Worst Countries To Live in 2022

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Some countries are wonderful places to live. They have stable governments, reasonable prices for consumer goods, plenty of job opportunities, strong social programs, and robust systems for health care, education, and national security. They may even have ample nature spaces, such as national parks, and strong support for the arts and culture. These are general traits of a developed country, which is usually a nice place to call home.

On the other hand, picture a country whose residents must endure political strife (possibly even violence), rampant inflation, high unemployment, poor health care, substandard education, and uncertain security, with few social programs, let alone support for the arts. This troubled land would be an “undeveloped country,” possibly even one of the [“least developed countries”]((/country-rankings/least-developed-countries), and a much worse place to live. The question is, what is the best way to quickly encapsulate which is which?

Seeking the sub-standard: How to identify the worst countries in which to live

There are several annual metrics designed to measure the quality of day-to-day life in a given country. Some of these metrics concentrate upon a single aspect of a country—for instance, the Hanke Misery Index focuses upon the economy, knowing that a healthy economy is a strong indicator of the quality of the day-to-day life of a country's residents. Others, such as the United Nations' Human Development Index (HDI), compile a wide range of metrics across a half-dozen or more categories for a more overarching, whole-life approach. These different approaches can result in very different lists of the worst countries in the world in which to live.

Top 10 Worst Countries in the World to Live In - United Nations Human Development Index 2020

Note: Scores rank from 0.0 to 1.0. Higher is better.

  1. Niger - .394
  2. Central African Republic - .397
  3. Chad - .398
  4. Burundi - .433 (tie)
  5. South Sudan - .433 (tie)
  6. Mali - .434
  7. Burkina Faso - .452 (tie)
  8. Sierra Leone - .452 (tie)
  9. Mozambique - .456
  10. Eritrea - .459

Central African countries dominate this list. Many of these countries, including Niger, Chad, South Sudan, Mali, and Burkina Faso, are currently at war thanks to civil war, ethnic violence, or terrorist insurgencies. Even for those countries that are not plagued with strife, most people attend school for only a few years, and good jobs are rare, which leaves millions of people living below the poverty line. For example, the average person in Niger attends only 2.1 years of school, and the country's Gross National Income (GNI) per capita is $1201 PPP. To put that in perspective, top-ranked Norway (HDI .957) has a GNI of $66,494 and its citizens attend 12.9 years of school on average. A full list of the most recent HDI rankings can be found on our HDI by country page.

Top 10 Worst Countries in the World to Live In - Hanke Misery Index 2020

Note: Lower scores are better.

  1. Venezuela - 3827.6
  2. Zimbabwe - 547.0
  3. Sudan - 193.9
  4. Lebanon - 177.1
  5. Suriname - 145.3
  6. Libya - 105.7
  7. Argentina - 95.0
  8. Iran - 92.1
  9. Angola - 60.6
  10. Madagascar - 60.4

The misery index was originally introduced by the late Arthur Okun, a Yale University economist, as a way to track the U.S. economy. More recently, John Hopkins economist Steve Hanke expanded the concept to include 156 countries and established an annual ranking of the world's best and worst countries to live in from an economic perspective. The misery index is simple in concept. The equation adds together the unemployment rate, inflation rate, and bank lending rate, then subtracts the percentage change in real GDP per capita. For most developed countries, the misery index hovers between a very good 0.00 and a passable 20.00. However, it is possible in extreme cases for a country to score so well that its misery index is a negative number—for example, in 2020, oil reserves were discovered in Guyana, resulting in a 25% boost in GDP per capita and a -3.3 misery index.

On the other hand, 2020's worst country in the world to live in, Venezuela, demonstrates the worse end of the equation. 2020 is the sixth year in a row that Venezuela has received this dubious designation—and given the country's 3,713% inflation and 50.3% unemployment rate, which easily overshadow a 30.9% rise in real GDP per capita for an ultimate misery index score of 3827.6, Venezuela seems well on its way to holding onto its best-of-the-worst spot for the foreseeable future. For the full list of misery index countries and their scores, see the table below.

Here are the 10 countries with the highest misery index:

  1. Venezuela (3827.6)
  2. Zimbabwe (547)
  3. Sudan (193.9)
  4. Lebanon (177.1)
  5. Suriname (145.3)
  6. Libya (105.7)
  7. Argentina (95)
  8. Iran (92.1)
  9. Angola (60.6)
  10. Madagascar (60.4)

Worst Countries To Live in 2022

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Worst Countries To Live in 2022

Country Misery Index Human Development Index 2022 Population
Venezuela3827.60.71128,301,696
Zimbabwe5470.57116,320,537
Sudan193.90.5146,874,204
Lebanon177.10.7445,489,739
Suriname145.30.738618,040
Libya105.70.7246,812,341
Argentina950.84545,510,318
Iran92.10.78388,550,570
Angola60.60.58135,588,987
Madagascar60.40.52829,611,714
Brazil53.40.765215,313,498
South Africa49.30.70959,893,885
Haiti48.90.5111,584,996
Kyrgyzstan47.10.6976,630,623
Nigeria45.60.539218,541,212
Eswatini42.70.6111,201,670
Lesotho42.40.5272,305,825
Peru42.20.77734,049,588
Zambia41.60.58420,017,675
Turkey41.20.8285,341,241
South Sudan41.20.43310,913,164
Namibia40.70.6462,567,012
Gabon40.50.7032,388,992
Botswana39.70.7352,630,296
Iraq39.50.67444,496,122
Sao Tome And Principe39.30.625227,380
Liberia39.10.485,302,681
Jamaica38.60.7342,827,377
Malawi37.90.48320,405,317
Jordan37.90.72911,285,869
Guinea36.80.47713,859,341
Uruguay36.70.8173,422,794
Armenia36.70.7762,780,469
Montenegro36.20.829627,082
Ethiopia36.10.485123,379,924
Tunisia36.10.7412,356,117
India35.80.6451,417,173,173
Honduras35.80.63410,432,860
Panama35.70.8154,408,581
Colombia35.40.76751,874,024
Mongolia35.40.7373,398,366
Georgia34.80.8123,744,385
Uzbekistan34.10.7234,627,652
Dominican Republic340.75611,228,821
Ukraine33.50.77939,701,739
Saudi Arabia33.10.85436,408,820
Algeria32.70.74844,903,225
Pakistan32.50.557235,824,862
Costa Rica32.40.815,180,829
Paraguay320.7286,780,744
Trinidad And Tobago31.50.7961,531,044
Greece31.30.88810,384,971
Mauritius30.40.8041,299,469
Gambia30.20.4962,705,992
Bolivia29.90.71812,224,110
Cape Verde29.9593,149
Kazakhstan29.50.82519,397,998
Guatemala29.30.66317,843,908
Burundi28.70.43312,889,576
Philippines28.30.718115,559,009
Spain28.20.90447,558,630
Azerbaijan28.20.75610,358,074
North Macedonia28.10.7742,093,599
Belize27.80.716405,272
DR Congo27.40.4899,010,212
Equatorial Guinea27.10.5921,674,908
Comoros26.20.554836,774
Myanmar260.58354,179,306
El Salvador260.6736,336,392
Mozambique25.80.45632,969,518
Nicaragua24.70.666,948,392
Mexico24.60.779127,504,125
Sri Lanka24.30.78221,832,143
Chile23.90.85119,603,733
Bosnia And Herzegovina23.80.783,233,526
Albania23.80.7952,842,321
Iceland23.50.949372,899
Ecuador23.30.75918,001,000
Mauritania23.20.5464,736,139
Fiji23.20.743929,766
Morocco22.80.68637,457,971
New Zealand22.30.9315,185,288
Italy220.89259,037,474
Belarus220.8239,534,954
Oman21.60.8134,576,298
United Kingdom21.50.93267,508,936
Indonesia20.90.718275,501,339
Egypt20.90.707110,990,103
Kenya20.80.60154,027,487
Vanuatu20.40.609326,740
Kuwait20.30.8064,268,873
Papua New Guinea20.10.55510,142,619
Russia19.90.824144,713,314
Nepal19.50.60230,547,580
Romania18.50.82819,659,267
France18.40.90164,626,628
Serbia18.40.8067,221,365
Croatia18.30.8514,030,358
Hong Kong18.20.9497,488,865
Canada18.10.92938,454,327
Portugal180.86410,270,865
Malta180.895533,286
Uganda17.60.54447,249,585
Mali17.50.43422,593,590
Latvia17.10.8661,850,651
Estonia17.10.8921,326,062
Slovenia170.9172,119,844
United States16.70.926338,289,857
Moldova16.40.753,272,996
Cyprus16.30.8871,251,488
Slovakia16.20.865,643,453
Laos160.6137,529,475
Bulgaria160.8166,781,953
Australia15.90.94426,177,413
Burkina Faso15.90.45222,673,762
Cuba15.80.78311,212,191
Czech Republic15.710,493,986
Cameroon15.50.56327,914,536
Belgium15.40.93111,655,930
Hungary14.80.8549,967,308
Singapore14.60.9385,975,689
Malaysia14.50.8133,938,221
Austria14.50.9228,939,617
Lithuania14.50.8822,750,055
Israel14.40.9199,038,309
Guinea Bissau14.40.482,105,566
Luxembourg14.30.916647,599
Bangladesh140.632171,186,372
Poland13.90.8839,857,145
Vietnam13.40.70498,186,856
Central African Republic13.20.3975,579,144
Bahrain13.20.8521,472,233
Netherlands130.94417,564,014
Ireland12.90.9555,023,109
Finland12.80.9385,540,745
Norway12.80.9575,434,319
Sweden12.70.94510,549,347
Thailand12.60.77771,697,030
United Arab Emirates11.80.899,441,129
Denmark11.80.945,882,261
Tanzania11.60.52965,497,748
Chad11.60.39817,723,315
Tonga11.40.725106,858
Germany10.90.94783,369,843
Ivory Coast10.80.53828,160,542
Rwanda10.60.54313,776,698
Niger10.50.39426,207,977
Togo9.50.5158,848,699
Switzerland8.60.9558,740,472
South Korea8.30.91651,815,810
China8.10.7611,425,887,337
Japan80.919123,951,692
Qatar5.30.8482,695,122
Taiwan3.823,893,394
Afghanistan0.51141,128,771
Yemen0.4733,696,614
Ghana0.61133,475,870
Syria0.56722,125,249
Senegal0.51217,316,449
Cambodia0.59416,767,842
Benin0.54513,352,864
Tajikistan0.6689,952,787
Sierra Leone0.4528,605,718
Turkmenistan0.7156,430,770
Republic of the Congo0.5745,970,424
Palestine0.7085,250,072
Eritrea0.4593,684,032
Timor Leste0.6061,341,296
Djibouti0.5241,120,849
Guyana0.682808,726
Bhutan0.654782,455
Solomon Islands0.567724,273
Maldives0.74523,787
Brunei0.838449,002
Bahamas0.814409,984
Barbados0.814281,635
Samoa0.715222,382
Saint Lucia0.759179,857
Kiribati0.63131,232
Grenada0.779125,438
Micronesia0.62114,164
Seychelles0.796107,118
Saint Vincent And the Grenadines0.738103,948
Antigua And Barbuda0.77893,763
Andorra0.86879,824
Dominica0.74272,737
Saint Kitts And Nevis0.77947,657
Marshall Islands0.70441,569
Liechtenstein0.91939,327
Palau0.82618,055

Worst Countries To Live in 2022

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