The Southeast Asian Country Most Similar to Latin America

Determining the Southeast Asian 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 shows that the Philippines is easily the most similar Southeast Asian country to Latin America. On the other end of the spectrum, Singapore is the least similar.

(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 Southeast Asian countries most similar to Latin America

Although the Philippines is located in Southeast Asia, four of the ten most similar countries to it are in Latin America. Culture is the biggest reason why the Philippines has a lot in common with Latin American countries. They also share some similarities in government and infrastructure.


The Philippines was a colony of Spain for over 300 years. This period significantly influenced the country’s culture. Like most Latin American countries, the Philippines is predominately Catholic. In contrast, the majority of countries in Southeast Asia are Buddhist or Muslim. While Spanish is no longer widely spoken in the Philippines, some Spanish loanwords are still present in the Filipino language. The country has adopted many Western holidays.


Many countries in Latin America, as well as the Philippines, have presidential systems of government. This means that the head of state and government is the president, who is elected by the people and serves a fixed term. Both regions have experienced periods of political instability, including coups, political unrest, and changes in leadership. Furthermore, corruption has been a concern in both the Philippines and certain Latin American nations.


The development and living standards in the Philippines are similar to the average Latin American country. Some Southeast Asian countries, like Cambodia and Laos are less developed than the Philippines, while Singapore and Brunei are more developed. Furthermore, some countries is Southeast Asia drive on the left and use Type G electrical outlets like Great Britain. The Philippines is similar to Latin America since it drives on the right and uses both Type A, B and Type C electrical outlets.

The Most Similar Latin American Country to the Philippines

The Country Similarity Index suggests that the Dominican Republic is the most similar Latin American country to the Philippines. Both countries had periods of being colonized by both Spain and the United States. They share American traits like using 911 for emergencies, driving on the right side of the road, and having Type A, B electrical outlets. Rice is the most commonly eaten grain in both countries, while chicken is the most commonly eaten meat. In addition, both countries have a relatively similar standard of living.

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