The 25 Most Failed States On Earth

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Last month, Foreign Policy came out with its annual list of the most failed states on the globe, based on 12 metrics including social, economic, and political and military indicators.

We covered how Canada beat out the U.S. as less of a failed state.

Now, we’re giving a complete breakdown of the worst of the worst. In the year 2013, it’s hard to believe that life can be so bad.

#25 ERITREA: A small country in the Horn of Africa, Eritrea has been under dictatorial rule since 1993, when it gained independence from Ethiopia. Eritreans have suffered from military clashes with the Ethiopians and years of failed governance. Eritrea scores worst on human rights, demographic pressures, and legitimacy of state.

#23 LIBERIA (tie): Among the poorest countries in the world, Liberia suffers from a near total lack of infrastructure like clean water, public telephones, or sewage. The West African country also has a huge problem with refugees and internally displaced persons.

#23 NORTH KOREA (tie): Called the Hermit Kingdom for its seclusion from the outside world, North Korea got a terrible score for legitimacy of state. Human rights violations are rampant, and aid organisations estimate more then 2 million have died since the mid 1990s over food shortages alone.

#22 UGANDA: Uganda's worst tally is from mounting demographic pressures. 6.5% of the adult population has HIV or AIDS.

#21 SYRIA: Two years into a civil war that has claimed more than 100,000 lives and has no end in sight, Syria is getting worse and worse. The Middle Eastern country got a near-bottom score for security apparatus.

#20 BURUNDI: 85% of the citizens of this tiny African nation live in extreme poverty. Its gross domestic product per capita is a measly $600.

#19 ETHIOPIA: When Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993, it rendered Ethiopia completely landlocked. The country with a largely agricultural economy is plagued by drought and famine.

#18 NIGER: With more than 7 children born to every woman — a world record — this West African nation suffers extreme demographic pressures. Families struggle to feed and educate children, and it's hard for women to enter the labour force. Public services are abysmal.

#17 KENYA: About 50% of the Kenyan population lives below the poverty line and roughly 40% of the nation is unemployed.

#16 NIGERIA: Nigeria is plagued by corruption, poor employment, and terrible infrastructural development.

#15 GUINEA BISSAU: More than two thirds of the people in the West African state live on less than $2 a day. The country scores terribly for legitimacy of state and factionalized elites.

#14 GUINEA: Guinea's worst category is in legitimacy of state after a series of juntas and coups. Major human rights issues include torture by security forces and abuse of women and children through acts like female genital mutilation.

#13 PAKISTAN: With monstrous debt, poverty, and rampant Islamic extremism, Pakistan is underdeveloped on multiple fronts. The South Asian country receive its worst marks for security apparatus and vengeance-seeking group grievance.

#12 COTE D'IVOIRE: The West African country has had two civil wars in the past 11 years, and there are currently thousands of UN peacekeepers and French forces on the ground trying to gain some stability. Côte d'Ivoire gets its worst score for external intervention among many other problems.

#11 IRAQ: Though U.S. forces withdrew in 2011, terrorism and violence in Iraq continued, with hundreds killed so far this year. The Middle Eastern oil power gets the worst possible score for vengeance-seeking group grievance.

#10 ZIMBABWE: Headed by one of the world's worst dictators, Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe has more than 1 million citizens living with HIV/AIDS. Inflation is so bad, the government considered minting a $100 trillion bill.

#9 CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: This country has had a series of coups d'etat since gaining independence in 1960. It received abysmal scores for refugees and security apparatus.

#8 HAITI: Things went from bad to worse when this underdeveloped country was rocked by a massive earthquake in 2010. Then, in a cruel twist, a strain of cholera infected 6% of the country, possibly brought by United Nations soldiers responding to the quake. The island nation got terrible marks for foreign intervention and poverty.

#7 AFGHANISTAN: After U.S.-led regime change and more than a decade of U.N.-led reconstruction, Afghanistan got the worst possible score for foreign intervention. The country has emerged with weak security apparatus and a frail government, among other problems.

#6 YEMEN: The failed state on the Arab Peninsula is one of the poorest countries in the Middle East. Dominated by Islamic extremists, it gets one of the worst scores in security apparatus.

#5 CHAD: At just 49.07 years, Chad has the lowest life expectancy in the world. Public infrastructure is almost nonexistent and human rights abuses are rampant. The landlocked country is flanked by instability, with Sudan to the east and the Central African Republic to the south.

#4 SOUTH SUDAN: Recently liberated from Sudan, the new country is peppered with unexploded landmines and has trouble with basic vaccinations. With its very existence relying on U.N. support, South Sudan got the worst possible score for foreign intervention — as well as for group grievances and refugees.

#3 SUDAN: Home to the brutal genocide in Darfur, Sudan got the worst possible scores for refugees, group grievances, factionalized elites, and external intervention.

#2 CONGO: With rampant AIDS, malnutrition, pollution, and disease, Congo is the only country to get the worst possible score for demographic pressures. Hundreds of thousands of people are killed each year in internal conflicts, while an estimated 400,000 women are raped every year.

#1 SOMALIA: This war-torn state has a life expectancy of only 51 and an infant mortality rate of 2 out of 10. It tied for the worst rating on refugees and internally displaced people, human rights, and factionalized elites.

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