The Sub-Saharan African Country Most Similar to Latin America

Determining the Sub-Saharan African country most similar to Latin America requires considering various social, cultural, economic, and political factors.

One way to answer this complex 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 from five broad categories: demographics, culture, politics, infrastructure, and geography.

The data suggests that Gabon is the most similar Sub-Saharan African country to Latin America. In contrast, Somalia has the least amount of traits shared with Latin American countries.

(Latin American countries defined as Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela)

graph of most similar sub-saharan african countries to latin america

Let’s analyze the ways in which Djibouti‘s culture, politics, and geography have a lot in common with Central Asia. Both are located along historical trade routes that connected them with the Arabian Peninsula. Djibouti, with its access to the Red Sea, has long been a crossroads for Arab traders. Similarly, Central Asia’s position along the Silk Road facilitated trade with the Arabian Peninsula.


The vast majority of Gabonese are Christian and over 40% are Catholic. Furthermore, Gabon’s average education and income levels are among the highest in Sub-Saharan Africa. Its GDP per capita is more than $8,000, much more than a majority of countries in the region. It also has one of the highest literacy rates. This has implications for the population’s overall standard of living.


Like all Latin American countries, Gabon drives on the right side of the road. Both Gabon and certain Latin American countries have economies with a significant reliance on natural resources. Most of Gabon’s revenue comes from oil production. Both regions may face challenges in developing infrastructure in rural areas. Still, Gabon’s infrastructure is more developed than most Sub-Saharan African countries, so it is closer to Latin America’s level.


Gabon and many Latin American countries border the Atlantic Ocean. In contrast, several African countries are landlocked. Another notable similarity between Gabon and some parts of Latin America is the presence of rainforests. Gabon is home to significant portions of the Congo Basin rainforest, one of the largest tropical rainforests in the world. Like many Latin American countries, its land is sparsely populated.

The Most Similar Latin American Country to Gabon

The Country Similarity Index suggests that the Dominican Republic is the most similar Latin American country to Gabon. Dominican Republic has a higher percentage of people with African ancestry than most other Latin American countries. Furthermore, both countries have tropical climates and border the Atlantic Ocean.

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