25 Most Dangerous Countries in the World (2023)

In this article, we take a look at the 25 most dangerous countries in the world. You can skip our detailed analysis and go directly to the 5 most dangerous countries in the world.

The world has its fair share of everything. Some parts of it are peaceful, experience low crime and violence while other parts of it are riddled with crime, terrorism, instability and violence.

Overall, North America and Europe are relatively the most stable and low crime regions in the world. Most of it is as a result of very strong and stable political and legal institutions, social harmony as well as economic opportunities and welfare. Speaking of North America in particular, Canada is 3 times safer than the US according to the World Population Review.

On the other hand, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America are relatively the more volatile regions with various social and political problems. There are a number of reasons why some parts of the world are more dangerous than others. In some countries, crime rate is a structural problem and failure of law and order. In others, there are dangers for entirely different reasons like civil wars and political instability. However, in most cases, you’d find both crime and political instability in the same place. According to a UN report, crime and instability have been shown to be inter-linked.

25 Most Dangerous Countries in the World (1)

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Empirical evidence aside, this fact also appeals to common sense. Political instability weakens law and order and creates opportunities for organized crime, individual criminals and gangbangers to commit crimes. What reaps the most reward out of instability is organized crime due to its connections in the black market which the politically unstable and sanctioned states as well as their citizens increasingly turn to. (Bosetti et al 2016:3)

For instance, the civil war in Syria that was sparked when the government brutally cracked down on protests in 2011 has led to a huge spike in organized crime as well as disorganized crime and general violence in the country with crimes being committed by government factions, rebels as well as opportunistic criminals according to a paper from Stability Journal.

Prior to the war, OSAC reported a low crime rate in the country but as of 2021, Syria has one of the highest crime rates in the world with a score of 67.42 out of 100 according to the World Population Review report. With that said, there are plenty of dangerous countries in the world and below we’ve outlined the 25 most dangerous countries in the world.

Our Methodology:

We’ve concluded that crime and political instability are correlated and together they contribute to general violence and unsafe atmosphere and make a country very dangerous in terms of safety of life and property. In our methodology, we define a dangerous country as the one which fares low on political stability but high on crime rate.

For political stability, we’d be using data from The Global Economy and for Crime Rate, we’d be sourcing data from World Population Review and in some cases, The World Bank and the US based Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC). Political stability on GlobalEconomy is measured on a scale of -2.5 to 2.5 with the former representing extreme instability and the latter, highest stability.

Crime rate on the other hand, is measured on a scale of 0-100 on World Population Review with 0 representing absence of crime and 100 representing the highest level of crime. However, as crime rate is an indication of a specific phenomenon while political stability, or instability for that matter, determines much more including crime as well as general violence, so we’d be using political stability as the primary metric.

There are economic and business implications of political instability and high crime rates. The most dangerous countries that made our list also experience lower economic growth rates and are among the poorest countries in the world. Companies like Axon Enterprise, Inc. (NASDAQ:AXON) offer law enforcement tools and solutions for these countries. These countries are also potential markets for major defense companies like Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) and L3Harris Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: LHX). Northrop Grumman (NOC) and L3harris Technologies (LHX) are among well-known arms and defense system exporters to several countries worldwide.

With that said, let's move down to the 25 most dangerous countries in the world.

25. Kenya

Political Stability Score: -1.12

Kenya is an African country that fares poorly in political stability. It has a high crime rate score of 61.73. The country is mired in ethnic violence with a history of gross human rights abuses.

24. Burkina Faso

Political Stability Score: -1.19

Burkina Faso is located in West Africa. The country has been a target of terror attacks from various terror groups including ISIS and Alqaeda. The later group has a stronger foothold in the country and regularly carries out terrorist attacks against government forces as well as civilians. It ranks low on the political stability scale and has a crime rate of 1.25 homicides per 100,000 citizens according to the World Bank.

23. Burma

Political Stability Score: -1.26

Burma ranks 23rd on our list of the 25 most dangerous countries in the world. Burma, also known as Myanmar, is a Southeast Asian country with a political stability score of -1.26 which is the lowest in the region. Crime rate score for the country is 46.93. Although the crime rate is moderate, the country is politically deeply unstable with a very aggressive military that has been cracking down on Rohingya muslims. It’s also mired in sectarian conflicts and the violence has caused thousands of people to flee to neighboring countries.

22. Ethiopia

Political Stability Score: -1.28

Ethiopia is an African country located in the Horn of Africa. It has a crime rate score of 49.23. The country experiences political instability due to conflict between different groups like the Oromo, Gedeo and ethnic Somalis.On the other hand, various militia and terror groups are also present in the country like the Fano, Boko Haram and Al-Shabab that challenge the government's authority with asymmetric attacks.

21. Chad

Political Stability Score: -1.34

Chad is a landlocked country in Africa. It is also the 5th largest country in the continent. It scores poorly in political stability and has a high crime rate score of 65 according to Numbeo. Various countries like the US and Australia warn their citizens about visiting Chad due to terror attacks, and violent conflict between the rebels and the government following national elections on 11th of April.

20. Niger

Political Stability Score: -1.40

Niger (not to be confused with Nigeria) is another African country to make it to the list of 25 most dangerous countries in the world. It is poor in terms of political stability. Osac grades Niger at level 3 when it comes to crime rate and advises US citizens to reconsider travel to the country. Niger also has some of the most common problems in some African countries including ethnic violence, civil conflicts and terrorism.

19. Ukraine

Political Stability Score: -1.52

Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe which has been mired in civil war in its Donbass region between the government and Pro-Russian separatists following the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014. The war has dented the country’s political stability and increased the crime rate. The latter stands at 48.84 and is up from the previous 5 years.

18. Cameroon

Political Stability Score: -1.56

Cameroon is an African country to make it to the list of 25 most dangerous countries in the world. It is suffering from the same problems common in other African countries. The crime rate is high in the country according to OSAC. It's one of the 25 most dangerous nations in the world.

17. Lebanon

Political Stability Score: -1.64

Lebanon is a Middle Eastern country that has a poor track record for political stability. Although the crime rate is moderate at 44.07, the threat of terrorism is an ever looming one especially after the Syrian Civil War. Additionally, the country is home to the infamous armed group Hezbollah that has been designated as a terrorist organization by countries like the US and Canada. So there’s a potential threat for American and Canadian tourists.

16. Burundi

Political Stability Score: -1.65

Burundi is an African country that is politically unstable and OSAC reports the country to be generally unsafe and grades it at level 3 and advises travelers to reconsider traveling to the country.

15. Sudan

Political Stability Score: -1.67

Sudan is another African country that is politically deeply unstable. Sudan is graded on level 3 by OSAC and the council urges people to reconsider if they plan on traveling to the country. Civil unrest, terrorism and high crime are commonplace in the country.

14. Iran

Political Stability Score: -1.70

Iran is particularly dangerous to US citizens and the US state department advises against traveling to the country. OSAC grades the country on threat level 4 and also strongly advises against traveling to the country due to the potential threat for arbitrary arrests and detention of US citizens. Crime rate score for Iran is 48.

Iran is very belligerent towards the United States and so the United States has various contingency plans in case a war broke out. In this regard, various companies like have helped the US prop up its defense through government contracts.Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT), Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC), General Dynamics Corporation (NYSE: GD), Raytheon Technologies Corporation (NYSE: RTX) and The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA)

13. Democratic Republic of Congo

Political Stability Score: -1.81

Democratic Republic of the Congo is an African country with a very bad state of political stability. Civil unrest, terrorism and violent crime are all too common in the country. The Guardian called it the most dangerous place for women in the world due to the use of rape as a tactic. OSAC also grades the country at level 3 for being a dangerous place to visit.

12. Nigeria

Political Stability Score: -1.93

Nigeria is another African country with very similar problems like other African countries. Nigeria has a high crime rate of 63.27.

11. Mali

Political Stability Score: -2.15

Another African country on list of 25 most dangerous countries on Earth, Mali is riddled with political instability, terrorism, civil unrest and crime. OSAC graded Mali on threat level 4 and urges US citizens to not to travel to the country out of concerns for safety. Many terrorist groups including Boko Haram and Al-Shabab are active in the country.

10. Central African Republic

Political Stability Score: -2.18

The Central African Republic is another country in African continent. It has a political stability score of -2.18 meaning that the country is deeply unstable. OSAC has placed it on threat level 4 and urged the US citizens to reconsider traveling to the country.

9. Iraq

Political Stability Score: -2.56

Iraq is a middle eastern country that has been torn by years of conflict. Although the country is rebuilding itself now, it's not out of the woods yet. The US invaded the country in 2003 and quickly overwhelmed the Ba’athist Government with advanced weapons manufactured by companies like Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT), Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC), General Dynamics Corporation (NYSE: GD), Raytheon Technologies Corporation (NYSE: RTX) and The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA)

Later on, Al Qaeda jumped in from around to fight the US and radicalize the local youth and created an insurgency. Due to the significant presence of Sunnis and Shiites, the country also spiralled down in a parallel sectarian war. The Islamic State also gained a foothold in the country post-withdrawal of the US forces. However, the US returned to the country and drove ISIS out with the aid of local forces but the country still retains the insurgent presence of these groups. Years of conflict has also made the country increasingly unstable.

8. Afghanistan

Political Stability Score: -2.65

Afghanistan is located at the crossroads of Central and South Asia. The country has been in a state of war for decades, with constant civil strife by numerous tribes and factions controlled by warlords. The US invaded Afghanistan in 2001 and was quickly able to topple the Taliban government with the help of advanced weaponry and firepower developed by companies like Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT), Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC), General Dynamics Corporation (NYSE: GD), Raytheon Technologies Corporation (NYSE: RTX) and The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA).

However, even after years of nation building, the country is still torn apart with half of it in control of the Taliban and the rest in the control of the government. It's a dangerous country to visit because crime and outlaws thrive due to factionalism and weak state authority. Afghanistan has a crime rate score of 76.97.

7. Yemen

Political Stability Score: -2.77

Yemen is a middle eastern country with an ongoing civil war between the Saudi backed Yemeni Government and Houthi Rebels. The country is also home to AQAP or Alqaeda in Arabian Peninsula. Saudi Military is also directly involved in the war to support the government and defense contractors like Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT), Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC), General Dynamics Corporation (NYSE: GD), Raytheon Technologies Corporation (NYSE: RTX) and The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA) have sold the Saudi government various weapons in its war effort. OSAC grades Yemen on threat level 4 and urges citizens to not travel to the country.

6. Papua New Guinea

Political Stability Score: -0.83

Papua New Guinea is a country in Oceania. Papua New Guinea has the 2nd highest crime rate in the world just behind Venezuela. It has a crime rate score of 84.04. The country isn’t very stable politically either. The national unity is weak due to thousands of tribes with different languages and tribal mentality.

Click to continue reading the see the 5 Most Dangerous Countries In The World.

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Disclosure: None. 25 Most Dangerous Countries in the World is originally published on Insider Monkey.

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