#1. Baghdad, Iraq
Welcome to Baghdad—for centuries intellectual and cultural capital of the Islamic world—now the most dangerous city on Earth. The Iraqi capital’s place on the Mercer survey (dead last) is not surprising considering that the country has been involved in a devastating war for almost a decade. Most estimates place the number of people killed in Iraq since 2003 at over 100,000. According to the Iraq War Logs, no street in Baghdad has been free of deaths from torture, sectarian murder, and improvised explosive devices since the start of the Iraq War.
Although Baghdad is technically a war zone, civilians do sometimes find themselves in the city on business. Authorities strongly advise that any non-military personnel in the city be accompanied by a bodyguard. Terrorist and insurgent groups frequently target Westerners as they continue to conduct large-scale attacks in the city. Visitors who aren’t killed in an explosion or gunfight constantly face the threat of kidnapping, carjacking, and petty theft. Americans are especially endangered in the city, as Iraqis are known to deny them accommodations for fear of being targeted by insurgents.