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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Cultural Distance Calculator Part2

This is a follow-up for the Cultural Distance Calculator:

Since there are some cultural data available I decided to use phylogeny software to present the results. This helps to detects groups of population that have similar cultural values and behavior.  In order to visualize the data of the first 4 dimensions.First, I calculated a distance matrix for all populations of the "Old World" (N=69). Then, I had to adjust the IDs to 10 digits to prevent malfunction of the Fitch software. In Fitch, I used 10 randomized runs to improve the results.

The tree of "Old world" cultures:
Europe: red
Middle East and North Africa: green
Asia: green asparagus
New World "Latin America": brown
New World "English-speaking": grey 
Pacific: pink
Africa: black

Some of the surprising and interesting observations:

1. Scandinavians form one cultural cluster.
2. Australia, USA, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa are in the British/Irish cultural cluster.
3. The closest to British/Irish cultural cluster are Central Europeans and Israelis.
4. The "Catholic Cluster" is formed by Argentina, Spain, France, Belgium, Poland, and Malta.
5. The "Arab World Cluster" (Iraq, Saudi-Arabia, UAE, Kuwait) shows cultural similarities to some Latin-Americans (Guatemala, Panama, Surinam, Mexico, Brazil) and some East Europeans, mostly Orthodox Christians (Russia, Serbia, Romania)
6. Culturally, Turkey is more similar to Balkan people (Bulgaria, Croatia) than to the Middle East.
7. Culturally, Albania is more similar to Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela than to the Balkan
8. Some European countries (Portugal, Greece, Slovenia) form a cultural cluster with Latin Americans (Uruguay, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Peru) and South Korea. Egypt is not far away from that cluster.
9. Singapore, Hong Kong, China, and Vietnam on one side, and Philippines, Malaysia, and Bhutan on the other side form two closely related clusters.
10. Dominican Republic forms a cultural cluster Ethiopia and Kenya.
11. Culturally, Nepal is more similar to some African countries (Malawi, Zambia, Namibia, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Senegal)
12. Honduras, Indonesia and the Fiji Islands form a cultural cluster.


  1. example in Iran there are very different cultures the north and south are very different, i think golf region is close to marocco but not the north.

    where would kurds (sunni-kurmanjis) be in this map ?

  2. You have some extremely interesting data in your blog, very pleased I came across it. I'm impressed!

    Could you contact me?

  3. thanks for the excel sheet on Hofstede cultural distance. Very helpful for me.