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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Central African Republic
- North Korea