Recently, a series of roadside bombs killed 11 people and injured dozens more in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. The attacks were part of coordinated assaults by insurgent elements around the country that killed 32 people and remind us how violent the area remains.
Research consulting firm Mercer has released its 2011 Quality of Living Report, which includes ranking of the cities according to the level of personal safety. Baghdad is the most violent city on the list. Based on Mercer’s list, 24/7 Wall St. has examined the 10 most dangerous cities in the world.
All of these areas suffer from great political instability that has led to politically motivated violence. This climate of instability also has created an ideal breeding ground for crime motivated by profit. Whether the violence is criminal or political in nature, it perpetuates socioeconomic conditions that keep those nations’ economies depressed.
Nearly all the countries of the cities on the list have experienced a violent coup or national war in recent past. In Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, a brief but severe military conflict with Russia in 2008 led to long-term economic problems and the increased availability of firearms.
In many of these cities, the central national violent conflict is ongoing. In Yemen, long-reigning president Saleh has just stepped down, but a large group of citizens are demanding his execution. As a result, firefights between protesters and government troops are ongoing.
For all the cities on the list, the U.S. Department of State has urged Americans to avoid the country altogether and in many cases suggested citizens who remain there leave.
To illustrate the violent conditions in each city, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed travel warnings issued by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs. These reports detail the type of crime or violence in the area, including whether Americans are being targeted. We also included the socioeconomic conditions for each country to reflect how violence and depressed living conditions are almost always interconnected. We referred to adult literacy rates, adult mortality rates and the percentage of the population living on less than $1 per day, based on data from the United Nations. To demonstrate the impact that violence has on the economy, we obtained GDP per capita from the International Monetary Fund.