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Cyprus Named Safest Country in the World for Young People
Violence, preventable diseases and traffic accidents are to blame for a widening of the youth mortality gap between the developed and developing world, according to a new Guardian analysis of the most recent World Health Organisation (WHO) data.
The most dangerous country in the world to be a young person (defined as aged between 15 and 29) is Sierra Leone, with one youth in every 150 there estimated to have died in 2015. Its youth mortality rate per 100,000 (671) is almost 100 people higher than the next country on the list, war-torn Syria (579).
Cyprus is the safest of the 184 countries analysed, with a death rate of almost one in every 4,762 youths, while Denmark, the fifth safest, halved its number of young deaths between 2000 and 2015. The United Kingdom (one in every 3,030 young people) is ranked just outside the top 10 safest countries, behind Israel.
The 10 Most Dangerous Countries in the World for Young People
The analysis finds that young people in the United States are six times as likely to be murdered as their British counterparts. They are also more than three times as likely to be killed in a car crash, and twice as likely to commit suicide or overdose on drugs. Self-harm is the most common cause of death for young people in the UK.
Liberal drug policies in the Netherlands may be responsible for a rate of drug-related deaths almost exactly ten times lower than in the US, the Guardian reports.
Globally, the mortality rate for young people decreased 21% between 2000 and 2015, with HIV-related deaths in particular falling significantly. Yet the gap between developing and developed countries has widened in that period, from 2.2 up to 2.4 times higher.
The explanation is that, while youth mortality rates are falling fastest in the world’s most and least developed countries, the decline is considerably slower in “mid-tier” countries such as Brazil and Venezuela, as defined by the Human Development Index.