These are the world’s 20 most dangerous countries, and photos showing what life is like there

National Liberation Army (ELN) soldiers standing in formation in Arauca province, Colombia, in 2002.

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National Liberation Army (ELN) soldiers standing in formation in Arauca province, Colombia, in 2002.
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Carlos Villalon/Getty

In terms of organized crime, terrorism, homicide and reliability of police forces, the US ranks as the 56th safest country in the world, falling just below China at 55.

Russia comes in at 105, just below Kenya and a few dozen spots beneath Bosnia.

An Oct. 16, 2018 report by the World Economic Forum shows that countries that enjoy more security also enjoy better economic development.

The most dangerous countries, shown in the next 20 photos, are rife with terrorism, economic insecurity, and have some of the worst homicide rates in the world. Read more about them below:


20. India is home to 11 recognized terrorist organizations, including al-Qaeda and ISIS offshoots.

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A masked demonstrator throws a stone towards police during a protest in Nowgam, India on October 24, 2018.
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Danish Ismail/Reuters

19. Chad

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Chadian Army soldiers near Koukou in April 2007, at the height of Chadian-Sudanese conflicts centered around the War in Darfur.
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Uriel Sinai/Getty

Conflict in Darfur sent hundreds of thousands of refugees into Chad, which resulted in massive displacement of its own citizens. The CIA estimates over 300,000 Sudanese refugees are living in Chad.

Boko Haram and ISIS have an established presence in the country.

As of 2011, almost half the nation’s citizens were living in poverty, according to the CIA.


18. Nearly one-third of the population in the Dominican Republic lives in poverty.


17. Nearly half the population of Guinea lives in poverty.


16. Al-Qaeda and ISIS affiliated groups terrorize Mali.


15. Democratic Republic of Congo

The CIA estimates the Democratic Republic of Congo hosts over 500,000 refugees and asylum seekers. As of 2014, nearly two-thirds of the country’s population lived under the poverty line.


14. Mexico’s homicide rate is soaring.

In 2017, The Economist estimated over 24,000 Mexicans were murdered.


13. Brazil

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Brazilian armed forces patrol the Kelson’s slum during an operation against crime in Rio de Janeiro in February 2018.
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Pilar Olivares/Reuters

Brazil is also the second-largest consumer of cocaine in the world, according to the CIA.


12. Murder, domestic violence, and sexual assaults each saw an increase in Trinidad and Tobago in 2017

Source: US Department of State.


11. Pakistan hosts 12 recognized terrorist organizations.

Source: CIA.


10. Jamaica

The US State Department has warned travelers of a prevalence of sexual assault in Jamaica, which was unraveled by USA Today.


9. South Africa has a long history of government corruption.

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An Economic Freedom Fighters supporter holds a fake gun outside parliament buildings in Pretoria, South Africa, ahead of a 2017 march calling for the ousting of President Zuma for corruption charges.
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Brent Stirton/Getty

8. Colombia

Nearly one-third of the population of Colombia lives under the poverty line, according to the CIA.

The US recognizes two terrorist organizations, the National Liberation Army (ELN) and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC), in the country.

Colombia is the world’s largest producer of coca derivatives, and the second largest supplier of heroin to the US.


7: Philippines

The US recognizes four terrorist organizations in the Philippines, including ISIS, Jamaah Islamayah, the New People’s Army, and Abu Sayyaf.

There are also nearly 500,000 displaced Philippino citizens, according to the CIA.

Since his election in 2016, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has employed his police forces in a controversial war on drugs, killing suspected drug dealers and users often without a trial.


6: Guatemala

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Family members carry the caskets of two boys who were kidnapped and killed in 2017 in San Juan Sacatepequez, Guatemala.
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John Moore/Getty

Crimes like these have driven emigration to the US as families seek refuge from violence.

The boys were 10 and 11 years old.


5. Honduras

Nearly 200,000 Honduran citizens have been displaced due to violence, threats, and forced gang affiliation with MS-13 and Barrio 18.

Honduras has historically had one of the highest murder rates in the world.


4. Yemen

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A Houthi militant watches over a rally denouncing the devaluation of the Yemeni Rial in Sanaa.
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Khaled Abdulla/Reuters

Yemen is in the midst of its years-long civil war, which is widely seen as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia, which backs Yemen’s central government, and Iran, which supports the Houthi rebels.

Al-Qaeda’s AQAP branch and ISIS also have a presence in the nation. It also hosts a number of undetected minefields, over half its citizens live in poverty, and as war rages food insecurity is on the rise.


3. Nigeria

Boko Haram and ISIS maintain a presence in Nigeria, and despite oil resources, nearly two-thirds of the country’s population live in extreme poverty.


2. Venezuela

Unemployment and trafficking in persons continue to plague Venezuela, which also hosts recognized terrorist organization National Liberation Army (ELN).


The world’s most dangerous country: El Salvador

Authorities recorded nearly 4,000 murders in El Salvador in 2017 alone, and say that most criminal activity is a result of gang violence at the hands of MS-13 and Barrio 18.

El Salvador’s soaring homicide rate has forced thousands of its citizens to seek asylum in the US.