Failed States 2019

We’ve all heard of states – a territory that is organized under one government. However, what happens when this political structure just doesn’t work as it should? The result is a failed state.

There are two characteristics of a failed state. The first is that the government cannot project authority over the people and the territory. The second is that it is unable to protect its boundaries. In other words, the government structure is completely unsuccessful. The government of a failed state is unable to control its people or resources, and there are very few – if any – public services available.

There are many reasons why a state would fail. A predatory and corrupt government is one major reason. Other reasons include civil wars, genocide, and ethnic violence. A failed state can’t implement public policies, infrastructure is not effectively built, and civil liberties and human rights are unprotected. There is no physical security for a failed state’s residents, and there is no stable political or economic systems in place.

Currently, there are many states throughout the world that are noted to be “failed states,” while others classify them as “vulnerable,” meaning that unless change comes soon, the states will fail.

Some of the states most in danger of failing include states like Nicaragua, Brazil, Sudan, and North Korea, due to corruption. States like Libya, Iraq, Pakistan and Siberia are in danger of failing because of rebellion. Other states including Nigeria and Nepal are at risk because of democratic collapse. States including Iraq, Yemen and Turkey are in danger to religious and ethnic conflicts.

Rank Flag Name Population 2019 Area Area (mi²) % of Earth's Area Growth Rate Region Subregion
1Pakistan216,565,318881,912 km²340,418 mi²0.59%2.04%AsiaSouthern Asia
2Brazil211,049,5278,515,767 km²3,287,086 mi²5.74%0.75%AmericasSouth America
3Nigeria200,963,599923,768 km²356,574 mi²0.62%2.60%AfricaWestern Africa
4Turkey83,429,615783,562 km²302,455 mi²0.53%1.32%AsiaWestern Asia
5Sudan42,813,2381,886,068 km²728,022 mi²1.27%2.42%AfricaNorthern Africa
6Iraq39,309,783438,317 km²169,190 mi²0.30%2.28%AsiaWestern Asia
7Yemen29,161,922527,968 km²203,796 mi²0.36%2.33%AsiaWestern Asia
8Nepal28,608,710147,181 km²56,812 mi²< 0.1%1.83%AsiaSouthern Asia
9North Korea25,666,161120,538 km²46,528 mi²< 0.1%0.46%AsiaEastern Asia
10Libya6,777,4521,759,540 km²679,182 mi²1.19%1.48%AfricaNorthern Africa
11Nicaragua6,545,502130,373 km²50,324 mi²< 0.1%1.24%AmericasCentral America