The Fragile States Index is a report released by the Fund for Peace and the magazine, Foreign Policy. This report has been released annually since 2005. The primary purpose of this report is to assess the vulnerability of sovereign states throughout the nation. All sovereign states that are members of the United Nations are included in the report when enough data is available with the exception of Taiwan, Kosovo, Western Sahara, Northern Cyprus, and the Palestinian Territories.
The report uses indicators across four categories to determine if a state is vulnerable to conflict or collapse. The categories that are assessed include: Cohesion, Economic, Political, and Social. There are 12 different indicators used to determine the vulnerability of the states. These factors include human rights, public services, demographic pressures, refugees and internally displaced persons, and security. The higher a state is ranked on the list, the more vulnerable it is. According to the 2018 Fragile States Index, South Sudan was the most vulnerable with a score of 113.4. Not far behind was the state of Somalia with a score of 113.2. The third most vulnerable state on the index was Yemen was a score of 112.7.
From the 2018 Index, the top 10 most vulnerable states included:
- South Sudan
- Central African Republic
- Democratic Republic of Congo
On the flip side, states with the lowest scores were found to be the most vulnerable and less at-risk for conflict or collapse. The top state based on the 2018 Index was Finland with a score of 17.9. Norway came in second place with a score of 18.3, while Switzerland came in next with a score of 19.2.
The states that appear at the bottom of the Index of 2018 and thus are less vulnerable to conflict or collapse include:
- New Zealand