Contact: J.J. Messner
Office: +1 202 223 7940


2014 Fragile States Index Released: South Sudan replaces Somalia as most fragile state; Finland remains at best position; Central African Republic, Syria, Libya, and Mozambique worsen; Iran, Cuba, Mexico, Serbia, and Zimbabwe make gains.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Fund for Peace today released the tenth edition of its annual Fragile States Index (FSI), highlighting global political, economic and social pressures experienced by states. For the first time, the 2014 FSI ranks South Sudan as number one, after Somalia had held that position for the previous six straight years; Somalia now drops to second. Newly-independent South Sudan finds itself burdened by increasingly fractious leadership and politics, severe internal strife, and widespread mass killings, frequently ethnically-based. Meanwhile, Finland has remained in the best position, with the next three rankings all occupied by its Scandinavian neighbors, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Nations at the best end of the FSI benefit from strong social and economic indicators, paired with excellent provision of public services and respect for human rights and the rule of law. The United States remains ranked at 159th, however its score worsened by 1.9 points, a relatively significant move.

The Fund for Peace’s Fragile States Index (FSI) – formerly known as the Failed States Index – assesses 178 countries because it recognizes that all countries have pressures upon them that need to be managed. The FSI uses 12 social, economic, and political indicators of pressure on the state, which include over 100 sub-indicators. The indicators assess such issues as Uneven Development, State Legitimacy, Group Grievance, and Human Rights. Each indicator is rated on a scale of 1-10, based on the analysis of millions of publicly available documents, other quantitative data, and assessments by analysts. A high score indicates high pressure on the state and therefore a higher risk of instability.

Krista Hendry, the Executive Director of The Fund for Peace, said, “In producing the FSI, The Fund for Peace hopes to encourage discussion, advocacy and action on the underlying conditions that could create conflict and do threaten human security and economic development.”

Hendry said the “FFP spotlights these issues through the FSI to encourage collaboration among governments, companies, and local civil society to alleviate the pressures and improve people’s lives.”

Over the last ten years, the FSI has become the preeminent list assessing the pressures on states that affect their citizens on a range of social, environmental, economic, political, and security issues.

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The Fragile States Index 2014 will be formally launched at an event on the morning of Thursday, June 26at the University Club in Washington, D.C. Besides a report on the 2014 FSI, the event will feature discussions with experts including NBC’s Ann Curry, the World Banks’ Rachel Kyte, Population Institute’s Bob Walker, and staff from The Fund for Peace and Foreign Policy magazine. They will explore current and future trends regarding fragile states, focusing on global issues such as climate change, poverty, weak state institutions, and violent conflict. Media is welcome and should contact J.J. Messner at [email protected] or 202-223-7940 for more information.

More coverage of the Fragile States Index 2014 is available at

Foreign Policy magazine has feature articles based on the FSI in its July-August Issue available online soon.

The Fund for Peace is an independent research and educational organization based in Washington, DC with the mission to prevent conflict and promote sustainable security. Visit The Fund for Peace website at for more information on its work.