In Fact, the Most Dangerous Countries for Tourists

The world can be a dangerous place, especially for careless travelers. The US Department of State does its best to warn tourists of the risks , but these warnings don’t always paint a clear picture. It turns out that the countries with the most travel warnings are not always the most dangerous.

Are travel to countries that issued warnings and warnings, such as Mexico, Mali, Israel, and Pakistan, fatal for American tourists? It seems, as it were, something like. Data compiled by Data.World and Priceonomics show that there is definitely a significant relationship between the number of American tourists killed in the country and the number of travel warnings. But there is some confusion about which places are actually the most dangerous.

Mexico, for example, received the most travel warnings between 2009 and 2016, with a total of 28. Mali is in second place at 26, followed by Israel at 25, Pakistan at 25, and Iraq at 24. If you compare that to to For the number of American tourist deaths over the same time span – filtered only for homicide, execution, and terrorist attacks – Mexico essentially comes out on top with 598 Americans killed. This seems overwhelming compared to the eight Americans killed in Pakistan at the time, making Mexico seem like the worst tourist destination at the moment .

But that doesn’t account for the actual likelihood of being killed based on the number of people who travel to these places. More than 71 million American travelers visited Mexico between 2009 and 2016, meaning only 0.84 Americans were killed per 100,000 visitors. Not to mention, Mexico has also had a high suicide rate among Americans (over 250 since 2002).

On the other hand, Pakistan has the highest per capita American death toll at 3.54 per 100,000 visitors. This is 421% more likely to be killed in Pakistan than in Mexico. Both Thailand and the Philippines come right behind Pakistan with 3.2 deaths per 100,000 visitors and 2.28 respectively, despite the Philippines only received 20 travel warnings since 2009 and Thailand is not even in the top 25. …

So do the State Department’s warnings reflect the real danger to American tourists? Yes, but the number of travel alerts is not the best indicator. In fact, many countries such as Belize, Guyana and Guatemala have high American deaths, but no travel warnings have been issued in the past seven years. And vice versa. Countries like Israel, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have received many travel warnings over the years, but they have very low death rates among American travelers. However, most of the countries for which the US government has issued travel warnings do not see significant ex post declines in the number of American travelers. If you want to check the data yourself, you can find them all here .


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