Infrastructure forms the backbone of any nation’s economic development. In Europe, there are a few countries have significantly different infrastructure from each other. But have you ever wondered which pair of countries have the least similar infrastructure in Europe?
One way to answer this difficult question is by analyzing the data from the Country Similarity Index. The index attempts to quantify how similar countries are to each other relative to other countries, using a variety of statistics. An analysis of the data suggests that Ireland and Bosnia & Herzegovina have the least similar infrastructure in Europe. However, Iceland and Ukraine are another pair of countries that also have extreme differences as well.
Ireland – Bosnia & Herzegovina
One of the reasons for the differences in infrastructure between Ireland and Bosnia can be traced back to their historical backgrounds. Ireland has seen significant investments in infrastructure over the years. Its development started in the 19th century with the expansion of railways, roads, and ports. Bosnia, on the other hand, faced severe infrastructural challenges due to the scars of war during the breakup of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s. The conflicts left behind extensive damage to buildings, roads, and utilities.
Ireland boasts a well-developed and extensive transportation network. Its road system is modern and efficiently connects major cities and towns. The country has also invested significantly in public transportation, including buses and trains, providing reliable options for both commuters and tourists. In contrast, Bosnia’s transportation network is less developed, especially in rural and mountainous regions. Roads are often in need of repair. Furthermore, the railroad in Bosnia is not widely used. Ireland’s airports tend to be much busier as well.
Another big difference is their infrastructure standards. Ireland drives on the left side of the road, while Bosnia drives on the right, like the rest of continental Europe. Moreover, they have different railroad track gauges as well. Their electrical outlets are not the same too. Ireland uses Type I, while Bosnia & Herzegovina uses Type C, F. However, they do have the same electrical voltage and frequency. Yet another difference is that Bosnia has not fulled transitioned to digital television broadcasting.
Iceland – Ukraine
The differences in infrastructure between Iceland and Ukraine are also huge. A much higher percentage of Iceland’s population owns a car than Ukraine’s. This is because Iceland is wealthier and does not have a public railway system. Its people are heavily dependent on cars to travel long distances. In contrast, Ukrainians often take the railroads to visit different cities. Kyiv, Lviv, and Kharkiv boast well-developed public transportation networks. Another difference is that Iceland’s airports are much busier, due to tourism.
In Iceland, geothermal and hydroelectric resources have allowed the country to generate nearly 100% of its electricity from renewable sources. Ukraine, on the other hand, heavily relies on coal and nuclear power, for its energy needs. The country faces challenges in transitioning to cleaner energy due to infrastructural limitations and geopolitical factors. Another difference is that Iceland consumes far greater amounts of energy per capita. Iceland’s energy-intensive industries require vast amounts of electricity.
Moreover, Iceland boasts widespread high-speed internet accessibility, while Ukraine, although making advancements in urban telecommunications, still trails behind developed nations in internet penetration. In terms of defense infrastructure, Iceland stands out as one of the rare countries without a military, pursuing a policy of peace and neutrality. Conversely, Ukraine maintains a conventional military structure with branches like the Army, Navy, and Air Force, prioritizing national defense due to its geopolitical situation.