The South Asian Country Most Similar to East Asia

Determining the South Asian country most similar to East Asia 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 Bhutan and Sri Lanka are easily most similar South Asia countries to East Asia. On the other end of the spectrum, Pakistan has the least amount of traits in common with countries in Southeast Asia.

(East Asian countries are defined as China, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan)

Bhutan a landlocked country located between China and India. It is often classified as a South Asian country, although it has some East Asian traits. Demographics and culture are the two biggest reasons why Bhutan is the most similar country in South Asia to East Asia.


Bhutanese people are ethnically and culturally related to Tibetans. This ethnic group’s ancestry differs from what is typically found in other South Asian countries, where Indo-Aryan ethnic groups are more common. Therefore, Bhutanese people and East Asians share many similar phenotypical traits.


Most people in Bhutan speak languages that are distantly related to Chinese. They are part of the Sino-Tibetan family of languages. Furthermore, like most East Asian countries, Buddhism is the most commonly practiced religion in Bhutan. The form of Buddhism practiced in Bhutan is Vajrayana Buddhism, which has historical and cultural ties to Tibetan and Mahayana Buddhism. Archery, Bhutan’s national sport, is also quite popular in South Korea and Japan.

The Most Similar East Asian Country to Bhutan

The Country Similarity Index suggests that China is the most similar East Asian country to Bhutan. China is on Bhutan’s northern border. The Himalayas run through both countries. Most people in these countries speak Sino-Tibetan languages.

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