system of government, and have bicameral legislatures. Furthermore, both countries drive on the left and use Type D electrical outlets. They also primarily rely on hydropower to create electricity.

However, Bhutanese have more East Asian ancestry than Nepalese. Furthermore, most languages spoken in Bhutan are from the Sino-Tibetan family, while most languages in Nepal are from the Indo-European family. Another difference is that a much higher percentage of Nepalese are Hindu, while the vast majority of Bhutanese are Buddhist. While Nepal has a high percentage of females, Bhutan has far more males than females.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC-PHILIPPINES

The Dominican Republic and the Philippines are both located on mountainous tropical islands. These countries were once colonies of Spain and are also heavily influenced by the United States. They are democracies that use the presidential system and have bicameral legislatures. However, there is little rule of law in these countries. Both countries do not allow same sex marriage or abortion. Moreover, they both drive on the right and use Type A, B electrical outlets as well.

However, most Filipinos have East Asian ancestry, while Dominicans tend to have a mix of European and African ancestry. Furthermore, their native languages are different. Filipinos speak Austronesian languages, while Dominicans speak Spanish. On average, Dominicans are also taller and heavier than Filipinos too.

EAST TIMOR-INDONESIA

East Timor used to be part of Indonesia, until its independence in 2002. They are both located on mountainous tropical islands in Southeast Asia. They tend to cultivate a lot of rice and corn. Both use Type C, F electrical outlets and drive on the left side of the road. In addition, they both use the Latin alphabet. These countries are also democracies and their presidents are elected by popular vote. Both countries do not allow same sex marriage or the possession of pornography.

However, the native people in East Timor have far more Melanesian ancestry than the majority of Indonesians. Furthermore, most East Timorese are Catholic, while most Indonesians are Muslim. The average age of Indonesians is about ten years older. Indonesia also has a lower birth rate. Furthermore, East Timor has a lower literacy rate and a higher poverty rate.

DATA TABLE

COUNTRIESDEMO.CULT.GOV.INFRA.GEO.AVG. – DEMO.DIFF.
ARMENIA KYRGYZSTAN11.29.616.916.516.114.78-3.58
FIJI SAMOA11.613.313.516.216.914.98-3.38
MADAGASCAR SENEGAL10.912.614.616.811.813.95-3.05
BHUTAN NEPAL11.31014.315.817.114.30-3.00
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC PHILIPPINES10.61113.416.113.513.50-2.90
EAST TIMOR INDONESIA10.410.812.614.514.913.20-2.80

(Minimum 63% similarity excluding demographics)

Do you agree with this list? Any other pairs of countries that you would add?
Please leave any thoughts in the comments section.

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