There are some unique pairs of countries that are quite similar to each other with respect to their technology standards and development of infrastructure, but have little else in common. A list of these countries was developed by analyzing the data from the Country Similarity Index, that 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 infrastructure and their other aspects, including demographics, culture, government, and geography.
Equatorial Guinea and Yemen both drive on the right side of the road and their people have few cars per capita. Neither country has a railroad. Both countries primarily rely on oil power and use a similar amount of electricity. Furthermore, they use the same voltage and frequency. In addition, they both still use the PAL analog television broadcasting standard. These countries also lack well developed medical infrastructure as well.
However, Equatorial Guinea is mostly dense tropical forests, since it has a hot and humid climate. In contrast, Yemen is mostly barren desert. Furthermore, Yemen is significantly more mountainous. While most people are Christian in Equatorial Guinea, most people in Yemen are Muslims. Their native languages and writing systems are also vastly different from each other. Furthermore, Equatorial Guinea’s laws less conservative than Yemen’s, since it allows alcohol and gambling.
Afghanistan and Guinea-Bissau are another pair of Middle Eastern and Sub-Saharan African countries on this list. Both countries drive on the right and use Type C electrical outlets. They also use the same voltage and frequency. Both countries are transitioning from analog PAL to digital DVBT television broadcasting standards. Few people have vehicles in these countries. They also lack passenger railroad service.
However, Guinea-Bissau gets far more rainfall than Afghanistan. It is also much less mountainous. In contrast to landlocked Afghanistan, most of the land in Guinea-Bissau is close to the coast. Their native languages and writing systems are also vastly different from each other. While Afghanistan still has the death penalty, even life in prison has been in abolished in Guinea-Bissau, like many other former colonies of Portugal. It also does not allow alcohol or prostitution, unlike Guinea-Bissau.
Cambodia and Senegal have very similar technology standards, in part since they were both once colonies of France. They drive on the right, use one meter railroad gauge, and have Type C electrical outlets. Their infrastructure is not well developed. Both countries have few vehicles per person and trains are not widely used. In addition, they use a similar amount of electricity and many houses still do not have electricity.
However, Senegal has a drier climate than Cambodia and has less farmland. Cambodians mostly grow rice, while peanut and millet are popular crops in Senegal. Their cultures are also quite different. Most Cambodians are Buddhist, while most people in Senegal are Muslim. Their languages and writing systems are also unrelated. Senegal is also more democratic and has more rule of law than Cambodia.
Tunisia and Vietnam are another pair of former French colonies in Africa and Southeast Asia on this list. Both countries drive on the right, use one meter railroad gauge, and have Type C electrical outlets. They use a similar amount of electricity and the voltage and frequency of their power is the same. Almost everyone has access to electricity and drinking water in these countries. Furthermore, most households have television.
However, Tunisia has a much drier climate than Vietnam. While Vietnam primarily grows rice, Tunisia grows a lot of olives and wheat. Their cultures are also quite different. Most Vietnamese are Buddhist, but many are not especially religious. In contrast, most people in Senegal are devout Muslims. According to the Lewis Model, Vietnamese tend to be less outgoing than Tunisians as well. Their languages and writing systems are also different.
Mauritania and North Korea have similar technology standards. Both countries drive on the right, use the standard railroad gauge, and have Type C electrical outlets. They also use the same electrical voltage and frequency. Their infrastructure is not well developed. Both countries have few vehicles per person and trains are not widely used. Few people in these countries have access to internet. Many of the weapons in both countries have been supplied by Russia.
However, Mauritania’s climate is much hotter and drier than North Korea. It is also less mountainous and less densely populated. Their cultures are also quite different. Most North Koreans are not especially religious. In contrast, most people in Mauritania are Muslim. Their native languages and writing systems are also completely unrelated. Furthermore, North Korea allows abortion and alcohol, unlike Mauritania.
Saudi Arabia and Taiwan are both countries that have well developed infrastructure. These nations drive on the right and they have a similar amount of vehicles per capita. They also use the same TV broadcasting standard. These countries tend to use a lot of electricity and rely on fossil fuels to generate it. In addition, both governments have advanced military equipment. They have bought many of their weapons from the United States.
However, Saudi Arabia and Taiwan are far different from each other in all other aspects. Most Taiwanese follow Buddhism or traditional Chinese religions, while Saudis are mostly Muslim. Furthermore, their languages are writing systems are completely unrelated to each other. Another difference is that Taiwan is a democracy with less conservative laws than Saudi Arabia. Taiwan is also more densely populated and gets far more rainfall, so its landscape has a lot of farmland and forested land.
|COUNTRIES||DEMO.||CULT.||GOV.||INFRA.||GEO.||AVG. – INFRA.||DIFF.|
|EQUAT. GUINEA YEMEN||8.8||5.8||10.6||16.3||8.0||8.30||8.00|
|AFGHANISTAN GUINEA BISSAU||10.1||6.7||9.3||15.8||6.2||8.08||7.73|
|MAURITANIA NORTH KOREA||6.2||4.8||8.9||14.0||6.1||6.50||7.50|
|SAUDI ARABIA TAIWAN||7.2||4.5||7.5||13.7||9.6||6.28||7.43|
(Minimum 63% infrastructure similarity)
Please see the complimentary article, that lists countries with little similarity in their infrastructure, but have many other characteristics in common with each other.
Do you agree with this list? Any other pairs of countries that you would add?
Please leave any thoughts in the comments section.