High Context Countries 2021

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Japan

Like most Asian countries, Japan is considered one of the most high context countries. Japanese communication culture can best be described as indirect and implicit. This is supported by the Japanese culture of Ba no Kuuki wa Yomu (shortened to Kuki O Yomu), which means reading the air.

Generally, the custom encompasses the idea of being aware of your own social status, reading behavioral signals and understanding the situation without words, and also putting yourself in another person's shoes to get a better sense of their feelings.

China

China is also on the list of high context countries because its culture is influenced by Confucian elements (benevolence, propriety, righteousness, etc.). The country leans towards collectivism, and harmony within the group is important.

Chinese social culture avoids direct communication because it can be socially awkward and uncomfortable. Saving face is an important concept in Chinese society as it allows one to retain honor.

France

French society places importance on social status and conformance to behavioral norms. Like with most high context countries, the people in France communicate formally and diplomatically. Communicating with the French requires one to have both verbal and non-verbal skills. That's because you'll also have to observe facial expressions, tone, gestures, and posture when interacting with the French.

Russia

Russia is a high context country with a culture that revolves around collectivism and interdependence on group relationships. Russians employ a communication style that relies on environmental, non-verbal, traditional, and symbolic cues when communicating. These rules of communication are understood without being explicitly stated.

Spain

Spain has a high context culture because any verbal interaction occurs through the lens of who said it, where they come from, how they're saying it, and the emotions and motives behind the words.

The people of Spain can extrapolate meaning through non-verbal communication because they value well-developed relationships. Therefore, they are always aware of the context and environment when conversing with others.

Saudi Arabia

Most Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, are very high context countries. Again this means the business and social communication culture in Saudi Arabia relies not only on what is said but on other communicative cues, such as facial expressions, body positioning, the use of silence, and tone of voice.

Brazil

Brazil, along with other Latin American countries, has a high context culture with collectivist societies. While Brazilians are very friendly with foreigners, they'll typically not include them in their inner circle because they won't understand the conversational nuances.

Italy

Most Mediterranean countries are considered high context countries, and Italy is not an exception. Italian culture has a collectivist view that emphasizes emotions, family, and group relationships. Open displays of affection, vigorous handshakes and hugs are a normal part of Italian culture.

The people of Italy also rely on body language, especially hand gestures, when communicating. However, it's important to follow social norms and rituals. For instance, it's important to know which side to start with when kissing on the cheek.

South Africa

South Africa's high-context culture is predominant amongst the black community. Each tribe in South Africa, whether Xhosa, Zulu, Pedi, has its own communication culture, though there are some similarities.

Generally, elders are respected, and extended family systems are prevalent. South Africa's traditional communication culture also relies on rituals, proverbs, and conversations with veiled meanings. This also applies to most African countries.

High Context Countries 2021

Rank Country 2021 Population
China1,444,216,107
India1,393,409,038
United States332,915,073
Indonesia276,361,783
Pakistan225,199,937
Brazil213,993,437
Nigeria211,400,708
Bangladesh166,303,498
Russia145,912,025
Mexico130,262,216
Japan126,050,804
Ethiopia117,876,227
Philippines111,046,913
Egypt104,258,327
Vietnam98,168,833
Dr Congo92,377,993
Turkey85,042,738
Iran85,028,759
Germany83,900,473
Thailand69,950,850
United Kingdom68,207,116
France65,426,179
Tanzania61,498,437
Italy60,367,477
South Africa60,041,994
Kenya54,985,698
Myanmar54,806,012
South Korea51,305,186
Colombia51,265,844
Uganda47,123,531
Spain46,745,216
Argentina45,605,826
Sudan44,909,353
Algeria44,616,624
Ukraine43,466,819
Iraq41,179,350
Afghanistan39,835,428
Canada38,067,903
Poland37,797,005
Morocco37,344,795
Saudi Arabia35,340,683
Uzbekistan33,935,763
Angola33,933,610
Peru33,359,418
Malaysia32,776,194
Mozambique32,163,047
Ghana31,732,129
Yemen30,490,640
Nepal29,674,920
Venezuela28,704,954
Madagascar28,427,328
Cameroon27,224,265
Ivory Coast27,053,629
North Korea25,887,041
Australia25,788,215
Niger25,130,817
Taiwan23,855,010
Sri Lanka21,497,310
Burkina Faso21,497,096
Mali20,855,735
Malawi19,647,684
Chile19,212,361
Romania19,127,774
Kazakhstan18,994,962
Zambia18,920,651
Syria18,275,702
Guatemala18,249,860
Ecuador17,888,475
Senegal17,196,301
Netherlands17,173,099
Cambodia16,946,438
Chad16,914,985
Somalia16,359,504
Zimbabwe15,092,171
Guinea13,497,244
Rwanda13,276,513
Benin12,451,040
Burundi12,255,433
Tunisia11,935,766
Bolivia11,832,940
Belgium11,632,326
Haiti11,541,685
South Sudan11,381,378
Cuba11,317,505
Dominican Republic10,953,703
Czech Republic10,724,555
Greece10,370,744
Jordan10,269,021
Azerbaijan10,223,342
Portugal10,167,925
Sweden10,160,169
Honduras10,062,991
United Arab Emirates9,991,089
Tajikistan9,749,627
Hungary9,634,164
Belarus9,442,862
Papua New Guinea9,119,010
Austria9,043,070
Israel8,789,774
Switzerland8,715,494
Serbia8,697,550
Togo8,478,250
Sierra Leone8,141,343
Hong Kong7,552,810
Laos7,379,358
Paraguay7,219,638
Libya6,958,532
Bulgaria6,896,663
Lebanon6,769,146
Nicaragua6,702,385
Kyrgyzstan6,628,356
El Salvador6,518,499
Turkmenistan6,117,924
Singapore5,896,686
Denmark5,813,298
Republic Of The Congo5,657,013
Finland5,548,360
Norway5,465,630
Slovakia5,460,721
Oman5,223,375
Palestine5,222,748
Liberia5,180,203
Costa Rica5,139,052
Ireland4,982,907
Central African Republic4,919,981
New Zealand4,860,643
Mauritania4,775,119
Panama4,381,579
Kuwait4,328,550
Croatia4,081,651
Moldova4,024,019
Georgia3,979,765
Eritrea3,601,467
Uruguay3,485,151
Mongolia3,329,289
Bosnia And Herzegovina3,263,466
Jamaica2,973,463
Armenia2,968,127
Qatar2,930,528
Albania2,872,933
Puerto Rico2,828,255
Lithuania2,689,862
Namibia2,587,344
Gambia2,486,945
Botswana2,397,241
Gabon2,278,825
Lesotho2,159,079
North Macedonia2,082,658
Slovenia2,078,724
Guinea Bissau2,015,494
Latvia1,866,942
Bahrain1,748,296
Equatorial Guinea1,449,896
Trinidad And Tobago1,403,375
Timor Leste1,343,873
Estonia1,325,185
Mauritius1,273,433
Cyprus1,215,584
Eswatini1,172,362
Djibouti1,002,187
Fiji902,906
Reunion901,686
Comoros888,451
Guyana790,326
Bhutan779,898
Solomon Islands703,996
Macau658,394
Luxembourg634,814
Montenegro628,053
Western Sahara611,875
Suriname591,800
Cape Verde561,898
Maldives543,617
Malta442,784
Brunei441,532
Belize404,914
Guadeloupe400,020
Bahamas396,913
Martinique374,745
Iceland343,353
Vanuatu314,464
French Guiana306,448
New Caledonia288,218
Barbados287,711
French Polynesia282,530
Mayotte279,515
Sao Tome And Principe223,368
Samoa200,149
Saint Lucia184,400
Guam170,179
Curacao164,798
Kiribati121,392
Micronesia116,254
Grenada113,021
Saint Vincent And The Grenadines111,263
Aruba107,204
Tonga106,760
United States Virgin Islands104,226
Seychelles98,908
Antigua And Barbuda98,731
Isle Of Man85,410
Andorra77,355
Dominica72,167
Cayman Islands66,497
Bermuda62,090
Marshall Islands59,610
Northern Mariana Islands57,917
Greenland56,877
American Samoa55,100
Saint Kitts And Nevis53,544
Faroe Islands49,049
Sint Maarten43,412
Monaco39,511
Saint Martin39,234
Turks And Caicos Islands39,231
Liechtenstein38,250
San Marino34,017
Gibraltar33,698
British Virgin Islands30,421
Palau18,169
Cook Islands17,565
Anguilla15,117
Tuvalu11,931
Wallis And Futuna11,094
Nauru10,876
Saint Barthelemy9,907
Saint Pierre And Miquelon5,766
Montserrat4,977
Falkland Islands3,533
Niue1,619
Tokelau1,373
Vatican City800

High Context Countries 2021