Americans traveling to Cuba have surged in the last year due to the relaxation of travel rules and the re-introduction of regular commercial air service between the two countries.
Cuba is the only country in the world where Americans face travel restrictions. Americans can go to terrorist hot beds like North Korea and Saudi Arabia without having to fill out a form explaining to their government why they are visiting.
RELATED: Cuba Travel Guide
While the reasons for maintaining travel restrictions and a trade embargo have long since evaporated, Cuba is actually a safe place to travel, and when compared to some other popular travel destinations close to U.S shores, Cuba is by far the safest for Americans.
Travel warnings are issued when the U.S. State Department wants “you to consider very carefully whether you should go to a country at all” for reasons such as “unstable government, civil war, ongoing intense crime or violence, or frequent terrorist attacks.”
The folks at data.world compiled State Department data and filtered out warnings that had been issued for natural disasters, then ranked countries based on the number of warnings issued against them between October 2009 and June 2016. Here are the top 25.
Cuba has not had a travel warning issued for the period under consideration.
The State Department tracks the incidence and causes of American deaths abroad. Data.world used this dataset to identify countries where Americans most frequently experience life-threatening danger while traveling or residing overseas.
The table below ranks the foreign countries in which the most American civilians were killed between October 2009 and June 2016. Before ranking, the data was filtered to include only homicides, executions, and terrorist attack deaths.
For the period under consideration, Cuba records two American deaths, the same as France and Canada.
Of the 1,356 killings that occurred abroad, 1,193 (88%) happened in the 25 countries listed above. And just one country, Mexico, accounted for 50% of those deaths. But before canceling your trip to Mexico, consider that more than 20 million Americans travel to Mexico every year, more than any other country. The same is true, but to a lesser degree, for some of the other countries near the top of this ranking, including the Dominican Republic and Jamaica.
Considering Mexico’s high rank, it is helpful to look at deaths that take into account the volume of travel from the U.S. Here are the number of Americans killed in a country per 100,000 American travelers, using data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, excluding any country that received fewer than 100,000 American visitors between 2009 and 2016.
For deaths per capita, Cuba has a very low rank near Peru and Poland during the period under consideration.