The safest countries in the world for health, terrorism, natural disasters and driving

Anxious holidaymakers should head to Norway or Finland for their next trip, according to a new map of travel risks around the world.

Produced by security specialists International SOS, the 2018 Travel Risk Map, below, charts threat levels across the globe in three categories - medical, security and road safety.

Across the trio of risks, a number of countries present low levels of concern for each, making them appealing destinations for anyone nervous about their plans. Norway, Sweden and Finland, as well as much of western Europe ranks "low" for medical concern, as does the US and Canada and Australia.

The Scandinavian countries also perform well for road safety, possessing a "very low" risk of a road traffic accident. Within Europe, Italy, Belgium and Portugal present the higher risk of "low". For this category, much of Africa, the Middle East and south-east Asia is deemed to have a "high" or "very high" risk.

But it is in the security category that few countries acquire the lowest risk level. In Europe, the following rank an "insignificant" risk.

The European countries with the lowest security threat

  1. Norway
  2. Finland
  3. Denmark
  4. Iceland
  5. Switzerland
  6. Slovenia
  7. Luxembourg

Much of the remainder of the continent has a "low" risk, including the UK and France, whereas some, including Kosovo, Russia and Ukraine - were handed a "medium" threat by International SOS. Areas of Turkey were given a "high" rating, while eastern Ukraine earned an "extreme" label, thanks to the ongoing conflict there.

Mapped: The countries most at risk from terror

Much of the map follows the findings of the 2017 Global Terrorism Index, shown in the map below, which offers a guide to the countries hit hardest by terrorism – and most at risk from a future attack. Iraq, which was the location of seven of the 10 deadliest attacks in 2016, tops the ranking. It received a score of 10, where zero represents no impact from terrorism and 10 represents the highest measurable impact.

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The 20 countries impacted most by terrorism

  1. Iraq - Global Terrorism Index score: 10
  2. Afghanistan - 9.441
  3. Nigeria - 9.009
  4. Syria - 8.621
  5. Pakistan - 8.4
  6. Yemen - 7.877
  7. Somalia - 7.654
  8. India - 7.534
  9. Turkey - 7.519
  10. Libya - 7.256
  11. Egypt - 7.17
  12. Philippines - 7.126
  13. Democratic Republic of the Congo - 6.967
  14. South Sudan - 6.821
  15. Cameroon - 6.787
  16. Thailand - 6.609
  17. Ukraine - 6.557
  18. Sudan - 6.453
  19. Central African Republic - 6.394
  20. Niger - 6.316

According to a recent poll by Ipsos Mori, two thirds of people (63 per cent) think that travel risks have increased in the last year, a period that has seen attacks in Manchester, London and Barcelona.

In addition to terror concerns, the pollsters found that nearly half (43 per cent) of respondents had to modify their itineraries due to a natural disaster. This summer saw a number of powerful hurricanes in the Caribbean.

Mapped: The risk of natural disaster

We also looked before into road safety and natural disasters in more detail. 

In July, we mapped the world according to the United Nations' World Risk Report, which analysed the countries most vulnerable to natural disasters. 

The report assigned a risk percentage to a total of 173 countries, based on the chances of experiencing earthquakes, storms, floods, droughts and sea level rises.

The 20 least countries most vulnerable to natural disasters

  1. Vanuatu - 36.43%
  2. Tonga - 28.23%
  3. Philippines - 27.52%
  4. Guatemala - 20.88%
  5. Bangladesh - 19.81%
  6. Solomon Islands - 18.11%
  7. Costa Rica - 16.94%
  8. Cambodia - 16.9%
  9. El Salvador - 16.85%
  10. Timor-Leste - 16.37%
  11. Papua New Guinea - 15.9%
  12. Brunei Darussalam - 15.58%
  13. Mauritius - 15.18%
  14. Nicaragua - 14.89%
  15. Japan - 14.1%
  16. Fiji - 13.56%
  17. Guinea-Bissau - 13.09%
  18. Vietnam - 12.81%
  19. Chile - 12.28%
  20. Jamaica - 12.15%

Mapped: The world according to road safety

We also looked at road safety around the world, using data from the World Health Organisation. 

Measuring deaths per 100,000 residents, it found similar results to International SOS. 

Most of the bottom 10 - including Eritrea, the deadliest driving destination, according to the World Health Organization's figures (with 48.4 deaths per 100,000 residents), Libya (40.5) and Iraq (31.5) - are unlikely to feature on the travel itineraries of most Britons. But a couple - Thailand (38.1) and South Africa (31.9) - are popular holiday destinations.

Relatively risky roads can also be found in Ecuador, Vietnam, Brazil, Paraguay, Kenya and Laos.

Most of the bottom 10 - including Eritrea, the deadliest driving destination, according to the World Health Organization's figures (with 48.4 deaths per 100,000 residents), Libya (40.5) and Iraq (31.5) - are unlikely to feature on the travel itineraries of most Britons. But a couple - Thailand (38.1) and South Africa (31.9) - are popular holiday destinations.

Relatively risky roads can also be found in Ecuador, Vietnam, Brazil, Paraguay, Kenya and Laos.

The 10 most dangerous places to drive

  1. Eritrea - 48.4 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants
  2. Dominican Republic - 41.7 
  3. Libya - 40.5
  4. Thailand - 38.1
  5. Venezuela - 37.2
  6. Nigeria - 33.7
  7. South Africa - 31.9
  8. Iraq - 31.5
  9. Guinea-Bissau - 31.2
  10. Oman - 30.4

The Telegraph, London

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