FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE APRIL 23, 2018
Media Contact: Charles Fiertz, [email protected]
Washington, D.C. — April 23, 2018 — Following a tumultuous year around the globe, Qatar, Spain, Venezuela, the United States and Yemen have been assessed as the world’s most-worsened countries according to the Fragile States Index, released by The Fund for Peace today. Ultimately however, South Sudan was again ranked as the world’s most fragile country by the Fragile States Index – which measures social, economic, and political pressures on 178 countries – closely followed by Somalia, Yemen, Syria, and the Central African Republic. Finland is once again considered to be the most stable country in the world.
U.S. among most-worsened countries in 2018
Following a contentious year characterized by a groundswell of popular protests, politically-charged investigations and turmoil in Washington, punctuated by multiple mass shootings, and massively destructive hurricanes and wildfires, the United States is the fourth-most worsened country in 2018. Notably, the United States is the most-worsened country in the world over the past decade for a subset of Fragile States Index indicators that look at issues such as factionalized elites and group grievance, suggesting a worrying long-term trend.
“The Fragile States Index demonstrates that state fragility is everybody’s problem – even the richest and most developed nations can be affected by fragility,” said J.J. Messner, Executive Director of the Fund for Peace. “Whether it be economic and political isolation of Qatar, separatism in Spain, political turmoil in the United States and United Kingdom, and increasing illiberalism in Poland and Hungary, our medium- and long-term trend analysis suggests that there is much to be concerned about in the world’s richest and most developed countries.”
South Sudan ranked Most Fragile State
South Sudan tops the Fragile States Index for the second year in a row, as the country continues to be beset by civil war, mass displacement, and critical food shortages. South Sudan has appeared among the top five most fragile countries every year since its inclusion in the Index in 2013 after its independence.
Mexico rebounds in 2018
After recording the most-worsened score of any country in the Fragile States Index last year, Mexico is the sixth-most improved country overall in 2018, demonstrating moderate improvements across nearly every indicator. Despite worsening U.S.-Mexican relations, Mexico’s improvement is largely attributable to the country’s resilience, as well as overall improvements in its neighbors in Central America, and stronger economic growth.
About the Fragile States Index
Since 2005, the Fragile States Index has measured the social, economic and political pressures facing 178 countries around the world. Comprised of 12 primary indicators and hundreds of sub-indicators, the Index uses a unique triangulated methodology that integrates content analysis of millions of documents pulled from more than 10,000 sources around the world, with quantitative data-sets and qualitative review. The Index and its indicators are based on a social-science framework that has been used by practitioners in the field of conflict early warning for over two decades. Using the same methodology, the Fund for Peace works with governments, multilateral and regional organizations, and financial institutions to improve conflict early warning and assist with political risk analysis.
The full data of the FSI, as well as expert analysis on the findings, is available at www.fragilestatesindex.org. The platform allows for an interactive data experience, including Country Dashboards, where we have arranged all the trend data for each country.
The 2018 FSI will be formally launched on May 17 at a public event on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. For updates on this event, visit www.fundforpeace.org.
Founded in 1957, the Fund for Peace is an independent, nonpartisan, 501 (c)(3) non-profit research and educational organization that works to prevent violent conflict and promote sustainable security. We promote sustainable security through research, training and education, engagement of civil society, building bridges across diverse sectors, and developing innovative technologies and tools for policy makers. A leader in the conflict assessment and early warning field, the Fund for Peace focuses on the problems of weak and failing states. Our objective is to create practical tools and approaches for conflict mitigation that are useful to decision-makers.