Most Dangerous Countries in the World

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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 that 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

The factors used to compile this report include:

  • Number of internal and external violent conflicts
  • Level of distrust
  • Political instability
  • Potential for terrorist acts
  • Number of homicides
  • Military expenditures as a percentage of GDP

A score is calculated for each of the 163 nations featured in the report based on these factors. The higher the score, the lower the nation is ranked in terms of safety— or the more dangerous the country is.

Each country is categorized into one of five state of peace levels: very high, high, medium, low, and very low. In this article, we’ll focus on the countries where the state of peace is “very low.”

Compared to the 2020 Global Peace Index, the 2021 report saw 87 countries with safety improvements and 73 deteriorations. Overall, the GPI average deteriorated by 0.07% from 2020 to 2021.

Most Dangerous Countries in the World

There are thirteen countries with a “very low” state of peace. These countries have scores above 2.9. for comparison, the world’s safest countries have scores between 1.1 and 1.438.

1. Afghanistan

With a score of 3.631, Afghanistan is the most dangerous country in the world. Afghanistan has remained in this position from 2020 to 2021. In addition, Afghanistan has the highest number of deaths from war and terrorism of any other country in the world.

2. Yemen

Yemen moved down several positions to the second-most dangerous country. According to the UN, Yemen has the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, where over five 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.

3. Syria

Syria is the world’s third-most dangerous country. The Syrian civil war has plagued the country since March 2011 and has been the second-deadliest war of the 21st century. As of March 2019, 5.7 million people have fled Syria, and over 6 million have been displaced internally.

4. South Sudan

With a score of 3.363, South Sudan is the fourth most dangerous country. 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.

5. Iraq

Iraq has moved up two positions from third to fifth in the most dangerous countries. 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 target Anti-U.S. sectarian militias throughout Iraq.

The other countries with “very low” state of peace, in order, are:

  • Somalia
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Libya
  • Central African Republic
  • Russia
  • Sudan
  • Venezuela
  • North Korea

In addition to the most dangerous countries in the world, specific countries are the most dangerous for women. If you're looking to travel somewhere new, looking at the safest countries in the world.

Most Dangerous Countries in the World

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Most Dangerous Countries in the World

Rank Country Peace Index 2021 Population
1Afghanistan3.57439,835,428
2Syria3.56618,275,702
3South Sudan3.52611,381,378
4Yemen3.41230,490,640
5Iraq3.36941,179,350
6Somalia3.316,359,504
7Central African Republic3.2964,919,981
8Libya3.2856,958,532
9DR Congo3.21892,377,993
10Russia3.093145,912,025
11Pakistan3.072225,199,937
12Turkey3.01585,042,738
13Sudan2.99544,909,353
14Ukraine2.9543,466,819
15North Korea2.92125,887,041
16Nigeria2.898211,400,708
17Lebanon2.86,769,146
18Israel2.7358,789,774
19Mali2.7120,855,735
20Venezuela2.67128,704,954
21Colombia2.66151,265,844
22Palestine2.6085,222,748
23India2.6051,393,409,038
24Mexico2.6130,262,216
25Iran2.54285,028,759
26Cameroon2.53827,224,265
27Chad2.52216,914,985
28Egypt2.521104,258,327
29Burundi2.5212,255,433
30Philippines2.516111,046,913
31Eritrea2.5043,601,467
32Zimbabwe2.46315,092,171
33Ethiopia2.434117,876,227
34Azerbaijan2.42510,223,342
35Saudi Arabia2.40935,340,683
36United States2.401332,915,073
37South Africa2.39960,041,994
38Niger2.39425,130,817
39Myanmar2.39354,806,012
40Bahrain2.3571,748,296
41Honduras2.34110,062,991
42Mauritania2.3334,775,119
43Republic of the Congo2.3235,657,013
44Nicaragua2.3126,702,385
45Kenya2.354,985,698
46Armenia2.2942,968,127
47Thailand2.27869,950,850
48Brazil2.271213,993,437
49Turkmenistan2.2656,117,924
50Guatemala2.26418,249,860
51El Salvador2.2626,518,499
52Guinea Bissau2.2372,015,494
53Algeria2.21944,616,624
54China2.2171,444,216,107
55Djibouti2.2071,002,187
56Togo2.2058,478,250
57Ivory Coast2.20327,053,629
59Tajikistan2.1969,749,627
58Uganda2.19647,123,531
60Burkina Faso2.17621,497,096
61Lesotho2.1672,159,079
62Uzbekistan2.16633,935,763
63Bangladesh2.128166,303,498
64Guinea2.12513,497,244
65Georgia2.1223,979,765
66Papua New Guinea2.1189,119,010
67Belarus2.1159,442,862
68Gabon2.1122,278,825
69Kyrgyzstan2.1056,628,356
70Mozambique2.09932,163,047
71Trinidad And Tobago2.0941,403,375
72Guyana2.075790,326
73Cuba2.07311,317,505
74Morocco2.0737,344,795
75Cambodia2.06616,946,438
76Paraguay2.0557,219,638
77Haiti2.05211,541,685
78Bolivia2.04411,832,940
79Dominican Republic2.04110,953,703
80Jamaica2.0382,973,463
81Tunisia2.03511,935,766
82Bosnia And Herzegovina2.0193,263,466
83Peru2.01633,359,418
84Rwanda2.01413,276,513
86Jordan2.01210,269,021
85Angola2.01233,933,610
87Nepal2.00329,674,920
88Argentina1.98945,605,826
91Eswatini1.9861,172,362
90Benin1.98612,451,040
89Sri Lanka1.98621,497,310
92Ecuador1.9817,888,475
93Equatorial Guinea1.9571,449,896
94Oman1.9535,223,375
95Moldova1.9514,024,019
96Montenegro1.939628,053
97Greece1.93310,370,744
98Kazakhstan1.93218,994,962
99Cyprus1.9141,215,584
100Gambia1.9082,486,945
102Namibia1.8922,587,344
101France1.89265,426,179
103Liberia1.8895,180,203
104Senegal1.88317,196,301
105Vietnam1.87798,168,833
107Madagascar1.86728,427,328
106South Korea1.86751,305,186
108Tanzania1.8661,498,437
109United Arab Emirates1.8479,991,089
110Sierra Leone1.8228,141,343
111Albania1.8212,872,933
112Serbia1.8128,697,550
114Timor Leste1.8051,343,873
113Zambia1.80518,920,651
115Panama1.8044,381,579
117Laos1.8017,379,358
116United Kingdom1.80168,207,116
118Ghana1.79631,732,129
119Kuwait1.7944,328,550
120Mongolia1.7923,329,289
121Indonesia1.785276,361,783
122Malawi1.77919,647,684
123Italy1.75460,367,477
124Lithuania1.7282,689,862
125Estonia1.7271,325,185
126Taiwan1.72523,855,010
127Latvia1.7181,866,942
128Uruguay1.7113,485,151
129Costa Rica1.7065,139,052
130Spain1.69946,745,216
131Qatar1.6962,930,528
132Botswana1.6762,397,241
133Poland1.65437,797,005
134Croatia1.6454,081,651
135Chile1.63419,212,361
136Bulgaria1.6076,896,663
137Romania1.60619,127,774
138Mauritius1.5621,273,433
139Slovakia1.555,460,721
140Germany1.54783,900,473
141Hungary1.549,634,164
142Norway1.5365,465,630
144Sweden1.53310,160,169
143Belgium1.53311,632,326
145Netherlands1.5317,173,099
146Malaysia1.52932,776,194
147Bhutan1.506779,898
148Finland1.4885,548,360
149Australia1.41925,788,215
150Ireland1.394,982,907
151Switzerland1.3838,715,494
152Czech Republic1.37510,724,555
153Japan1.369126,050,804
154Slovenia1.3552,078,724
155Singapore1.3475,896,686
156Canada1.32738,067,903
157Denmark1.3165,813,298
158Austria1.2919,043,070
159Portugal1.27410,167,925
160New Zealand1.2214,860,643
161Iceland1.072343,353

Most Dangerous Countries in the World