The world's 7.8 billion people are incredibly diverse. Humans are unique in their languages, customs, religions, race, and more. Some countries are home to many unique groups of people. What countries are the most diverse?
In 2013, German researcher Erkan Gören measured the amount of cultural diversity in 180 countries worldwide. He used data on ethnicity and race and measured the similarity of languages spoken by major ethnic or racial groups. Goren gave each country a score between 0 and 1, with scores closer to 1 being more diverse. The paper is called Economic Effects of Domestic and Neighbouring Countries' Cultural Diversity.
It's important to note that Gören's study is for cultural diversity, different from ethnic diversity. Cultural diversity includes a country's language in its diversity profile instead of just looking at ethnic and race background. This is important when looking at countries like Brazil, which has a large mix of races in its population and is ethnically diverse. However, because virtually all Brazilians speak Portuguese, Gören ranks Brazil as one of the least diverse.
Based on his findings, the most diverse countries worldwide are:
Chad has over 100 ethnic groups among its 8.6 million residents. Chad is also Africa's fifth-largest country by area, spanning over 495,624 square miles. This allows Chad's ethnic groups to live and operate autonomously despite several attempts to unify them. Most of the 100 languages spoken in Chad are Nilo-Saharan and Afro-Asiatic and do not overlap with ethnic group identities. Arabic, Sara, and French are common across the country, especially Arabic, an important commercial language.
Cameroon has approximately 250 indigenous populations and as many local languages and customs. Because of Cameroon's many cultures and religions and its longstanding tradition of peace and tolerance, UNESCO has featured Cameroon as an "example of diversity to the world."
African countries ranked high in this study because of their many tribal groups and languages. The top five most diverse countries are African. Canada is the only western country among the top 20 most diverse countries.