While the US faces its own set of challenges, it doesn’t rank among the world’s most dangerous countries in 2023. Let’s take a look at some of the countries with significant safety concerns, offering perspective on global security issues.
Understanding the Data
In 2022, the Global Peace Index (GPI) took a deep dive into the peace levels of 163 countries by examining 23 unique indicators. They looked at everything from how safe people feel in their societies to the current conflicts happening both within and outside these countries. Not to forget, they also considered how militarized these nations were. To make things simple, they scored each country on a scale of 1-5. Here’s the catch: the higher the score, the more violent the country. So, a high score isn’t exactly what you’re hoping for!
List of Most Dangerous Countries in 2023
For the fifth year running, Afghanistan has unfortunately taken the title as the world’s least peaceful country. With a peace index score of 3.554 out of 5, it’s mainly because of a high rate of criminal activity. It’s a tough spot to be in.
Yemen’s had a rough time with both internal strife and the economic hit from COVID-19. This combo has led to a spike in violence, giving the country a peace index score of 3.394 out of 5. It’s been a challenging period for them.
Syria faced a tough time in 2022 with explosive-related incidents harming its civilians. This bumped up its Global Peace Index, landing it just a tad above Yemen with a score of 3.356 out of 5. It’s been quite the year for them.
Russia’s tensions with Ukraine have had some serious repercussions. Between rising death tolls, shaky political grounds, and a surge in political terror, things haven’t been looking great. This all translated to a peace index score of 3.275 out of 5 for Russia. It’s been a tumultuous time, to say the least.
5: South Sudan
Even though there’s been some progress on the peace front, South Sudan still grapples with a lot of internal strife. Landing at 159 on the Global Peace Index, the country’s got a peace score of 3.184 out of 5. They’ve made strides, but there’s still quite a journey ahead.
6: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Things have been a bit rocky in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They’ve seen an uptick in deaths from conflicts outside their borders. With a peace score of 3.166, they’re sitting at the 158th spot on the Global Peace Index. Here’s hoping for better days ahead.
Iraq’s been showing a glimmer of progress! From last year’s Global Peace Index, they’ve climbed up a couple of spots, now ranking 157th out of 163 countries. Their peace score? A 3.157 out of 5. It’s a step in the right direction, for sure.
Somalia’s had its fair share of challenges with issues like conflicts, rising death tolls, and terrorism. All this placed them at the 156th spot on the Global Peace Index, earning a score of 3.125 out of 5. It’s been quite a ride for them.
9: Central African Republic
Even though there’s been a drop in conflict-related deaths, places like the Central African Republic haven’t had it easy with a rising number of conflicts overall. They’ve landed a peace score of 3.021 out of 5 on the Global Peace Index. It’s been a mixed bag for them.
Sudan’s been through the wringer, with over a third of its folks having to leave their homes. Between the continuous challenges and uprisings, they’ve ended up with a peace score of 3.007 out of 5. It’s been a tough journey for the country.
Ukraine’s had a rough patch, especially with the continuous tiffs with Russia. It’s led to quite a dip in their peace standings, pulling their score down to 2.971 out of 5. It’s certainly been challenging times for them.
12: North Korea
North Korea had its hands full from 2021 to 2022, with some intense violent demonstrations shaking things up. They were among the top 10 countries facing such challenges, which nudged their peace score to 2.942 out of 5. Quite the eventful period for them!
Over the past five years, Libya’s been making strides towards a more peaceful future. But, with ongoing conflicts still in the mix, their peace score sits at 2.93. They’ve come a long way, but there’s still work to be done.
Mali’s been grappling with some homegrown conflicts, landing them at the 150th spot on the Global Peace Index. Their peace score? A 2.911. Here’s hoping for brighter days ahead.
Ethiopia’s been facing some hurdles lately, sliding down to 149th on the peace chart—a drop of nine whole spots. With the economic fallout from armed conflicts skyrocketing by 90% since 2021, their peace score has settled at 2.806. It’s been a challenging stretch for them.
Venezuela, sitting at 148 on the peace ladder, is still wrestling with its fair share of challenges. From rising homicide rates to spikes in violent crimes and political terror, they’ve clocked in a peace score of 2.793 out of 5. They’ve got quite the uphill battle.
Just a smidge below Venezuela with a peace score of 2.789, Pakistan lands at the 147th spot on the Global Peace Index. If you’re a foreigner in Pakistan, the local authorities recommend touching base with law enforcement before stepping out. Safety first, after all!
18: Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso’s had a rough patch lately. Between political shake-ups and economic hiccups, their peace standings took a 12-rank tumble. Now, they’re sitting with a peace score of 2.786 out of 5. Here’s hoping they can bounce back soon.
Turkey’s seen a bit of an uptick in peace recently, improving by 2.3%. But, despite the progress, it’s held the title of the least peaceful country in its neck of the woods for 15 years straight. With a peace score of 2.785, they’ve got a mixed bag of progress and challenges.
Colombia’s been dealing with some intense violent protests lately, and it’s taken a toll. Their peace score has climbed up to 2.729, showing the challenges they’re facing. Tough times, for sure.
Between 2017 and 2020, there were major calls from protesters to break up Nigeria’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad. Sadly, this led to a rise in casualties. As of now, Nigeria’s peace score is sitting at 2.725 out of 5. It’s been a tumultuous few years.
Cameroon’s peace score is a bit on the lower side, coming in at 2.709. This places them at the 142nd spot among the world’s most peaceful places. They’ve got some room for improvement.
Iran’s been climbing the peace ladder a bit, but they’ve also ramped up their military spending quite a lot. That’s landed them with a peace score of 2.687. A step forward, but with a notable caveat.
Niger’s made a small climb on the Global Peace Index, moving up one spot from last year to land at 140. Their current peace score? A 2.65 out of 5. Every step counts!
Myanmar’s been facing a few bumps in the road, ranking 139th in terms of peacefulness. Between political unrest and the government’s handling of COVID-19, they’ve ended up with a peace score of 2.631. Challenging times for them, indeed.
Lebanon’s seen a drop in deaths from conflicts, which is some good news. But, they’re still grappling with ongoing skirmishes. This has put them at the 138th spot on the peace chart, with a score of 2.615 out of 5. It’s a mix of ups and downs for them.
Mexico’s been having a tough time, especially with some of the highest homicide rates out there. In fact, eight of the world’s most violent cities call Mexico home. With a peace score of 2.612, they’re sitting at the 137th spot. Hoping for calmer days ahead.
Chad’s been grappling with some domestic conflicts, which has pushed its scores a bit higher in that area. As a result, they’ve landed at the 136th spot on the world’s peace rankings, clocking in a score of 2.591. They’ve got their plate full, that’s for sure.
India’s been facing a cocktail of challenges recently. A shaky economy, some political unrest, and tensions between Hindu and Muslim communities have led to a rise in violent crimes. This puts their peace score at 2.578 out of 5. It’s been a tricky period for the nation.
Israel’s been feeling the heat from regional tensions, placing them at the 134th spot on the Global Peace Index. Their peace score? A 2.576. Definitely some challenges to navigate through over there.