World Risk Index (2020) - An Overview

The World Risk Index 2020 rankings is important since it gives an idea on the preparedness of 181 countries across the globe to tackle the deleterious effects of climate change. This article throws light on the rankings of India in 2019 and 2020. It also shares details of the safest countries and countries facing the highest risk.

Aspiring civil servants need to stay updated with the latest developments in the domain of Environment and Ecology, which is an important part of the syllabus for the IAS Exam. 

World Risk Index 2020 – UPSC Notes:- Download PDF Here

Aspirants can check the following links to align their preparation for UPSC 2023 examination:

World Risk Index 2020 – Introduction

  1. The World Risk Index is released by the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), Bundnis Entwicklung Hilft and the University of Stuttgart in Germany.
  2. The World Risk Index is part of the World Risk Report.
  3. This index is released every year.
  4. It was first released in 2011.
  5. It is calculated on a country-by-country basis, through the multiplication of exposure and vulnerability and describes the disaster risk for various countries and regions.
  6. In the framework of the WorldRiskIndex, disaster risk is analyzed as a complex interplay of environmental factors, natural hazards, political and social factors.
  7. WorldRiskIndex, in addition to exposure analysis, focuses on the vulnerability of the population

World Risk Index 2020 – Indicators 

World Risk Index 2020 is calculated on the basis of indicators which are divided into 4 components.

  1. Exposure to natural hazards such as floods, droughts, earthquakes, sea level rise and storms.
  2. Coping capacities as a function of economic security, medical services, and  governance. 
  3. Susceptibility as a function of public infrastructure.
  4. Nutrition and the general economic framework.

Check out the following links for assistance in preparation –

Floods – Definition, Causes & Impact  Floods in India – Causes, Economic Loss, Measures Flood control and management
Urban Flooding: Overview, Factors and Steps NCERT Notes: Earthquake – Body Waves, Causes NCERT Notes: Weather, Climate And Climate Change
Rising Oceans, Sinking Cities RSTV – Big Picture Climate Change In India: Background, Effects Cyclones – Formation, Type and Naming System
Thunderstorms – An Overview of 3 Different Stages Tropical Cyclones – Formation, Facts & Characteristics Disaster Management in India
National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP) Biological Disaster – Biological Disaster Management Chemical Disaster Risk in India

World Risk Index 2020 – India

  1. As per the World Risk Report 2020, India (6.62) was ‘poorly prepared’ to deal with ‘climate reality’, due to which it was more vulnerable to extreme natural disasters.
  2. India has been ranked at 89th position among 181 countries on the World Risk Index (WRI) 2020.

World Risk Index (South Asian Countries) – 2020 & 2019 Comparison

The below table gives the Global rank of India and other South Asian Countries:

CountryYear / RankingWorld Risk Index 2020 – Safest CountriesThe below table gives the list of top 10 countries that are ranked as safest as per World Risk Index 2020.World Risk Index – Classification of RisksThe Risks of countries are divided in the following manner as per World Risk Index.

  • Very Low Risk has a score in the range of 0.31 to 3.29
  • Low Risk has a score in the range of 3.30 to 5.67
  • Medium Risk has a score in the range of 5.68 to 7.58
  • High Risk has a score in the range of 7.59 to 10.75
  • Very High Risk has a score in the range of 10.76 to 49.74 

World Risk Index (2020) – Continents & Countries (Highest Risk)

  • Among the continents, Oceania ranks 1st in terms of highest risk. Small island states, especially in the South Pacific and the Caribbean, were disproportionately represented among high-risk countries
  • African continent faces the 2nd highest risk. 
  • Americas is in the 3rd position, followed by Asia and Europe.
  • Vanuatu was the country with the highest disaster risk worldwide as per World Risk Index 2020. 
  • Among the countries with highest risks, Tonga and Dominica occupy the 2nd and 3rd position.
  • More than 2/3rd of the most vulnerable countries in the world are located in Africa.

Candidates can go through other Indexes, reports and relevant topics to prepare comprehensively for the upcoming UPSC Civil services exams-

Disaster Risk Index – Levels of Risk, Management Cycle Global Climate Risk Index 2023 – India Ranks 7th  Environment Performance Index
National Climate Vulnerability Assessment Report  Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction Heat wave risk reduction: Droughts in India, Prevention
Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI)  Crowd Disaster Management [UPSC Notes] Facts about DISANET for UPSC
Social Progress Index (SPI) 2023 Corruption Perceptions Index 2023 UNDRR – UN’s Office For Disaster Risk Reduction
Global Peace Index  Municipal Performance Index 2023 Index of Industrial Production (IIP)

World Risk Index 2020 – UPSC Notes:- Download PDF HereRelevant Links

India 2020 – 89

2019 – 85

Afghanistan 2020 – 57

2019 – 53

Nepal 2020 – 121

2019 – 116

Bhutan 2020 – 152

2019 – 143

Bangladesh 2020 – 13

2019 – 10

Sri Lanka 2020 – 74

2019 – 73

Maldives 2020 – 179

2019 – 169

Pakistan 2020 – 87

2019 – 80

Rank (Safest) Country Index
1 Qatar 0.31
2 Malta 0.66
3 Saint Vincent and Grenadines 0.81
4 Grenada 0.97
5 Saudi Arabia 1.04
6 Barbados 1.39
7 Iceland 1.69
8 Egypt 1.78
9 Finland 1.96
10 Estonia 2.03

Aspirants can find the complete UPSC Syllabus through the linked article. More exam-related preparation materials will be found through the links given below

Topic-Wise General Studies Paper – 3 Questions for UPSC Mains Environment & Ecology Questions in UPSC Mains General Studies Paper – 3
UPSC Mains General Studies Paper-III Strategy, Syllabus & Structure UPSC Mains Previous Years Geography Question Paper
UPSC Mains General Studies Paper 1 Syllabus, Strategy & Structure Topic-Wise General Studies Paper – 1 Questions in UPSC Mains


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