Rank the worst nations in the world.

Maybe this should be in IMHO so if the mods want to move it, fine with me.

My list, in order.

1.) North Korea - nothing is right there.

2.) Syria - the insurrection pushes it to the #2 spot.

3.) Cuba - a farcical dictatorship based on a system that does not work.

4.) Iran - Religion and egomania are a bad mix.

5.) Pakistan - Maybe the most dangerous country on earth.

6T.) Afghanistan - No good way out of this mess. The Taliban is part of the culture.

6T.) Iraq - A powder-keg.

8.) Haiti - Can they ever have a functioning government that is not an oppressive, violent dictatorship?

9.) Mexico - Should be a good country but they can’t find a way out of the drug war mess. 50k lives lost in that war.

10.) Somalia - pirates

11.) Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) - In better condition than it has been in a long time but still very unstable and violent. Lack of central control and corruption allow this county rich in natural resources to remain poor.
Those are my top candidates and I could go on. Feel free to comment or disagree. I’ve probably forgotten some. If you want to add to the list go as deep as you want.

I think you’d be pretty hard pressed to find a measure that put Mexico as worse then Somalia. Or the DRC as better then at least half the countries on your list. The DRC is literally the poorest country in the world.

Here’s a comparison of GDP per capita for the DRC and Cuba. Here’s life expectancy, child mortality rate.

No rational person would prefer to live in the DRC over Cuba.

I have visited Cuba 5 times, and it is not that bad a place.
All of the people that I met were educated, housed and fed.
They may not have the same freedoms as in other countries, but I am sure
there are many worse places in the world.

Mexico? Mexico shouldn’t even be in the bottom 100. Cuba also isn’t close to it. The worst two in the Americas, El Salvador and Haiti, are still leaps and bounds above many African nations.

Iran is also practically a paradise compared to places like the DRC or Rwanda.

Here’s a list of countries by Human Development Index rating. The 10 worst are not going to be the 10 lowest, but they’re going to be near the bottom.

I mentioned the index of Failed Estates from Foreign Policy Magazine and the Fund For Peace before, posters on the right have recommended that Magazine before, and I think they have one of the best balanced methodologies to identify what are the worst:

Each indicator is investigated and given a mark from 1 to 10 (with 1 as being the best and 10 for worst) and then the totals added.

The worst 12 that made it in the 2011 list? (Starting with the worst higher scorers)

1 Somalia 113.4
2 Chad 110.3
3 Sudan 108.7
4 Democratic Republic of the Congo 108.2
5 Haiti 108.0
6 Zimbabwe 107.2
7 Afghanistan 107.5
8 Central African Republic 105.0
9 Iraq 104.8
10 Côte d’Ivoire 102.8
11 Guinea 102.5
12 Pakistan 102.3

Right, like the USA isn’t up there on the list for most people around the world.

Exactly right.

I really don’t understand why the US has such a fascination with Cuba. Mind you, I also didn’t understand why the US had a similarly bizarre fixation on Venezuela (which I fully expected to see on this list) a few years back.

I get that you Americans really hate Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez. I just don’t understand why. What has Cuba or Venezuela ever done to you to make you hate them, exactly?

Not really related to the OP, but it looks like you could basically split that list like so:



0.85+       Modern Nation
0.65-0.84   Generally functional
0.45-0.64   Problematic
0.44-       Very Not Good


Not sure about that. I mean, I really don’t like the US as a government/hegemon (a lot), but I wouldn’t put it at anywhere near “worst in the world” on anything other than militarism/aggression. Even the things I think make the US bad, like politically-entwined religion and widespread class inequity, pale beside the worst countries in those areas.

Cuba, Iran & Mexico should off the list. Mauritania, Yemen, Zimbabwe should on. Perhaps also some of the small Pacific islands that are being flooded. And of course Sweden. Goes without saying. Feminist fascist tyranny.

And to answer the OP, it’s very difficult without adequate criteria. For instance, I might think Japan and Norway are the worst countries in the world because all I care about is whales. But if the criterion is “all-round worst” neither of those two get a look-in.

The OP looks to be a list of “shitpits I would not want to live in”, in which case Cuba definitely has to come off, Swaziland & Zimbabwe & Sudan and possibly Lesotho have to be on and Somalia should rank second (at best). Palestine should also be considered.

Also Iran isn’t that bad, certainly not top-10 bad, especially if you’re not American - I have friends who love the place. It’s certainly better than, oh, Turkmenistan, to pick a random regional example.

Cuba took our rum factory.

Seriously, what I don’t understand is the blind U.S. ideology of number-oneism, for which making lists of “worst” nations that one has never even been to is such a useful too.

The OP’s list is pretty much “The Top 11 Countries the US Media Obsesses About”, plus a majority of them are ones the US has either been at war with during the last 100 years, or has tried to fuck with via the CIA. Funny that.
Only one country from the Horn of Africa? And that’s because of “pirates”?

Wow, way to blame the victim.

Yeah, and their chef talks funny too.

Did anyone else look at his rationiel for Iran:

and then look at the current Republican party and giggle a bit?

The United States as a whole does not hate either group. In America former Batista cronies influence the Cuban community, who have a lot of swing with Republican politicians, as they are about the only minority group that is conservative politically. The hatred of Cuba is an easy political sop to toss the Cubans, and something the right is ideologically prone to do, as they have a long history of hating Communist governments irrationally.

I’m not so sure about Venezuela, except that it’s in the Americas, is left wing/socialist/Commie and does not do a suffiiciently fastidious job of licking Uncle Sam’s boots to suit the conseratives here.

We’re #10! - although I did spy a Mercedes S500 AMG in the parking lot a few days back. Even Kleptocrats have to drive something I guess.

It’s sort of a feedback loop. Some Americans don’t like them because of their politics, so they speak out against America; this causes more Americans to dislike them, and so on, and so on.