WASHINGTON, July 27 (UPI) -- Venezuelan citizens are in bad shape when it comes feeling safe in their country, new research shows.
In its annual assessment of perceived security, Gallup gave Venezuela the worst score in its history -- 35 out of 100 -- which is also the worst grade for any nation in more than a decade.
The Law and Order Index rated 133 countries based on their respective citizens' confidence in local law enforcement, sense of security and incidence of theft. The higher the score on the index, the higher the proportion of the population that says they feel safe, Gallup said.
"Gallup sees a strong relationship between people's answers to these questions and the economic and social development of a country -- reinforcing how high crime rates can suppress social cohesion and negatively affect economic performance," the research firm stated.
The low score comes amid severe economic and political uncertainty in Venezuela, with citizens enduring shortages of food and basic household items, and multinational corporations leaving the country.
"Just 14 percent of [Venezuela] residents said they felt safe walking alone at night where they live and an only slightly higher 19 percent expressed confidence in their police," Gallup said. "Both percentages are not only new lows for Venezuela, but they are also the lowest scores Gallup has measured worldwide since 2005."
The 14 percent of Venezuelans who reported feeling safe in 2015 is by far the lowest number for any nation. Tied for second-lowest, Syria and Afghanistan each had 32 percent of respondents say they felt safe.
Singapore received the highest score (93) and Iceland and Uzbekistan tied for second (90). The United States ranked in the upper half with a score of 77. Other notable scores were given to the United Kingdom (79), Canada (84), Japan (78), France (75), Ukraine (55) and Russia (62).
Wednesday was not the first time Venezuela bottomed out on the Gallup index. It was also rated as the worst nation in the world for citizens' perceived security in 2013 and second-worst in 2014.