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Most Dangerous Countries for American Travelers

Can you name the countries where American travelers are most likely to die due to violence?
2009-2016. Excludes countries with fewer than 100,000 American visitors
Quiz by skukka
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First submittedNovember 21, 2017
Last updatedNovember 21, 2017
Times taken13,784
Rating4.03
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Per 100,000
Answer
3.54
Pakistan
3.20
Thailand
2.28
Philippines
1.96
Haiti
1.66
Honduras
1.28
Nigeria
1.02
Belize
0.97
Guyana
0.86
Egypt
0.84
Mexico
Per 100,000
Answer
0.68
Guatemala
0.64
El Salvador
0.43
Greece
0.39
Jordan
0.37
Jamaica
0.36
Ukraine
0.35
Ecuador
0.34
Nicaragua
0.33
Costa Rica
0.30
Grenada
+12
level ∞
Nov 21, 2017
I had a friend post on Facebook that she was more likely to die due to violence in the U.S. then in her travels to "dangerous" countries. After looking at the data, I don't believe this is true. If we consider that most people only visit these countries for a week or so, the murder rate of American tourists on an annual basis could be over 100 in the most dangerous countries. The murder rate in the United States is 4.88, but it is very concentrated among young men in inner cities. Its not possible to know for sure, but I would assume that a typical tourist is much more likely to meet a violent end in one of these countries than if they stayed at home. But in either case, the chance of something bad happening is relatively small.
+3
level 66
Nov 21, 2017
I agree with that assessment. As long as you don't live in the deep inner city and practice common sense -- don't get involved in drug/gang activity, and don't walk in bad areas at night, I think you'd be much safer in the US than being in these countries as a tourist. I'd rather be in a "bad" US city like New Orleans/Chicago/Detroit than Pakistan
+9
level 67
Feb 19, 2018
And yet, when people travel, they very often go into areas they don't know; get hammered and walk back to where they're staying; buy drugs illegally from people they just met; get involved in the sex trade; and all of this with more cash on them then a typical weekly wage. All the kind of stuff they wouldn't do - or would do through more trusted contacts, or more circumspectly - at home.
+1
level 17
Feb 19, 2018
The only place I've traveled is Pakistan
+1
level 55
Feb 19, 2018
tshalla is right. People yet get involved in these activities and get killed. Pakistanis are not to be blamed for this.
+4
level 66
Feb 19, 2018
@Eigengrau I think the Pakistanis deserve at least a little bit of the blame since they're the ones torturing and murdering people. There are plenty of other countries where you'd be much safer stumbling home at 3am after a wild night on the devil's nectar.
+2
level 47
Feb 20, 2018
or, as long as you don't attend high school.
+1
level 69
Nov 22, 2017
Good point. Shows just how important it is to take a critical look at statistics and not to just take them at face value.
+5
level 40
Nov 22, 2017
On average 3 people die in the USA every hour, by guns alone, not including melee weapons, explosives, poisons etc
+3
level 70
Nov 29, 2017
At first I didn't believe this figure - so I looked it up. True statement. Drilling further into the data, approximately 2/3 of the total deaths by guns in the US are classified as suicides. The balance of the total is homicides (ie, committed by another person). Stay out of St. Louis, Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, Baltimore, and Newark. Actually, just stay out of the poorest parts of those cities, which tend to be the most violent due to the influx of illegal drugs in those areas. For residents trapped in those neighborhoods, though, just sitting in your home can literally get you killed.
+1
level 77
Feb 19, 2018
It can be hard to wrap your head around just how big a number 320 million is... so this sounds like a lot. But it's not really.
+2
level 77
Feb 19, 2018
For a little anecdotal context, I spent more than 30 years living in the United States. I grew up outside of Washington DC in the 1980s during the crack cocaine epidemic. I spent 5 or 6 years working at a hospital in the area, including 2 years working full time in the ER- the only Trauma 1 center in the Northern Virginia area. Patients would be flown in from all over to that one center.

In my life... I've known and/or seen exactly one person killed by gunshot. In that case it was self-inflicted. An elderly cancer patient who shot himself in the face with a shotgun and came in to the hospital where I worked. I didn't know him personally but I registered him. That's it and my life is probably at least half over. I did know someone at Virginia Tech who was there during that massacre. The gunman tried to get in to her room and failed. She wasn't shot.
Anyway, point is, it's not as bad as some people would like you to believe.
+1
level 61
Feb 19, 2018
I appreciate that pkerr qualified the comment with "stay out of the poorest parts of those cities," but I need to double down on that. I've been to every one of the cities pkerr mentioned, and the only one that feels totally unsafe to me is Newark. Detroit was not great, but it was fine. People get in trouble in New Orleans because they act like idiots and put a bull's eye on their backs for criminals to pick them out. I live in Chicago, and though there is horrific gun violence, it is concentrated in the poorest parts of the city. This is, of course, not to suggest that that somehow makes it less terrible. It's terrible. But most of Chicago is very safe. I feel safer here than in any other city in which I've ever lived (at home and abroad), of which there have been many. Chicago is fantastic. Everyone should come visit.
+1
level 77
Feb 19, 2018
True. And Washington is a beautiful safe city, too.
+2
level 79
Mar 27, 2018
I've lived or worked an nearly every major city in the US. I've been in areas of some of them that I knew it was in my best interest to get out of there, but safety was always just a few blocks away. The only place that I have every felt danger to nearly the point of panic was in East St Louis, IL it was like being in a completely different and alien world.
+4
level 67
Nov 22, 2017
People on vacation often engage in riskier than normal behaviour. They also typically do so with less local knowledge, rendering the results of decision-making less predictable. e.g. they're not just going between work and home, to cafes, bars, and restaurants they're familiar with, etc.
+2
level 77
Feb 21, 2018
QM might have a point. But I travel constantly and people tell me I'm brave. I think most of the time they are just being ignorant. I've spent lots of time in Thailand, the Philippines, Greece and Ukraine before. They are not on the short list of places I would deem too dangerous to travel to.
+1
level 66
Nov 21, 2017
Belize surprised me. The picture in my head is somewhat secluded, resort-type country that's a destination for a lot of rich Westerners since they speak English. Is this incorrect? What type of violence puts them on this list, drug violence?
+3
level 76
Nov 21, 2017
"The majority of violence in Belize stems from gang activity, which includes trafficking of drugs and persons, protecting drug smuggling routes, and securing territory for drug dealing." --Wikipedia
+1
level 70
Nov 21, 2017
I couldn't say for the type of violence, but a lot of the resorts are still within fairly populated cities. I went there with my wife on our honeymoon and we are by no means rich westerners. The flight was expensive, but its pretty cheap to get food and find a cheap resort there within a city. I can see how one might find trouble if they were out late "clubbin" or whatever. The infrastructure just isn't as safe, so there's a lot of dark streets (and beaches) and not a lot of law enforcement. That's just my experience in a small part of the country.
+1
level 60
Nov 21, 2017
Yeah Belize isn't anything like that. I've been there and financially the country isn't doing too great. There is quite a bit of crime, especially in the cities. However, I'll admit I didn't really feel unsafe even though I stayed in a bad neighbourhood. Just use common sense and be careful at night and you should be fine in most countries.
+1
level 75
Nov 22, 2017
I have a couple of friends who experienced horrific violence (including sexual violence) while visiting Belize. It was strangers who attacked them in public. They are lucky to be alive. There's no one right answer.
+5
level 60
Nov 21, 2017
All of Central America is on here! Except Panama... Time to book a flight to Panama!
+5
level 60
Nov 21, 2017
Just don't drown in the canal!
+1
level 30
Feb 19, 2018
If I'm right, parts of Panama are almost as dangerous as the rest of the countries on this list. One of the reasons you cannot drive from Panama to Colombia is because it's too dangerous, from gang violence. There's also a huge rainforest with no roads in the way. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dari%C3%A9n_Gap#Armed_conflict_and_kidnappings
+1
level 53
Nov 21, 2017
Greece?
+1
level 51
Nov 22, 2017
Yes, Greece surprises me as well. Can someone explain?
+3
level 21
Nov 22, 2017
I went to Greece maybe 12 years ago? Athens was the one place where I got the most glares of any place I've ever been. The islands were very welcoming, except for the older residents of Santorini. In Athens airport, there were signs that said something along the lines of "Watch yourself, terrorism happens here."
+3
level 68
Dec 14, 2017
Especially in terms of violent crime, Greece is generally a perfectly safe country, with a violent crime rate about 5 times lower than the US. Threats to the lives of ordinary tourists are practically non-existent. The only real problem I can think of is that a handful of locations, different from the main tourist destinations, have turned into 'wild partying' centres, almost exclusively visited by tourists who want to get insanely drunk and engage in all sorts of irresponsible behaviour, getting themselves and others into trouble. From what I can remember from the news, at least one of the three deaths of Americans that brought Greece here occured in a place like that, as well as another one last summer. But if you're in Greece for the sights, the beaches and even normal nightlife, steering clear of all this should be easy.
+2
level 77
Feb 19, 2018
I lived in Greece for a few months, mostly in Thessaloniki. The girl I was staying with there lived right in the bad part of town full of brothels and street hookers. Walking alone at night there I always tried to remain aware of my surroundings. But nothing bad ever happened to me. I enjoyed my time there and also in Athens; I don't understand the negative reputation the latter has on most tourism sites. However, wages in the country are low, unemployment is high, and there are many refugees. There are many impoverished and desperate people in Greece relative to many other countries in Europe, as well as many tourists, and lots of drinking and "irresponsible" behavior as Georgios suggests. Combine all three and sometimes things happen.
+1
level 77
Nov 22, 2017
It would be interesting to have an idea of what countries are under the 100000 visitors cutoff.
+3
level 69
Nov 22, 2017
I bet that Thailand is so high mainly because it attracts a lot of drunken idiots who drink too much/take too many drugs and start trouble. Under normal circumstances, Thailand is a pretty damn safe country, at least if you stay out of the far south, which most people do.
+3
level 77
Nov 22, 2017
I've read that many of the tourists killed in the Philippines are murdered by the angry husbands/boyfriends of the girls they met on the Internet and came to visit. That might happen in Thailand, too.
+1
level 61
Feb 19, 2018
Whaaaaaaat. I need to read up on this.
+1
level 73
Dec 4, 2017
I don't know man...I saw The Hangover Part 2...looked pretty bad to me.
+3
level 77
Nov 22, 2017
This is hard mostly because it excludes countries with fewer than 100,000 visitors. I'm quite sure that Afghanistan, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and Iraq are more dangerous than Thailand.
+6
level 68
Nov 22, 2017
Yeah, The fact that the actual most dangerous countries are excluded because no one visits them skews the results of this test.
+2
level 53
Nov 22, 2017
As Brazilian (70,000 killed/year), born in Maceió (once the #3 highest rate worldwide), now living 10 years in João Pessoa (another top-tier in murder rate), I can say with a certain authority: here in Brazil, tourists that go sightseeing only to the touristic places and neighborhoods and in groups are fairly safe. Otherwise it is definitely not safe. Here, even pickpocketing minors have firearms and shoots you with little concern if you react to a robbery attempt... It's truly sad, but it's the truth. Brazilians from major cities know it very well and travel with little concern because they know how to "behave", but tourists in general won't know it...
+1
level 71
Nov 22, 2017
I was shocked by Costa Rica. It was the only Central American country I didn't even bother to guess. I've been there 3 times and have never experienced any problems whatsoever. But I have never really spent much time in San Jose, which I assume is where most of the crime is.
+1
level 62
Feb 19, 2018
I was surprised by Costa Rica as well. I was there back in May and never felt like I was unsafe. Although, I also didn't spend much time in San Jose either.
+1
level 77
Feb 19, 2018
Like many other countries on this list... there are many tourists who go to Costa Rica to do foolish or dangerous things. The country is in most ways safer than many other Latin American countries, but that won't save you if you go there and do stupid crap.
+2
level 75
Nov 22, 2017
I've travelled and lived extensively in places that usually get characterised as dangerous (including the US -- I am not from there), and I don't do resorts. I agree that staying alert and taking the dominant risk narratives with a grain of salt is essential (often these narratives are complicit with racist, colonialist, classist paradigms and power relations). Sometimes though it's challenging because when there is little perception of risk about a place (or no media discourse) it can mean people let themselves get oblivious, or rely exclusively law enforcement to keep them safe. And sometimes people just have bad luck. I do my research, stay frosty, and connect with locals -- being present, experiencing how people live and immersion into a local scene are huge reasons for me to be on the road.
+1
level 63
Feb 19, 2018
"stay frosty"
Do you mean "stay cool"?
+1
level 77
Feb 19, 2018
more like stay alert, I think
+1
level 61
Nov 24, 2017
Why is this quizz question so American based? Am I more secure in Belize as a German than an American? I do not have a higher risk to die in Guatemala than an American? Maybe someboday can explain me why this is this way? Thank you.
+1
level ∞
Nov 25, 2017
The answer is obvious. Anyone care to guess?
+2
level 61
Nov 27, 2017
Because everyone hates Americans? :) I mean, of course more american travellers then european going to the South American continent and so the % is higher, but THAILAND? Europeans love Thailand....so why an American is more in danger in Thailand then a German? Same with Egypt. Or Ukraine?
+1
level 61
Nov 27, 2017
Or is the answer "because this is an american website"?
+2
level 79
Dec 7, 2017
No, and no. The obvious answer is because the quiz is based on the source listed, which uses US State Department travel warnings and statistics.
+1
level 77
Feb 19, 2018
Because this is the data that we had available. It probably helps that Americans travel to other countries more than just about anyone else, having only recently been surpassed by China. But I'm guessing that China doesn't release figures like this.
+1
level ∞
Feb 19, 2018
@kalbahamut and loganite are correct. We can only make quizzes for which reliable source data exists.
+1
level 58
Feb 19, 2018
As others have said, this quiz is U.S.-centric because it is pulling data from the U.S. state department on deaths of U.S. tourists. This won't tell you anything about risks to German tourists. If you would like to know travel alerts and possibly similar data, check with the equivalent government agency in Germany. Wikipedia suggests this is a good place to start: https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/de/ReiseUndSicherheit/reise-und-sicherheitshinweise/uebersicht-navi (And you can check the footnotes for websites for other countries' travel departments: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Travel_warning)
+1
level 66
Mar 28, 2018
good lord..... Umm, because this quiz asked for the most dangerous countries for Americans??? Wait a minute. I think Im gonna go comment on a largest cities in Europe quiz and ask why its so euro-centric.
+1
level 63
Feb 19, 2018
I'm in trouble just about anywhere I go because I'm so dead sexy (I'll understand if I'm asked me to leave the site now)
+1
level 58
Feb 19, 2018
Greece! Read the theories above. Still puzzled. Utter anomaly on that list. Interesting quiz, thanks.
+1
level 40
Feb 19, 2018
Hi. I am curious where you found that Grenada is one of the most dangerous countries to visit? I traveled to Grenada this year and found it a very safe destination. It felt like one of the safer places I have been to. I did some further research and crime against tourists seems to be rare.
+2
level 37
Feb 19, 2018
It's 0.3 per 100,000 tourists. So for approximately every 300,000 tourist who go there, 1 dies. It's not a large rate.
+1
level 63
Feb 19, 2018
U.S. State Department actually figured that out. Personally I don't think many of these places are that dangerous if you behave with some sense and sensibility, But (as said in numerous comments above) some people just lose all common sense when abroad and get into deadly trouble
+1
level 40
Feb 20, 2018
Makes sense. Just was surprised to see. Thanks for answering!
+1
level 68
Feb 19, 2018
Slovak hostels should put that country on this quiz.
+1
level 47
Feb 19, 2018
Shouldn't be the US on the top of that list?
+1
level 58
Feb 19, 2018
Since the dataset is tracking "American deaths abroad", nope.
+1
level 51
Feb 19, 2018
The irony of The Philippines being on this list - when it is supposedly one of the most Christian countries in the world!
+2
level 77
Feb 19, 2018
There is a high positive correlation between a country's religiosity and rates of violent crime. And before someone tries to cherry pick, it's not a perfect correlation. But it's still a very statistically significant one.
+1
level 39
May 8, 2018
Why would Christian countries be safer than other countries?
+1
level 77
Aug 31, 2018
They aren't. The inverse is actually true.
+1
level 49
Feb 19, 2018
I had no idea.
+1
level 38
Feb 20, 2018
Not debating the accuracy of the quiz (or the comments section), but it has been my experience that US citizens love the excitement presented by being in dangerous places. Why else,given all the government warnings, do they still travel to Jamaica, Haiti, Pakistan, (and some not mentioned in this quiz: North Korea, China, Iran, Iraq and Vietnam?)
+2
level 77
Feb 21, 2018
Vietnam is nice. The war was over a long time ago.
The only people I know who have gone to Iraq go there for work. Mostly teachers. Though I know one guy who was volunteering to fight with the Kurds.
Jamaica is a popular vacation destination.
The people I know who have gone to North Korea did so because it's different and difficult to get in to and they wanted a novel experience.
The people I know who went to Iran, and there are a bunch, did so not because they saw it as dangerous- sort of the opposite. They wanted to somehow stick it to American conservatives or patriotic Westerners who characterize Iran as dangerous. They travel around and blog about how *amazing* it is and how friendly all the people are. They see themselves as brave cultural pioneers, as if nobody has ever traveled to Iran before. I know dozens of these people. I think they're silly. Though I'd like to visit Iran myself.
China? Really? Dangerous?
+1
level 48
Mar 22, 2018
17/20 but got 5 points.. :)
+1
level 5
Mar 30, 2018
I've been to a few of these countries and wouldn't consider them dangerous. I am a Canadian, so I can't say much on behalf of others, but Greece was absolutely stunning and I never felt unsafe there. The only time it would be unsafe is if you were wandering the streets of Athens late at night. These countries may have dealt with past conflict/issues but a lot of them are really beautiful with lovely people!
+2
level 39
May 8, 2018
I think the title is a little overdramatic. Does 1 person getting killed in a 7 year span really make the Ukraine a "dangerous" country? The number of deaths in most of these countries is so low that the ranking is pretty much based on chance anyway. I also have the slight suspicion that e.g. Thailand being ranked so high (11 murders in 7 years...) might be because of tourists being idiots and getting involved with drug dealers and other criminal activities. This doesn't make the country dangerous for travelers with common sense.
+1
level 77
Jun 3, 2018
Totally agree. I think any data less than 1,000 deaths per 100,000 tourists (1%) ought to be excluded because that's really not a significant proportion. When the figure gets as low as 3 per 100,000 (or 0.003%) it's almost entirely meaningless- the result of individual choices and behavior, accidents and flukes. To say nothing of 0.30 per 100k which is just a laughably tiny proportion.

In other words, *every* country that receives more than 100,000 American tourists per year is safe or close enough.
+1
level 19
Jun 5, 2019
Im american and i lived in greece for a year, i went to school there and it wasn't dangerous i don't know why greece is on this quiz.