Most Dangerous Countries in the World 2020

Every year, the Institute for Economics and Peace releases its Global Peace Index report. This report is the only one of its kind that measures how dangerous or safe a nation is based on 23 different indicators, including political terror, deaths from internal conflict, and murder rate.

The GPI report evaluates 163 countries with account for over 99% of the world’s total population. The factors analyzed in the report are grouped into three different areas:

  • Safety and Security
  • Ongoing Conflict
  • Militarization

Below are the ten most dangerous countries in the world. The majority of these countries have a Level 3 or Level 4 travel advisory from the U.S. Department of State.

1. Afghanistan

Afghanistan is the most dangerous country in the world, according to the 2019 Global Peace Index. According to the UN peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan, the country experienced 3,804 civilian deaths in conflict, 927 of who are children. Afghanistan experiences deadly attacks from the Taliban across the country and the U.S. is now in its 19th year of war in Afghanistan. Afghanistan has the highest number of deaths from war and terrorism than any other country in the world.

2. Syria

Syria is the second-most dangerous country in the world. Syria only recently was put in second by Afghanistan. The Syrian civil war has plagued the country since March 2011 and has been the second-deadliest war of the 21st century. An estimated 470,000 people, including 55,000 children, have been killed in the Syrian conflict. High levels of violence have been persistent throughout Syria including the use of small arms, tanks, chemical weapons, artillery, and aircraft. As of March 2019, 5.7 million people have fled Syria and over 6 million have been displaced internally.

3. South Sudan

South Sudan is the third-most dangerous country in the world. South Sudan has ongoing conflict, civil unrest, and widespread violent crime, including robberies, assaults, carjacking, and kidnappings. Armed conflict exists mostly between the government and opposition groups, with little to no rule of law or order outside the country’s capital of Juba. Areas near South Sudan’s borders with Sudan, Kenya, Central African Republic, and so on, are particularly dangerous. Additionally, South Sudan is at high risk for climate disasters.

4. Yemen

The fourth-most dangerous country in the world is Yemen. Yemeni Civil War began in 2015 between two factions: the Abdrabbuuh Mansur Hadi led government and the Houthi armed movement. Yemen has the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, according to the UN, where four years of ongoing conflict has resulted in 4.3 million people leaving their homes and 14 million people at risk of starvation and outbreaks of deadly diseases. About 80% of the Yemen population (24 million people) is in desperate need of humanitarian assistance.

5. Iraq

The fifth-most dangerous country in the world is Iraq. Iraq continues to have both internal and external conflicts, including likely terrorist attacks. ISIS continues to capture and kill civilians and Iraqi armed forces. Other human rights violations, including violations of freedom of assembly and women’s rights, have persisted. U.S. citizens visiting Iraq are at particularly high risk for violence and kidnapping and are a target of Anti-U.S. sectarian militias throughout Iraq.

6. Somalia

Somalia is the sixth-most dangerous country in the United States. Somalia has high kidnapping risks in all parts of the country. Terror attacks are likely at Mogadishu International airport, government buildings, hotels, and restaurants. Foreigners, government officials, and UN workers are significant targets of these attacks. Somalia’s droughts and food shortages have compounded the already unstable environment and security and effective police forces are absent.

7. Central African Republic

The Central African Republic is the seventh-most dangerous country in the world. Despite a peace agreement signed in 2017, chaos in the country has continued to grow and spread. The main source of unrest in the Central African Republic is the clash between the Seleka rebels and the Anti-Balaka militia. The conflict has displaced 620,000 people internally and created 570,000 refugees leaving to neighboring countries. Kidnappings are widespread, as are reports of violence, looting, and human rights abuses across the country.

8. Libya

Libya is the eighth-most dangerous country in the world. Libya has experienced high levels of crime, civil unrest, kidnapping, armed conflict, and terrorism. The violence in Libya is mostly caused by militias that continue to clash with one another over territory and resources. ISIS has carried out several attacks that killed both civilians and security force members. The capital, Tripoli, and other large cities such as Suman, Al-Jufra, Misrata, Ajdabiya, and Benghazi, have been frequent locations of fighting among militias and terrorist attacks.

9. Democratic Republic of the Congo

The ninth-most dangerous country in the world is the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The DRC recently experienced an Ebola outbreak, which has claimed over 2,200 lives, according to the World Health Organization. The ability of health workers to provide care to treat Ebola patients has been hindered by the violence occurring in the DRC. Demonstrations are common in cities around the country and often turn violent. Violent crimes are common as well, such as armed home invasion, robberies, and assault and police lack the resources to effectively respond to crime.

10. Russia

Russia is the tenth-most dangerous country in the world. Russia’s high militarization contributes to its position on the list, along with having one of the highest per-capita rates of weapons exports. Russia, unlike the other countries on this list, has a Level 2 travel advisory from the U.S Department of State to exercise increased caution when visiting. Russia is susceptible to transnational and local terrorist groups, and individuals inspired by extremist ideologies. Russian officials have also arbitrarily detained U.S. citizens, who may become victims of harassment or extortion.

Most Dangerous Countries in the World 2020

Rank Country Peace Index Population 2020
1Afghanistan3.57438,928,346
2Syria3.56617,500,658
3South Sudan3.52611,193,725
4Yemen3.41229,825,964
5Iraq3.36940,222,493
6Somalia3.315,893,222
7Central African Republic3.2964,829,767
8Libya3.2856,871,292
9Dr Congo3.21889,561,403
10Russia3.093145,934,462
11Pakistan3.072220,892,340
12Turkey3.01584,339,067
13Sudan2.99543,849,260
14Ukraine2.9543,733,762
15North Korea2.92125,778,816
16Nigeria2.898206,139,589
17Lebanon2.86,825,445
18Israel2.7358,655,535
19Mali2.7120,250,833
20Venezuela2.67128,435,940
21Colombia2.66150,882,891
22Palestine2.6085,101,414
23India2.6051,380,004,385
24Mexico2.6128,932,753
25Iran2.54283,992,949
26Cameroon2.53826,545,863
27Chad2.52216,425,864
28Egypt2.521102,334,404
29Burundi2.5211,890,784
30Philippines2.516109,581,078
31Eritrea2.5043,546,421
32Zimbabwe2.46314,862,924
33Ethiopia2.434114,963,588
34Azerbaijan2.42510,139,177
35Saudi Arabia2.40934,813,871
36United States2.401331,002,651
37South Africa2.39959,308,690
38Niger2.39424,206,644
39Myanmar2.39354,409,800
40Bahrain2.3571,701,575
41Honduras2.3419,904,607
42Mauritania2.3334,649,658
43Republic Of The Congo2.3235,518,087
44Nicaragua2.3126,624,554
45Kenya2.353,771,296
46Armenia2.2942,963,243
47Thailand2.27869,799,978
48Brazil2.271212,559,417
49Turkmenistan2.2656,031,200
50Guatemala2.26417,915,568
51El Salvador2.2626,486,205
52Guinea Bissau2.2371,968,001
53Algeria2.21943,851,044
54China2.2171,439,323,776
55Djibouti2.207988,000
56Togo2.2058,278,724
57Ivory Coast2.20326,378,274
58Uganda2.19645,741,007
59Tajikistan2.1969,537,645
60Burkina Faso2.17620,903,273
61Lesotho2.1672,142,249
62Uzbekistan2.16633,469,203
63Bangladesh2.128164,689,383
64Guinea2.12513,132,795
65Georgia2.1223,989,167
66Papua New Guinea2.1188,947,024
67Belarus2.1159,449,323
68Gabon2.1122,225,734
69Kyrgyzstan2.1056,524,195
70Mozambique2.09931,255,435
71Trinidad And Tobago2.0941,399,488
72Guyana2.075786,552
73Cuba2.07311,326,616
74Morocco2.0736,910,560
75Cambodia2.06616,718,965
76Paraguay2.0557,132,538
77Haiti2.05211,402,528
78Bolivia2.04411,673,021
79Dominican Republic2.04110,847,910
80Jamaica2.0382,961,167
81Tunisia2.03511,818,619
82Bosnia And Herzegovina2.0193,280,819
83Peru2.01632,971,854
84Rwanda2.01412,952,218
85Jordan2.01210,203,134
86Angola2.01232,866,272
87Nepal2.00329,136,808
88Argentina1.98945,195,774
89Swaziland1.9861,160,164
90Benin1.98612,123,200
91Sri Lanka1.98621,413,249
92Ecuador1.9817,643,054
93Equatorial Guinea1.9571,402,985
94Oman1.9535,106,626
95Moldova1.9514,033,963
96Montenegro1.939628,066
97Macedonia1.9332,083,374
98Greece1.93310,423,054
99Kazakhstan1.93218,776,707
100Cyprus1.9141,207,359
101Gambia1.9082,416,668
102Namibia1.8922,540,905
103France1.89265,273,511
104Liberia1.8895,057,681
105Senegal1.88316,743,927
106Vietnam1.87797,338,579
107Madagascar1.86727,691,018
108South Korea1.86751,269,185
109Tanzania1.8659,734,218
110United Arab Emirates1.8479,890,402
111Sierra Leone1.8227,976,983
112Albania1.8212,877,797
113Serbia1.8128,737,371
114Zambia1.80518,383,955
115Timor Leste1.8051,318,445
116Panama1.8044,314,767
117United Kingdom1.80167,886,011
118Laos1.8017,275,560
119Ghana1.79631,072,940
120Kuwait1.7944,270,571
121Mongolia1.7923,278,290
122Indonesia1.785273,523,615
123Malawi1.77919,129,952
124Italy1.75460,461,826
125Lithuania1.7282,722,289
126Estonia1.7271,326,535
127Taiwan1.72523,816,775
128Latvia1.7181,886,198
129Uruguay1.7113,473,730
130Costa Rica1.7065,094,118
131Spain1.69946,754,778
132Qatar1.6962,881,053
133Botswana1.6762,351,627
134Poland1.65437,846,611
135Croatia1.6454,105,267
136Chile1.63419,116,201
137Bulgaria1.6076,948,445
138Romania1.60619,237,691
139Mauritius1.5621,271,768
140Slovakia1.555,459,642
141Germany1.54783,783,942
142Hungary1.549,660,351
143Norway1.5365,421,241
144Sweden1.53310,099,265
145Belgium1.53311,589,623
146Netherlands1.5317,134,872
147Malaysia1.52932,365,999
148Bhutan1.506771,608
149Finland1.4885,540,720
150Australia1.41925,499,884
151Ireland1.394,937,786
152Switzerland1.3838,654,622
153Czech Republic1.37510,708,981
154Japan1.369126,476,461
155Slovenia1.3552,078,938
156Singapore1.3475,850,342
157Canada1.32737,742,154
158Denmark1.3165,792,202
159Austria1.2919,006,398
160Portugal1.27410,196,709
161New Zealand1.2214,822,233
162Iceland1.072341,243