The World’s Most Politically Stable Countries and Most Politically Unstable Countries

Below are all the countries in the world ranked according to the last time they were either conquered by an external power, were engaged in a war with a neighbor, suffered a civil war, or experienced a coup or coup attempt. If a country engages in war against a far off country like the United States is currently doing in two different nations, I do not consider this a mark against that country’s political stability. There is no threat of the United States’ government being taken over by either Afghanistan or Iraq. However, the United States’ invasion of those countries does have an immense impact on their respective political stability.

Also, if a country experiences a peaceful transition to democracy, even if there are large political protests, I do not consider that political instability. The main issue this list deals with is acts of violence, and a peaceful change in government I do not consider to be an act of volatility.

Many countries are too new to have been politically stable for long periods. I have put the year of independence next to each country in order to make the list fairer. However, newer countries tend to be far less politically stable than countries that are older. This is logical in that countries that are older have survived more political turbulence and their survival signifies considerable strength and stability.

There are countries on this list that may also be newly unstable but not have experienced any real political instability since their independence. Because of this, this list should be looked at not a predictor of the future but the beginning of a discussion on political stability and where you choose to live.

I welcome discussion of the rankings on this list and am open to changes if a compelling argument is made for them. I will routinely check the rankings myself based on news reports, and make changes as necessary.

This list has been created to help expats determine the relative stability of the countries they move to.

Countries that are currently experiencing political instability

Afghanistan (1919, from British): Currently engaged in civil war.

Chad (1960, from France): In 2008 rebels attempted take control of the capital but failed. The country is currently involved in a civil war.

Colombia (1818, from Spain): Colombia is currently engaged in a low level civil war, and does not have full control over some southern provinces.

Egypt (1922, from Great Britain): President Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in a popular revolution in 2011. Currently the country is run by a military council with elections to be held later this year.

Guinea Bissau (1973, from Portugal): Guinea Bissau is currently in the midst of a military coup that has deposed the Prime Minister. It is unclear who the formal leader of the country will be.

India (1947, from Great Britain): India is currently experiencing political instability in the form of several decade old Naxal rebellion in its countryside and its intermittent border battles in the Kashmir region with Pakistan.

Iraq (1932, from Great Britain): The country continues to suffer sporadic bombings and battles with insurgents in its efforts to become a stable democracy.

Israel (1948, from Great Britain): Israel continues to battle insurgents in the Gaza Strip and from its holdings in the Palestinian territories. Its borders are not recognized by the international community.

Libya (1951, from France and Great Britain): Colonel Muammar Gaddafi is engaged in a civil war against most of his country. The eastern half of the country remains in rebel hands. The civil war is ongoing as of 2011.

Madagascar (1960, from France): In 2001 the country experienced widespread political demonstrations that eventually drove the president and some of his supporters into exile in France. The country’s most recent coup attempt occurred in late 2010 and is on-going. It looks as if the coup plotters will surrender to the government.

Mexico (1821, from Spain): Mexico’s government continues to do battle with a massive insurgency of drug traffickers in the North of the country.

Moldova (1990, from the Soviet Union): Moldova is in the midst of a political stalemate between rival political parties and does not currently have an elected leader.

Pakistan (1940, from Great Britain): The country is currently battling insurgents in its northwest provinces and Al Qaeda followers.

Palestine (1988, from Israel): Though it is not recognized by any nation, Palestine is a de facto country. It is currently engaged in feuds over settlements with Israel, and insurgents based in its borders attack Israeli areas. Israel also retaliates with its own military against Palestinian targets making this state a territory that is currently engaged in political instability. Its Gaza Strip territory is also ruled by a rival political party, Hamas.

Philippines (1946, from the United States): The Philippines is currently battling a long running insurgency in its southern provinces against a mainly Muslim minority.

Somalia (1960, from Great Britain and Italy): The country is currently engaged in a civil war, and is militarily occupied in parts by African Union troops. The North of the country is ostensibly independent and goes by the name Somaliland.

Sudan (1956 from Egypt and Great Britain): Sudan continues to fight a civil war in its Darfur region. Its actions there have been condemned by many in the international community as acts of genocide against a minority.

Ecuador (1830, from Gran Colombia): The country is the most unstable in Latin America. An attempted coup took place in 2010 and it remains to be seen whether the country can maintain civilian control of government.

Turkey (1923, emerged from the Ottoman Empire): Turkey has experienced periodic military coups since it became a republic in 1923. The last of these coups occurred in 1997. The country continues to fight Kurdish insurgents in its eastern provinces.

Tunisia (1954, from France): In 2011 Tunisia saw a popular revolution lead to the ouster of President Ben Ali. The country currently has an interim government with elections to be held later this year.

Uganda (1962, from Great Britain): This African country has been ruled by the same man, President Museveni, since 1986. The north of Uganda is currently engaged in a low level civil war led by the Lord’s Resistance Army, an insurgent group that also resides in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Uganda has also sent troops to Somalia as part of an African Union peacekeeping effort that is also regularly engaged in combat.

Western Sahara (1976, declared independence from Morocco): This state is recognized by some nations, but is still largely militarily occupied by Morocco. Occasional unrest and attacks against Morocco still occur by insurgents based within its borders.

Yemen (Unified in 1990): Yemen is witnessing nationwide political demonstrations asking for ouster of the current president. The country is considered extremely politically unstable as of 2011.

Countries that have suffered political instability in the past 10 years or less but are now stable

Abkhazia (2008, from Georgia): This small country is recognized by almost no nation and was created in part by a Russian invasion to the North. This occurred in the brief 2008 Abkhazia-Georgia war.

Algeria (1962, from France): Civil war ended in 2002.

Angola (1975, from Portugal): Civil war ended in 2002.

Bangladesh (1971, from Pakistan): Unelected caretaker government appointed in 2007 to usher in elections in 2008 that were seen as free and fair.

Burma (1948, from Great Britain): Military coup in 1962 that led to current government. Enormous periodic popular protests, the last of which occurred in 2007, have threatened the current government.

Burundi (1962, from Belgium): Ceasefire marked the end of a long and bloody civil war between the two large ethnicities of the country, the Tutsis and the Hutus that began in 1994.

Central African Republic (1960, from France): In 2003 rebels succeeded in overthrowing the President and taking over the country. Widespread violence occurred in the North of the country in 2006.

Comoros (1975, from France): In 2008 African Union troops invaded the country and defeated rebel Colonel Mohamed Bacar.

Democratic Republic of Congo (1960, from Belgium): In 2009 a severe border conflict with Rwanda ended. The conflict was known as the Kivu conflict and several hundred were killed.

East Timor (2002, from Indonesia): Failed coup attempt in 2008 that wounded President Jose Ramos Horta.

Equatorial Guinea (1968, from Spain): In 2004 a coup attempt took place to overthrow President Mbasogo. The coup attempt was done by mercenaries. Before that the country had not had a successful coup since 1979.

Fiji (1970, from Great Britain): Fiji has routinely suffered from political instability since its independence and in 2006 a military coup d’état took power. The military dictatorship continues to rule the country.

Republic of Congo (1960, from France): In 2003 a peace treaty ended a brief civil war in part of the country.

Ivory Coast (1960, from France): In 2007 a peace treaty between the government and rebels was signed ending the nine year civil war.

Georgia (1991, from the Soviet Union): A border war with Russia in 2008 saw the formerly Georgian provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia taken over by Russia. Russia then declared the provinces to be independent countries and assumed military protection of them.

Guinea (1958, from France): Guinea is in the midst of elections that may allow it to emerge from its current military dictatorship. The country most recently had a military coup in 2008.

Haiti (1804, from France): Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere, saw its democratically elected president Aristide overthrown in a rebellion in 2004.

Honduras (1821, from Spain): The most recent country in Latin America to experience a coup, in 2009, the military overthrew the democratically elected president and appointed the Speaker of the Honduran Congress the new leader of the country.

Kyrgyzstan (1991, from the Soviet Union): The country has very recently seen its President overthrown due to a popular uprising. Leadership is tentatively being held by a former foreign minister. There have also been riots and reports of ethnic cleansing occurring in the South of the country.

Lebanon (1941, from France): The country’s southern Shiite peoples led by Hezbollah seized control of portions of the capital in 2008 in order to maintain control of their independent communications network. An agreement between Hezbollah and the country’s army prevented a new civil war from igniting.

Liberia (1847, from the American Colonization Society): The country ended its second brutal civil war in 2003 with the exile of its President, Charles Taylor. Liberia is currently a stable democracy.

Mauritania (1960, from France): 2008 saw a military coup and the establishment of a military dictatorship. General Aziz, the leader of the coup, resigned and ran as president in flawed elections in 2009. He won and is the country’s current leader.

Nepal (Founded in 1768): In 2006 the country ended its long civil war with Maoist insurgents and a peace treaty was signed. The King of the country abdicated power and democratic elections were held.

Niger (1960, from France): A coup in early 2010 led by the military was successful and now controls the country.

Russia (Founded in 1283): The Second Chechen War ends in 2009 with Russia victorious.

Rwanda (1962, from Belgium): The Second Congo War ended in 2003 with Rwanda relatively stable. The war was the result of several years of civil war and many Rwandans living as refugees in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo. Tensions between Rwanda and the DCR resulted in the two Congo Wars. Rwanda is now a stable democracy.

Sao Tome and Principe (1975, from Portugal): There was a brief coup lasting a week that occurred in 2003, with the military giving power back to the President. In 2009 there was a coup attempt but it failed and the country remains ostensibly democratic.

Senegal (1960 from France): Sporadic rebellions in the Casamance region of the country, particularly in the 1990s. Otherwise stable and democratic.

Sierra Leone (1961, from Great Britain): 2001 saw the end of a ten year long brutal civil war in the country which killed more than 50 thousand people.

Solomon Islands (1978, from Great Britain): Since independence the country has been beset by civil war and instability. In 2003 Australian and New Zealand peacekeepers occupied the country in order to re-establish order.

South Ossetia (2008, from Georgia): This state, which is largely unrecognized by the international community, was created in the Russian invasion of Georgia in 2008.

Sri Lanka (1948, from Great Britain): In 2009 Tamil rebels were decisively defeated in a civil war that had lasted more than 25 years. With rebel forces largely destroyed it remains to be seen whether Sri Lanka will have a lasting peace.

Syria (1946, from France): Syria ended its 30 year military occupation of its neighbor Lebanon in 2006.

Thailand (Formed in 1238): Thailand is one of the most politically unstable countries in Southeast Asia. It underwent a military coup in 2006, and is still ruled by the military. In 2009 massive protests broke out in the capital, Bangkok, and led to dozens killed and thousands arrested.

Ukraine (1991, from the Soviet Union): Ukraine underwent a peaceful revolution in 2004 dubbed the Orange Revolution. Protests forced Yanukovych to concede an election that was widely viewed as rigged by the international community. Yanukovych was re-elected to President in 2010.

Uzbekistan (1991, from the Soviet Union): Uzbekistan brutally repressed an uprising of its own people in 2005 known as the Andijan Massacre.

Venezuela (1830, from Gran Colombia): Venezuela saw a temporarily successful coup d’état against its current ruler, Hugo Chavez, in 2002. Chavez was only out of power for two days.

Countries that have suffered political instability in the past 25 – 10 years but are now stable

Albania (1921, from Serbia): Government overthrown in 1997, peacekeeping mission from Italy stabilized country.

Armenia (1991, from the Soviet Union): Cease fire ending war with neighbor Azerbaijan in 1994.

Azerbaijan (1991, from the Soviet Union): Cease fire ending war with neighbor Armenia in 1994. Loss of significant percentage of territory to Armenia.

Benin (1960, from France): 1989 political convention caused President to declare elections next year. Country has been relatively politically stable and democratic ever since.

Bosnia-Herzegovina (1992, from Yugoslavia): War with Serbia ended in 1995.

Cambodia (1953, from France): Coup in 1997, politically stable since.

Croatia (1991, from Yugoslavia): In 2005 the country’s war for independence ended with Croatia victorious.

El Salvador (1898 from the United States of Central America): The country’s twelve year long civil war ended in 1992 with a treaty. It has been democratic ever since.

Eritrea (1993 from Ethiopia): The country had a small flare up border war with Ethiopia in 1998, bringing to an end the thirty year conflict with that country over Eritrean independence.

Ethiopia (Founded in 980 B.C.): The country ended its long war with neighbor Eritrea in 1993, though a small border war occurred in 1998.

The Gambia (1965, from Great Britain): In 1994 a military coup occurred that deposed the democratically elected leadership. Currently the country is under the leadership of democratically elected leaders.

Guatemala (1821, from Spain): A thirty six year civil war ended in 1996 with peace accords and the establishment of a democracy. The country is currently democratic.

Kosovo (2008, from Serbia): The Kosovo war occurred in 1998-1999 and ended with the NATO bombing of Serbia. Kosovo later unilaterally declared its independence in 2008.

Kuwait (1961, from Great Britain): The country was invaded by its neighbor the North, Iraq, in 1991. After a brief war between Iraq and the United States, as well as other allies, Kuwait remains free.

Latvia (1990 from the Soviet Union): In the midst of the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, Latvia was invaded militarily by the Soviets. The country continued on the path of independence and is now an independent democratic nation.

Lesotho (1966, from Great Britain): The country was militarily occupied in 1999 by Botswana and South Africa, leading to conflict and the destruction of many of the capital’s buildings. The occupation was to prevent opposition protests from toppling the government.

Lithuania (1990, from the Soviet Union): In 1991, Soviet troops occupied a TV station and remained in the country for two years afterward.

Maldives (1965, from Great Britain): In 1988 in order to stop a successful coup, India sent in troops to drive the coup plotters out of power.

Mali (1960, from France): The country experienced a coup in 1991 but instituted democratic elections a year later in 1992. The country is currently a democracy.

Morocco (1956 from France and Spain): 1991 saw the end of 16 years of conflict within its annexed Western Sahara territories. Peace has followed the 1991 ceasefire but there have been threats to continue violence by Western Saharan rebel groups.

Mozambique (1975, from Portugal): In 1995 a ceasefire was brokered between rebels and the government ending a 15 year long civil war.

Nagorno-Karabakh (1992, from Azerbaijan): Though it is not recognized by any other country but Armenia, it is for all intents and purposes an independent country with its own government. The state was born in the Armenia-Azerbaijan war which ended in 1994 and deeply scarred the country.

Namibia (1990, from South Africa): A small secessionist movement in the northeast of the country was defeated in 1999.

Nicaragua (1821, from Spain): 1990 saw democratic elections held that ended the control of the Marxist Sandinista regime. The elections also marked the end of nine years of brutal civil war between the Sandinista government and the right wing US backed Contras.

Nigeria (1960, from Great Britain): The country’s last military coup was in 1993 but Nigeria has since become a flawed democracy since elections were held in 2007.

Panama (1821, from Spain): Panama was militarily occupied by the United States in 1989 and its military strongman Manuel Noriega was overthrown. The country has been a democracy ever since.

Papua New Guinea (1975, from Australia): A secessionist movement on Bougainville Island has periodically revolted against government control and the last civil war ended in 1997.

Paraguay (1811, from Spain): Dictator Alfredo Stroessner was overthrown in a military coup in 1989. The country became a democracy in 1992 and remains so to this day.

Qatar (1971, from Great Britain): Sheikh Al Thani overthrew his father while the latter was traveling abroad in 1995.

Romania (1878, from the Ottoman Empire): Ceauşescu, the Communist dictator of Romania, was overthrown in a bloody revolution and a democracy was established in 1989.

Serbia (1878, from the Ottoman Empire): Serbia signed the Dayton Peace Accords in 1995 that ended its protracted war against Bosnia and Croatia.

Slovenia (1991, from Yugoslavia): A short ten day war between Yugoslavia and Slovenia ended with Slovenia victorious and an independent country in 1991.

South Africa (1910, from Great Britain): 1990 saw an end to the ANC insurgency in the country and the release of its leader, Nelson Mandela, from prison. The ANC has controlled the country since 1994.

Tajikistan (1991, from the Soviet Union): The country upon independence began a five year civil war that ended in 1997. Since a cease-fire was signed, the country has been politically stable.

Transnistria (1991, from Moldova): This state is largely unrecognized by the international community. It was involved in a 142 day war with Moldova in 1992 that required Russian intervention. There are occasional border flare-ups with Moldova, but none have resulted in casualties.

Trinidad and Tobago (1962, from Great Britain): The country’s government was held hostage for six days in 1990 in an unsuccessful coup attempt.

Vanuatu (1980, from Great Britain and France): The country experienced an attempted coup in 1986.

Vietnam (1945, from France): Vietnam had a brief but violent border war with its neighbor to the North, China, in 1979.

Zambia (1964, from Great Britain): In 1997 the last unsuccessful military coup occurred, with many of the coup plotters executed several years later.

Countries that have suffered political instability in the past 50 – 25 years but are now stable

Argentina (1816, from Spain): Military dictatorship overthrown in 1983.

Bahrain (1971, from Great Britain): Coup attempt in 1981 from Shiite population.

Bolivia (1847, from Spain): The military orders Congress to choose a new leader for the country in 1982.

Brazil (1822, from Portugal): Military coup in 1964 that leads to more than twenty years of military dictatorship, followed by a 1985 peaceful transition to democracy.

Burkina Faso (1960, from France): Military coup in 1983 and then slow relatively peaceful transition to democracy in 1991.

Cameroon (1960, from France, 1961 from Great Britain): Failed coup attempt in 1984, politically stable since.

Chile (1818, from Spain): Military coup overthrew elected President ushering in a dictatorship in 1973 under General Augusto Pinochet. The country is currently a stable democracy.

China (1949, country established): Deng Xiaoping overthrows Mao’s appointed successor ushering in the current day government leadership in 1976.

Cuba (1902, from United States): In 1961 a failed attempt to oust Fidel Castro by US backed Cuban armed groups occurred. The country has had no threats to its stability since.

Cyprus (1960, from Great Britain): The country lost its northern portion to a Turkish invasion in a brief civil war in 1974.

Dominican Republic (1865, from Spain): In 1965 US Troops invaded and overthrew the left wing government of the Dominican Republic. After a year elections were held, and the country has been reasonably democratic ever since.

Gabon (1960 from France): Gabon saw a successful military coup in 1964 that lead to Omar Bongo ruling the country until his death in 2009. Omar Bongo’s son was then elected President.

Ghana (1957, from Great Britain): What was once one of Africa’s more politically unstable countries has become one of its most stable. After a series of coups in the 1960s and 1970s, the country has not had a coup of undemocratic change of government since 1981.

Greece (1821, from the Ottoman Empire): 1974 saw the collapse of the Greek military dictatorship following Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus.

Grenada (1974, from Great Britain): In 1983 a Communist military coup followed by an invasion by the United States restored democracy to this island nation. It has been stable since.

Guyana (1966, from Great Britain): The country has not technically had a coup or successful rebellion but in 1969 there was considerable unrest by parts of Guyanese society in the Rupununi Rebellion.

Indonesia (1945, from the Netherlands): 1965 saw a military coup and a thwarted Communist rebellion. Hundreds of thousands perished in the ensuing instability.

Iran (Unified in 1501): The country became an Islamic Republic in 1979 after a yearlong rebellion. Large political protests after a recent election in 2009, but they failed to change the current government.

Jordan (1946, from Great Britain): In 1973 the country engaged in war with its neighbor Israel, and in 1971 fought a long battle with Palestinian insurgents that saw the expulsion of the PLO and Yassir Arafat.

Kenya (1963, from Great Britain): 1967 marked the end of the Shifta War where northern provinces were invaded by Somalia in an effort to get them to join the Somali government.

Laos (1949, from France): In 1975, largely as a result of the neighboring Vietnam conflict with the United States, Communist rebels overthrew the royal government. The country remains under Communist control.

Malaysia (1954, from Great Britain): The Malayan Emergency ended in 1960 with the defeat of a communist insurgency, allowing the country to emerge into a democracy.

Oman (Founded in 751): The Dhofar rebellion ended in 1975 after a successful coup by the current leader of Oman, Qaboos Al Said.

Peru (1821, from Spain): A military dictatorship was established by force in 1975, but the country evolved into a democracy and is now currently democratic and stable.

Saudi Arabia (Founded in 1774): King Faisal was assassinated by his nephew, Prince Faisal, in 1975.

Spain (Founded in 1479): In 1981 a coup attempt took place but the plotters surrendered when ordered to by the King. The country has been stable and prosperous since.

Suriname (1975, from the Netherlands): A military coup in 1980 and a civil war in 1986 were the last political instability to beset the country.

Tanzania (1964, merger of Tanganyika and Zanzibar): Tanzania won the Tanzania-Uganda war in 1979. Uganda invaded Tanzania, but after a year of fighting, Tanzania was able to itself invade Uganda and overthrow its dictator Idi Amin.

Togo (1960, from France): The country last experienced a coup in 1967. The son of that coup’s dictator is the current ruler of the country.

Uruguay (1825, from Brazil): Uruguay saw its last military coup in 1973. The country became democratic after protests in 1984.

Zimbabwe (1980, from Rhodesia): The current ruler, Robert Mugabe, brutally repressed an uprising in the Matabeleland region of the country in 1985.

Countries that have suffered political instability in the past 75 – 50 years but are now stable

Andorra (formed in 1278): Militarily occupied by France in 19331940. Neutral in World War II, though Spain’s Franco sent troops to border.

Australia (1901, from Great Britain): War with Japan in 1940-1945. This position is bound to cause some debate, but I believe the shelling of mainland Australia by Japan constitutes a slight level of political instability. If the United States had not allied with Australia against Japan, it is certainly possible that Japan would have taken over the country.

Austria (Established in 1919 from remnants of Austria-Hungary Empire): Invaded and occupied by Germany 1938-1945 during World War II.

Belgium (1839, from the Netherlands): Invaded and occupied by Germany, 1940-1945 during World War II.

Bulgaria (1908, from the Ottoman Empire): Communist takeover of country in 1944 during World War II. Peaceful transition to democracy in 1989.

Costa Rica (1847, from Guatemala): Civil war in 1948 killed several thousand, but the country has been stable since.

Czech Republic (1993, separation from Slovakia): Invasion by Soviet forces in 1945.

Denmark (Founded in 965): Invaded by Germany in 1940 during World War II.

Estonia (1991 from the Soviet Union): Invaded by Soviet forces in 1944 who stayed until independence in 1991.

Finland (1918 from Russia): Defeated German forces that controlled the Northern part of the country in the 1944 Lapland War. Armistice treaty signed with Russia in 1947 caused Finland to lose portions of its territory permanently.

France (Founded in 496): Invaded and temporarily conquered by Germany in 1940 and freed by the Allies in World War II in 1945.

Germany (Reunified in 1990): Germany saw itself conquered by the Allied Forces at the end of World War II in 1945 and its military dictatorship overthrown. A communist dictatorship was set up in its eastern provinces that lasted until 1990, and a democracy was established in its western parts. The western democratic half, known popularly as West Germany, assumed control of the Eastern part in 1990.

Hungary (created from Austria-Hungary in 1918): World War II saw the Soviet takeover of the country and the establishment of a Communist dictatorship in 1945. Hungary also saw a brief but expansive rebellion against Communist rule that was defeated in 1956 by a Soviet military invasion.

Iceland (1944, from Denmark): Iceland is militarily occupied in 1940 first by Great Britain and then by the United States. The military contingent of the United States left only in 2006.

Italy (Unified in 1861): Italy suffered tremendously during World War II and saw its fascist dictatorship overthrown by a US and British military invasion in 1945. The country remains a democracy and one of the world’s largest economies.

Japan (Founded 660 B.C.): Japan was militarily occupied by the United States in 1945 and its military dictatorship was overthrown. A parliamentary democracy was established that remains in place to this day.

North Korea (Founded in 1948): The Korean War ended in 1953 with a cease-fire. Though the country is still technically at war with its neighbor South Korea, small border skirmishes and other events have not led to a resumption of war.

South Korea (Founded in 1948): The Korean War ended in 1953 with a cease-fire. Though the country is still technically at war with its neighbor North Korea, small border skirmishes and other events have not led to a resumption of war.

Liechtenstein (1866, from German confederation): In 1938, Prince Franz I abdicated due to pressure from Nazi sympathizers within his country and Germany over his marriage to a Jewish woman.

Luxembourg (1815 from the French Empire): The country was occupied by Germany in 1940 during World War II and its government was forced into exile in London for the duration of the war. Its independence was restored in 1945.

Monaco (Formed in 1297): Monaco was invaded by Italy in 1943 during World War II and freed by the Allies in 1944.

Netherlands (Founded in 1815): The country was militarily occupied by Germany in 1940 during World War II and was freed in 1945.

Norway (1905, from Sweden): The country was militarily occupied by Germany in 1940 during World War II and was freed in 1945.

Poland (Founded in 1569): Poland was invaded by Germany in World War II in 1939 and freed by the Soviet Union in 1945, though its borders were radically changed afterwards. It has been a stable democracy since 1990.

San Marino (Founded in 301): In 1944 the country was briefly occupied by German forces during World War II.

United Kingdom (Formed in 1707 in the Acts of Union): The UK experienced considerable destruction and the threat of a military occupation during World War II in 1940-1945.

Countries that have suffered political instability in the past 100 – 75 years but are now stable

Ireland (1916, from Great Britain): Ireland’s civil war ended in 1923 with the establishment of the country as a Republic.

Mongolia (1919, from China): 1924 saw the end of the Outer Mongolian rebellion against Chinese control and the establishment of a communist government in Mongolia.

Portugal (Founded in 1139): A military coup took over the country in 1926 but the country peacefully established democracy in the 1970s. The country remains a stable democratic nation.

Countries that have suffered political instability in the past 200 – 100 years but are now stable

Bhutan (1885, country united under Ugyen Wangchuck): 1885 marks end of series of coups and wars that lead to unification of country. Country was ostensibly independent under Britain in this period until India’s independence in 1947.

Canada (1837, from Great Britain): Significant uprisings in 1837, but government stayed in power.

United States (1776, from Great Britain): Civil war in 1860-1865.

New Zealand (1854, from Great Britain): The Land Wars end in 1872, a long running conflict between the New Zealand government and native Maoris.

Countries that have suffered political instability in the past 300 – 200 years but are now stable

Switzerland (Founded in 1291): Militarily occupied by France and Russia in 1802.

Countries that have never suffered political instability since their creation

Antigua and Barbuda (1981, from Great Britain)

Bahamas (1973, from Great Britain)

Barbados (1966, from Great Britain)

Belarus (1991, from the Soviet Union): Though ostensibly a dictatorship, its political succession has been orderly and without conflict.

Belize (1981, from Great Britain): Small border skirmishes with Guatemala as well as some political unrest in 2005 could make this a very unstable country.

Botswana (1966, from Great Britain)

Brunei (1984, from Great Britain)

Cape Verde (1975, from Portugal)

Djibouti (1977, from France)

Dominica (1978, from Great Britain)

Jamaica (1962, from Great Britain)

Kazakhstan (1991, from the Soviet Union)

Kiribati (1979, from Great Britain)

Macedonia (1991, from the breakup of Yugoslavia)

Malawai (1964, from Great Britain)

Malta (1964, from Great Britain)

Marshall Islands (1986, from the United States)

Mauritius (1968, from Great Britain)

Federated States of Micronesia (1986, from the United States)

Montenegro (2006, from Serbia)

Nauru (1968, from the UK, Australia and New Zealand)

Niue (1994, from New Zealand)

Northern Cyprus (1983, from Cyprus)

Palau (1994, from the United States)

Saint Kitts and Nevis (1983, from Great Britain)

Saint Lucia (1979, from Great Britain)

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (1979, from Great Britain)

Samoa (1962, from New Zealand)

Seychelles (1976, from Great Britain)

Singapore (1965, from Malaysia)

Slovakia (1993, from Czechoslovakia)

Somaliland (1991, from Somalia) This state is largely unrecognized, but has been stable and at peace since its formation.

Swaziland (1968, from Great Britain)

Sweden (1905, from its union with Norway)

Taiwan (1949, government established separate from China): This largely unrecognized country has not had any conflicts or political instability, but is in constant tension with China over its position as an independent country. China does not want it to become independent, and though it is de facto independent, it is not widely recognized as such. Most Taiwanese prefer the status quo over independence or reunification with China.

Tonga (1970, from Great Britain)

Turkmenistan (1991, from the Soviet Union)

Tuvalu (1978, from Great Britain)

United Arab Emirates (1971, from Great Britain)

Vatican City (Formed in 1929): The Vatican City was not occupied during World War II, nor was it bombed.

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