Renaming the Failed States Index

Published May 28, 2014
Fund for Peace – Global Square Blog
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The Fund for Peace is excited to announce the official changing of the name of the Failed States Index to the Fragile States Index.

When the Failed States Index (FSI) was first published in 2005, the use of the term ‘failed state’ was designed to highlight and draw attention to the very real risk that people faced if their state failed to address the factors and conditions that we were measuring. However, while the term certainly gained people’s attention, it also became a distraction away from the point of the Index, which is to encourage discussions that support an increase in human security and improved livelihoods.

We assess 178 countries on the FSI because we recognize that all countries have pressures upon them that need to be managed. As before, the Fragile States Index uses 12 social, economic, and political indicators of pressure on the state which include over 100 sub-indicators. The indicators assess such issues as Uneven Development, State Legitimacy, Group Grievance, and Human Rights. Each indicator is rated on a scale of 1-10, based on the analysis of millions of publicly available documents, other quantitative data, and assessments by analysts. A high score indicates high pressure on the state and therefore a higher risk of instability. Over the last nine years, the Index has become the preeminent list assessing the pressures on states that affect their citizens on a range of social, environmental, economic, political, and security issues.

The 2014 Fragile States Index, which will be the tenth iteration of the list, will be published simultaneously online by The Fund for Peace and Foreign Policy magazine on Tuesday, June 24. The formal launch of the 2014 Fragile States Index will take place in Washington, D.C. on the morning of Thursday, June 26 with NBC Anchor Ann Curry and International Finance Corporation Vice President & Special Envoy for Climate Change Rachel Kyte.

More information regarding the Fragile States Index, including a short video with FFP staff Krista Hendry and J.J. Messner discussing the name change, is available at

Media Contact

Contact J.J. Messner for further information.