The Most Dangerous Countries in the World (2024)

February 28, 2024

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Bombed out buildings in Syria

The latest report from the Global Peace Index, released by the Institute for Economics and Peace, has revealed the most dangerous countries in the world in 2024.

The reports ranks ecological risk, societal resilience, and peace for 163 countries and territories, and is calculated using 23 different indicators. On the whole peacefulness rankings improved in 84 countries but decreased in 79.

CountryRankGPI ScorePos. Change
Afghanistan13.448—
Yemen23.35—
Syria33.294—
South Sudan43.221—
DR Congo53.214—
Russia63.142▼ 3
Ukraine73.043▼ 14
Somalia83.036▲ 2
Sudan93.023—
Iraq103.006▲ 3
Mali112.963▼ 4
Central African Republic122.934▲ 2
Ethiopia132.872▼ 2
Burkina Faso142.868▼ 3
North Korea152.848▲ 4
Iran162.8▼ 1
Türkiye172.8▲ 5
Pakistan182.745▲ 2
Myanmar192.741▼ 7
Nigeria202.713▼ 3
Israel212.706▼ 8
Chad222.699▼ 5
Colombia232.693▲ 2
Venezuela242.693▲ 5
Cameroon252.66▲ 5
Niger262.625▲ 2
Libya272.605▲ 14
Mexico282.599▲ 3
Lebanon292.581▲ 1
Palestine302.538▼ 4
Eritrea312.505—
Brazil322.462—
United States332.448—
South Africa342.405▼ 8
Haiti352.395▼ 17
Burundi362.393▲ 6
Guinea372.359▲ 2
India382.314▲ 2
Uganda392.3▲ 1
Zimbabwe402.3▲ 3
Nicaragua412.294—
El Salvador422.279▼ 6
Egypt432.267▲ 5
Honduras442.265▼ 5
Saudi Arabia452.26▲ 5
Mozambique462.259▼ 2
Kenya472.254▲ 2
Belarus482.248▲ 4
Philippines492.229▲ 6
Mauritania502.228▲ 4
Republic of the Congo512.21▲ 1
Djibouti522.196▲ 1
Lesotho532.191▼ 13
Benin542.177▲ 1
Eswatini552.168▼ 17
Bahrain562.145▲ 1
Sri Lanka572.136▼ 18
Guyana582.134▼ 5
Peru592.13▼ 1
Guatemala602.13▲ 2
Togo612.13▲ 4
Tajikistan622.114▼ 8
Kyrgyzstan632.11▼ 16
Turkmenistan642.107▲ 3
Cuba652.103▲ 1
Ecuador662.095▼ 24
Papua New Guinea672.095▼ 8
Algeria682.094▲ 8
Azerbaijan692.09▲ 15
Georgia702.071▲ 1
Gabon712.068▼ 6
Thailand722.061▲ 13
Tanzania732.058▲ 2
Côte d'Ivoire742.053▲ 18
Rwanda752.051▲ 3
Bangladesh762.051▲ 8
Guinea-Bissau772.045▲ 12
Uzbekistan782.033▼ 2
Angola792.02▼ 9
Morocco802.02▼ 1
Dominican Republic812.019▲ 5
Equatorial Guinea822.013▼ 19
Tunisia832.01▲ 1
China842.009▲ 6
Nepal852.006▼ 5
Bolivia862.001▼ 1
Jamaica871.986▲ 3
Kazakhstan881.98▲ 21
United Arab Emirates891.979▲ 3
Malawi901.97▼ 4
Cambodia911.947▼ 1
Trinidad and Tobago921.946▲ 1
Kosovo931.946▲ 5
Liberia941.946▲ 8
Panama951.942▼ 8
Paraguay961.942▲ 12
France971.939—
Armenia981.929▲ 3
Serbia991.921▼ 7
Cyprus1001.904▲ 1
Zambia1011.898▼ 4
Jordan1021.895▲ 6
Bosnia and Herzegovina1031.892▼ 4
Greece1041.89▼ 6
Gambia1051.888▼ 8
Chile1061.874▼ 5
Moldova1071.873▲ 4
Namibia1081.859▲ 6
Madagascar1091.846—
Argentina1101.837▲ 10
Indonesia1111.829▼ 12
Senegal1121.827▲ 4
Ghana1131.799▼ 8
Uruguay1141.798▼ 5
Timor-Leste1151.796▲ 3
Oman1161.794▲ 18
Sierra Leone1171.792—
Laos1181.779▲ 3
Montenegro1191.772▲ 5
Mongolia1201.765▼ 5
South Korea1211.763▲ 2
Botswana1221.762▲ 6
Vietnam1231.745▲ 4
Albania1241.745—
Costa Rica1251.731▲ 2
North Macedonia1261.713▼ 1
United Kingdom1271.693▼ 1
Lithuania1281.671▼ 2
Kuwait1291.669▲ 3
Italy1301.662▼ 2
Taiwan1311.649▲ 2
Spain1321.649—
Romania1331.649▲ 4
Bulgaria1341.643▼ 5
Poland1351.634▼ 6
Sweden1361.625▲ 1
Latvia1371.582▲ 3
Slovakia1381.578▼ 6
Estonia1391.563▲ 1
Norway1401.55▼ 6
Mauritius1411.546▲ 5
Australia1421.525▲ 4
Qatar1431.524▲ 1
Belgium1441.523▲ 4
Malaysia1451.513—
Hungary1461.508▼ 4
Bhutan1471.496▼ 5
Netherlands1481.49▲ 5
Germany1491.456▲ 2
Croatia1501.45▲ 1
Finland1511.399▲ 3
Czech Republic1521.379▼ 5
Canada1531.35▲ 2
Switzerland1541.339▲ 1
Japan1551.336—
Slovenia1561.334▼ 4
Portugal1571.333▲ 1
Singapore1581.332▲ 4
Austria1591.316▼ 1
New Zealand1601.313▲ 2
Ireland1611.312▼ 1
Denmark1621.31▲ 1
Iceland1631.124—

The ten countries listed below are considered the most dangerous in the world based on the GPI score.

1. Afghanistan – 3.448

For the eighth year running, Afghanistan has been ranked as the least-peaceful country in the world. The country has a number of extremist groups, and the threat of terrorist attacks is very high. Many terrorist groups target foreigners, and kidnapping is prevalent.

Adultery, same-sex relationships, and close contact between unmarried men and women are illegal. Renouncing Islam or preaching another religion is also a crime, as is photographing government buildings, palaces, and military sites. These are all punishable by imprisonment, lashing, or even the death penalty.

Afghanistan has a high crime rate, particularly concerning the drug trade. The country is the world’s largest producer of opium and accounted for approximately 83% of global production from 2015 to 2020.

2. Yemen – 3.35

Yemen is the second-most dangerous country in the world. The devasting civil war in Yemen has been raging since 2015, which has led to many terrorist attacks and widespread violence. Kidnappings, armed robberies, and lootings are all common. To make matters worse, Yemen is also subject to severe natural disasters such as floods and cyclones.

Most countries advise against travel to Yemen. Medical care and supplies are poor. Basic infrastructure, transport routes, and housing have all been affected by military conflict. Clean water and electricity are limited, and food is also scarce. There are landmines throughout the country, and artillery shelling and air strikes are common.

3. Syria – 3.294

Since civil war broke out in 2011, Syria has been torn apart by ongoing violent conflict. Over 12 million Syrians are displaced, with around 5.4 million living as refugees in neighboring countries. It’s estimated that 90% of Syrians live below the poverty line, as many are unemployed or don’t earn enough to support their families. Kidnappings, armed robberies, and petty crimes are also widespread throughout the country.

In February 2023, northern and western Syria was struck by a severe earthquake that led to a devastating loss of around 50,000 people. The earthquake damaged medical facilities and left thousands homeless.

4. South Sudan – 3.221

Political instability and civil war have left South Sudan the fourth-most dangerous country in the world. Violent crimes such as carjackings, shootings, and kidnappings are common in both urban and rural areas. Various political and ethnic groups participate in armed conflict throughout the country, and weapons are readily available. Terrorist attacks can happen at any time in South Sudan.

Cholera, monkeypox, and yellow fever are common in South Sudan. HIV/AIDS and malaria are also prevalent. You should only drink bottled or boiled water and avoid eating undercooked or raw food.

Local laws in South Sudan are very severe. For example, carrying illegal drugs could result in the death penalty. Same-sex relationships are also illegal, as are taking photographs in public places.

5. DR Congo – 3.214

Demonstrations are common throughout the Democratic Republic of the Congo and may turn violent. Armed robberies, home invasions, and kidnappings are common, but police lack the resources to effectively deal with the violent crime.

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s transport system is severely underfunded and can often prove hazardous to travelers. Roads often get blocked following heavy rain, while aircraft are poorly maintained and have limited safety regulations. Travelers often fall victim to road ambushes and robberies too.

6. Russia – 3.142

As well as being the world’s largest country, Russia also has the dubious honor of being the sixth-most dangerous. While the country’s rich history and famous landmarks draw tourists from around the world, recent military tensions have increased Russia’s risk levels.

Since the Russia-Ukraine war began in 2022, tensions have been high throughout the country. Terrorist attacks are common in Russia and are usually targeted at popular tourist sites and places of cultural or religious significance. Russia has tightened security, and some areas have curfews and travel restrictions.

7. Ukraine – 3.043

Due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, Ukraine is a very dangerous place to live or visit. There are frequent attacks (including missile strikes) in major cities, along with unexploded landmines and heavy fighting in eastern and southern Ukraine.

Before war broke out, crimes against foreign nationals were rare. However, anyone visiting Ukraine is at risk of terrorist attacks and armed conflict. Travel over the land border is allowed for foreign citizens. It’s difficult for foreign governments to provide aid or evacuate foreign nationals from Ukraine, so most countries advise against traveling there (including offering aid or fighting).

8. Somalia – 3.036

Civil war and military coups have made Somalia one of the most dangerous countries in the world. Terrorist attacks are common and can occur on an almost daily basis in Mogadishu, the country’s capital. These attacks are often targeted at places where foreign visitors gather, such as airports, hotels, and stores.

Violent crime and kidnapping are the main threats to foreign nationals. Petty crime is also high, especially in crowded places. Buses are often stopped by roadblocks, and passengers may be victims of armed robberies.

9. Sudan – 3.023

Sudan has experienced violent fighting for several years, but the situation escalated in April 2023 following fighting between army and paramilitary forces. Many hospitals have been affected or closed, and access to clean water, food, and fuel has become scarce. Internet and cell phone services are unreliable, and all airports are closed to international flights.

Demonstrations are common and often turn violent, even if they start out peaceful. Terrorists often attack airports, places of worship, and sites that foreigners frequent (such as bars, hotels, and shopping malls). Kidnapping is also common; Westerners are targeted in particular.

Road conditions are very poor throughout the country. Most routes aren’t surfaced or tarred and are full of potholes, even major routes. Pedestrians, rickshaws, and donkey carts frequently use the same routes as motor vehicles, and there is little to no street lighting at night. Road traffic accidents are common in Sudan, particularly for public transport and vehicles for hire (such as rickshaws).

10. Iraq – 3.006

Iraq has a high risk of terrorism, particularly in the form of car bombings, vehicle ambushes, and attacks by drones and rockets. Government buildings (including schools), places of worship, and places of large public gatherings are particularly vulnerable.

Protests are common across Iraq and often end in violence. Protestors and security forces often clash, and the disputes may feature tear gas, live ammunition, and water cannons. Some rallies and marches even end with casualties.

Organized crime, street gangs, and militant groups are common throughout Iraq. Carjackings, kidnappings, and armed robberies are a great risk, as are air strikes, corruption, and vehicle ambushes.

Overview

Most of the countries listed here have civil unrest, ongoing conflict between armed groups, and political instability. Basic services such as hospitals and schools are affected, as are clean water, electricity, and medical aid. It’s a far cry from the safest countries in the world, which are renowned for their state-of-the-art infrastructure and security.

The table below shows the ten most dangerous countries in the world according to the Global Peace Index. The countries are ranked by their score, which is based on indicators such as terrorism, violent assault, and homicide.

Data Sources:
Institute for Economics and Peace, Global Peace Index

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