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Most dangerous countries in the world 2019 – ranked

The most dangerous countries in the world have been updated for 2019. Read our insights from the study and browse the rankings below.

The world has become slightly less dangerous for the first time in five years, according to the latest Global Peace Index (GPI) report. However, over the last 10 years the world has become more dangerous overall with the average level of global peacefulness deteriorating by 3.78%.

The GPI report is the only statistical measure of its kind and makes it possible to rank 163 independent states based on how peaceful they are (or, conversely, how dangerous). The 163 states cover over 99.7% of the world’s population and are assessed using 23 indicators, each banded or normalised on a scale of 1-5.

The index, produced by the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP), measures global peace using three broad themes: the level of safety and security in society, the extent of domestic and international conflict, and the degree of militarisation.

Peace is notoriously difficult to define. The IEP approaches it by attempting to assess the “harmony achieved by the absence of violence or the fear of violence” in a society. More information on the methodology, including details of the 23 indicators used, can be found from page 84 of the report.

most dangerous countries in the world 2019 map
IEP Afghanistan is now the most dangerous country in the world

A divided world

In 2019, the average level of global peacefulness improved slightly from the year before. This is the first time the global level of peace has improved in the last five years. The average country score improved by 0.09%. A total of 86 countries improved and became more peaceful while 76 countries deteriorated and became less peaceful.

Afghanistan is now the most dangerous country in the world, replacing Syria, which is now the second most dangerous. South Sudan, Yemen and Iraq make up the remaining five most dangerous countries.

This is the first year since the inception of the index that Yemen has been ranked as one of the five most dangerous countries in the world.

most dangerous countries in the world and region changes
IEP Although it remains the world’s most dangerous region, MENA became more peaceful

At the other end of the scale, Iceland has maintained its position as the most peaceful country in the world. It has been ranked as such every year since 2008. After Iceland, New Zealand, Portugal, Austria and Denmark are the most peaceful countries in the world.

Four of the world’s nine regions became more peaceful in 2019. Russia and Eurasia, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and Middle East and North Africa all became less dangerous.

For the 11th successive year, Europe remained the most peaceful geographical region with 22 countries becoming more peaceful. The United States (36th) has declined for the third consecutive year falling four places since last year.

Africa and the Middle East still suffer from the same regional conflicts that have plagued them since the scramble for Africa at the end of the 19th century. These regions remain the world’s most dangerous despite their improvement overall.

Ukraine (14), Sudan (13), Egypt (28), North Macedonia (98) and Rwanda (85) showed the largest improvements in peacefulness. Nicaragua (44), Burkina Faso (60), Zimbabwe (32), Brazil (48) and Iran (25) showed the largest deteriorations.

Most dangerous countries in the world

Sort the table to view the ranking by either the most peaceful or the most dangerous countries in the world.

RankCountryScore
1Afghanistan3.574
2Syria3.566
3South Sudan3.526
4Yemen3.412
5Iraq3.369
6Somalia3.300
7Central African Republic3.296
8Libya3.285
9Democratic Republic of the Congo3.218
10Russia3.093
11Pakistan3.072
12Turkey3.015
13Sudan2.995
14Ukraine2.950
15North Korea2.921
16Nigeria2.898
17Lebanon2.800
18Israel2.735
19Mali2.710
20Venezuela2.671
21Colombia2.661
22Palestine2.608
23India2.605
24Mexico2.600
25Iran2.542
26Cameroon2.538
27Chad2.522
28Egypt2.521
29Burundi2.520
30Philippines2.516
31Eritrea2.504
32Zimbabwe2.463
33Ethiopia2.434
34Azerbaijan2.425
35Saudi Arabia2.409
36United States of America2.401
37South Africa2.399
38Niger2.394
39Myanmar2.393
40Bahrain2.357
41Honduras2.341
42Mauritania2.333
43Republic of the Congo2.323
44Nicaragua2.312
45Kenya2.300
46Armenia2.294
47Thailand2.278
48Brazil2.271
49Turkmenistan2.265
50Guatemala2.264
51El Salvador2.262
52Guinea-Bissau2.237
53Algeria2.219
54China2.217
55Djibouti2.207
56Togo2.205
57Cote d' Ivoire2.203
58Uganda2.196
59Tajikistan2.196
60Burkina Faso2.176
61Lesotho2.167
62Uzbekistan2.166
63Bangladesh2.128
64Guinea2.125
65Georgia2.122
66Papua New Guinea2.118
67Belarus2.115
68Gabon2.112
69Kyrgyz Republic2.105
70Mozambique2.099
71Trinidad and Tobago2.094
72Guyana2.075
73Cuba2.073
74Morocco2.070
75Cambodia2.066
76Paraguay2.055
77Haiti2.052
78Kosovo2.049
79Bolivia2.044
80Dominican Republic2.041
81Jamaica2.038
82Tunisia2.035
83Bosnia and Herzegovina2.019
84Peru2.016
85Rwanda2.014
86Jordan2.012
87Angola2.012
88Nepal2.003
89Argentina1.989
90Eswatini1.986
91Sri Lanka1.986
92Benin1.986
93Ecuador1.980
94Equatorial Guinea1.957
95Oman1.953
96Moldova1.951
97Montenegro1.939
98North Macedonia1.933
99Greece1.933
100Kazakhstan1.932
101Cyprus1.914
102The Gambia1.908
103Namibia1.892
104France1.892
105Liberia1.889
106Senegal1.883
107Vietnam1.877
108Madagascar1.867
109South Korea1.867
110Tanzania1.860
111United Arab Emirates1.847
112Sierra Leone1.822
113Albania1.821
114Serbia1.812
115Zambia1.805
116Timor-Leste1.805
117Panama1.804
118Laos1.801
119United Kingdom1.801
120Ghana1.796
121Kuwait1.794
122Mongolia1.792
123Indonesia1.785
124Malawi1.779
125Italy1.754
126Lithuania1.728
127Estonia1.727
128Taiwan1.725
129Latvia1.718
130Uruguay1.711
131Costa Rica1.706
132Spain1.699
133Qatar1.696
134Botswana1.676
135Poland1.654
136Croatia1.645
137Chile1.634
138Bulgaria1.607
139Romania1.606
140Mauritius1.562
141Slovakia1.550
142Germany1.547
143Hungary1.540
144Norway1.536
145Sweden1.533
146Belgium1.533
147Netherlands1.530
148Malaysia1.529
149Bhutan1.506
150Finland1.488
151Australia1.419
152Ireland1.390
153Switzerland1.383
154Czech Republic1.375
155Japan1.369
156Slovenia1.355
157Singapore1.347
158Canada1.327
159Denmark1.316
160Austria1.291
161Portugal1.274
162New Zealand1.221
163Iceland1.072
Lead image: Dreamstime

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