Worlds Worst roads

Where are the World’s Worst Roads?

Determining which countries have the worst road network isn’t easy. Every country will have some rough roads within their borders. Also, what constitutes ‘bad’? A route may have an excellent road surface but follow a precipitous mountain route with hairpin bends, no lighting and no guard rails. In terms of risk to life, that road would be worse than a long straight road filled with pot holes which necessitates travelling at 10kmh, but many would consider the road with a bad surface as being the worst. Given that non paved dirt roads are generally (though not always) in a worse condition than an asphalt road, the simplest method of establishing where the world’s worst roads are is to work out which countries have the least paved roads.Using that methodology, with data from the UN survey of 2015, the data belows shows the countries with the lowest proportion of paved roads.

Countries with the Lowest % of Paved Roads

Country % of Roads which are Paved
Chad 1.0%
Democratic Repuplic of Congo 1.8%
Solomon Islands 2.0%
Mongolia 4.0%
Papua New Guinea 4.0%
Tanzania 4.0%
Brazil 6.0%
Korea, Dem. Rep. 6.0%
Liberia 6.0%
Cambodia 6.3%
Bolivia 7.0%
Burundi 7.0%
Guyana 7.0%
Cameroon 8.0%
Rwanda 8.0%
Sierra Leone 8.0%
Benin 9.5%

The survey tells us that the following countries have 100% of their roads paved -Austria,Denmark,France,Ireland,,Israel,Italy,Luxembourg,Macao,Monaco,Singapore, Slovenia,United Arab Emirates,United Kingdom.

Having driven on some poor roads in the UK and Ireland I can confirm that a paved road doesn’t necessarily mean a good road. Also, though Brazil only has 6% of its roads paved, in my experience some of their paved roads are actually worse than dirt roads. Therefore the measure of using paved road % to establish quality isn’t perfect, but is probably the best benchmark we have.

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