The Global Peace Index (GPI) ranks 163 countries worldwide to determine their safety levels. Factors like political stability, murder rates, and conflicts contribute to the GPI’s calculation. It provides valuable insights into the safety of visiting different countries. The 2022 list reflects the global situation and the 2023 edition is expected to be similar. Here are the most dangerous countries in the world.
The dubious distinction of Most Dangerous Country in the World goes to Afghanistan. One has to wonder where Afghanistan ranked on the GPI before 2001 (you can look that up), but it’s clear that the pangs of war still linger in this tumultuous nation.
The Yemeni civil war has raged since 2014, and there are no indications that it will cease soon. The nation of Yemen has the misfortune of being located in one of the most perpetually troubled regions in the world. Iranian influence in Yemen has led Saudi Arabia to invest resources in the conflict, making Yemen a sort of proxy battleground between the two major players in the Middle East. This spells danger, and not surprisingly, Yemen is one of the most dangerous countries in the world.
Another nation that has been ravaged by war since roughly 2011, Syria is entangled in a civil war with no end in sight. Like so many conflicts in the region, there are multiple players, none of them look like “the good guys,” and virtually everyone in the nation suffers because of the conflict.
A nation that takes constant flack for its Machiavellian political structure, culture of corruption, and involvement in global conflict, it’s not a massive surprise that Russia makes this list. However, when you consider the severely war-torn nations that sandwich Russia on the list, you have to wonder how dangerous a trip to Moscow would be. This dangerous?
5. South Sudan
South Sudan officially became a nation in 2011, and its people have known very little peace since. One of the poorest nations in the world (though it has several natural resources), South Sudan’s never-ending violent conflicts, food insecurity, and general disarray make it a profoundly dangerous place.
Even humanitarian workers have been the target of violent attacks and raids in South Sudan.
6. Democratic Republic of the Congo
There are tourist destinations in Africa. The Democratic Republic of the Congo ain’t one of them. Always a resource-rich but troubled region, the DRC is a favorite destination for war correspondents and danger vloggers.
When you Google Democratic Republic of the Congo, you get headlines like ‘What is the latest conflict in the DR Congo about?’. The latest conflict. That says it all.
Iraq is another nation that begs a familiar question: Where would Iraq rank on this list before the United States Army’s invasion in 2003? It’s fair to bet, probably not in the top 12.
A veritable colony of modern-day pirates, Somalia’s coastline has been treacherous for countless boat captains for decades, including Captain Phillips. Some trace the history of Somalian piracy back to 1991 when the government collapsed, civil war began, and every-man-for-himself economics became the norm in the Horn of Africa.
9. Central African Republic
UNICEF writes that the Central African Republic is “one of the toughest places in the world to be a child.” The country is one of many in Africa seemingly caught in a cycle of rebel-government conflict that turns into years (or decades) long feuds. It’s a violent, sad situation that makes non-humanitarian tourism a pipe dream.
Based on this list, it’s fair to say that there are no regions more dangerous than the Middle East and Central-Northeast Africa. Sudan has had multiple civil wars, antigovernmental uprisings, and minimal harmony throughout the majority of its modern history.
When this list was released, Ukraine had seen years of simmering conflict. Today, Ukraine ranks much higher on this list.
12. North Korea
North Korea is extremely dangerous for North Koreans, who cannot utter a word of dissent without facing imprisonment or a worse fate. North Korea can be similarly dangerous for the rare few who can enter. Notoriously, American tourist Otto Warmbier died after being imprisoned and tortured for allegedly trying to smuggle a poster out of North Korea.
These are nations that the most hardened travelers would think three times about entering. This post should answer the popular question, “What is the most dangerous country in the world?” For most, these troubled countries should be no-go, no-discussion zones.
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Experience: Sam Mire is a freelance writer with over seven years' experience writing about entertainment, global events, American law, and sports. He got his start as a journalism major at the University of South Florida, and has since spent weeks in the Alaskan wildlands, immersed himself in the world of Florida's homeless population, covered live sporting events, and served as a linchpin for media outlets in the legal, tech, and entertainment spaces. Sam has written news stories and Op-Eds featured in Fast Company, Forbes, Entrepreneur, AP News, Fox News, and, most notably, Wealth of Geeks. Sam focuses on popular culture, film and television, and general life advice in his role for Wealth of Geeks. He strives to turn readers onto the directors, actors, and other creatives who deliver compelling content outside of the box-office top-ten. In his free time, he enjoys boxing, woodwork, engaging in battles of strength and wit with his dog, and spending time with good company.