Sat. Dec 14th, 2019

South Africa ranks as the ninth most diverse country in the world

diverse country south africa diversityWhen looking at travel destinations, one of the most cited reasons travellers use when describing a destination as desirable is its cultural diversity.

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Metropolitan cities like Paris, London and New York are unique destinations partly due to how they are melting pots of culture and people from around the world.

However, when looking at which countries are the most diverse, things can get a little more complicated. Rickshaw Travel took it upon themselves to investigate which countries rank as the most culturally diverse.

They looked at several factors to determine the relative diversity of each country. Their high-level considerations were:

  • Level of ethnic diversity
  • Number of immigrants
  • Number of spoken languages
  • Number of religious beliefs
  • Number of political parties
  • Level of religious freedom
  • LGBT rights and freedom
  • Level of personal liberty

Each of these categories was broken up into sub-categories and assigned scores with the ultimate numeric score indicating the level of cultural diversity in any given country.

So, which country is the most culturally diverse of them all? Benin scored highest in the diversity metrics.

Benin is a small French-speaking country, whose claim to fame is that it’s considered the birthplace of the voodoo religion. Benin is a majority French-speaking country but is home to 56 spoken languages.

South Africa with all its official languages and progressive constitution, managed to secure the ninth spot on the list, between Switzerland and Estonia.

  1. Benin
  2. Belgium
  3. Suriname
  4. Brazil
  5. Mozambique
  6. Cote d’Ivoire
  7. Canada
  8. Switzerland
  9. South Africa
  10. Estonia

Back in 2013, the Harvard Institute for Economic Research compared data from several sources, including the Encyclopedia Brittanica, the CIA, Minority Rights Group International.

The based their research around one simple question: “If you called up two people at random in a particular country and ask them their ethnicity, what are the odds that they would give different answers?

The higher the odds of receiving different answers, the more ethnically “fractionalised” or diverse that country would rank. Their study also confirmed that South Africa, along with most African countries, is ethnically diverse.

The more ethnically homogenous countries on the map include Australia, Russia and parts of Europe.

- South Africa ranks as the ninth most diverse country in the world

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