The Philippines Has Been Named Least Safe Country in the World

We're on 134th place out of 134 countries, says a NY-based publication.

philippines safety index
PHOTO BY Shutterstock ILLUSTRATION War Espejo

( The past year was a very challenging time for the whole world. COVID-19 hit all nations, causing economic instability and exposing healthcare issues especially in developing countries. All this while the usual threats of war, natural disaster, and personal security continue to rage on. New York-based Global Finance Magazine considered all these factors in their latest list of "World's Safest Countries," which came out on July 6. Iceland maintains their top spot, while the Philippines remains at the bottom, ranking 134th place out of 134 countries.

Also read: Don't Look Now, But This Think Tank Ranks the PH Below Azerbaijan in Its Global Peace Index

According to Global Finance, their list features "updated data and sources, a new time frame, and incorporates each country’s experience and risk from COVID-19." Their last list came out in January 2019, way before the whole world turned upside-down.


The safety score for the countries consider three fundamental factors: war and peace, personal security, and natural disaster risk. The fourth, which was just added for this year's list, is COVID-19 risk. Most of the factors were based on 2020 reports, except for COVID-19 scores, which was derived from data as of May 30 to make it as relevant as possible. "In essence, a country's overall score is made up of one-half fundamental factors, one-third COVID-19 deaths per capita, and one-sixth COVID vaccination per capita," the article explained. Deaths per capita is a "direct measure" of how a country responded to COVID-19, particularly their healthcare infrastructure, government capabilities, political leadership, and culture in face of an unexpected crisis.

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philippines safety index
Top-ranking countries in "World's Safest Countries 2021"
PHOTO BY Screencap/Global Finance

The top-ranking countries are spread among Europe and Asia with Iceland taking the top spot, and United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Singapore, and Finland trailing behind. Our neighboring countries like Malaysia (27th), Indonesia (60th), and Thailand (70th) did relatively well. Global Finance cited the Philippines as one of the countries with "serious civil conflict" and, at the same time, "have risks from natural disaster." Like Nigeria, Yemen, and El Salvador, the country "reported relatively low death tolls from COVID-19, yet performed poorly in terms of safety overall."

philippines safety index
Bottom-ranking countries in "World's Safest Countries 2021"
PHOTO BY Screencap/Global Finance

Global Finance also gave a disclaimer: "These rankings and scores should be taken with a grain of salt compared to previous editions." The fundamental factors, according to them, were based on "concise reports" by non-governmental organizations and international organizations like the World Economic Forum and The Global Institute For Peace. But COVID-19 death tolls and the vaccination rates are based on self-reporting by governments.

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