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Aerial view of flooded fields in Cambodia
17 March 2023

The countries most prone to flooding

Where are floods most common in the world?

Discovering where floods are most likely to occur

Flooding is an incredibly common threat and something many of us may have experienced to some degree. However, for some countries, the risk of flooding is not only more common but more dangerous, due to their geographical location and infrastructure. Flooding often happens quickly and with little warning, causing an untold amount of damage and catastrophe. As the climate crisis worsens, we see more and more natural disasters unfolding and flooding is no different.

The World Bank estimates that 1.81 billion people around the world are at direct risk of intense flooding. 170 million of these flood-exposed people are living in extreme poverty. People and communities living in poverty are less likely to be able to prepare for natural disasters, meaning the effects are worse, poverty worsens, and the cycle continues. 

In this article, we explore the countries around the world that are most prone to flooding.

READ MORE: How does climate change affect poverty?


Floods are the most common natural disaster in India, with the Brahmaputra River being one of the most likely to overflow. The most memorable flooding in India took place in Mumbai in 2005 on 26 July which is often known as ‘The day Mumbai stood still’ due to the death toll which reached over 1,000 victims. This event isn’t a one-off, as flooding increased three-fold across India from 1901 to 2015 and is likely to continue to increase as the effects of climate change worsen.


Bangladesh is another country that is highly susceptible to flooding. Every year, around 18% of the whole country is flooded and 5,000 people lose their lives as a result, with seven million losing their homes. There are multiple reasons Bangladesh experiences flooding on such a large scale: water flushing down the Himalayas and other surrounding mountains, heavy rainfalls during monsoon season, tidal flooding and flooding caused by drainage congestion.


Many tourists visit Pakistan to enjoy its diverse landscapes ranging from woodland to lakes, beaches to deserts, peaks to cities. However, Pakistan often experiences floods during the monsoon season, typically occurring from July to September. The severity of the floods varies from year to year, but can cause widespread damage to infrastructure, homes, and agriculture, and can result in loss of life and displacement of people. Most recently, the Pakistan floods in 2022 affected around 33 million people and destroyed over a million homes, leaving many homeless.

The United States

One country you may be surprised to hear is very prone to flooding is the United States of America. With a range of large rivers running through major cities and its likelihood to be impacted by hurricanes and earthquakes, the United States is in a prime position to experience flooding in both urban and coastal areas. With varying levels of wealth across the USA, there are certain areas and neighbourhoods that, when affected by natural disasters, can be more likely to fall victim to destruction and less likely to be rebuilt quickly. It’s thought the worst flood in US history was the Galveston Hurricane and Storm Surge in 1900, where an estimated 15-foot storm surge brought flooding to Texas and thousands of people lost their lives.

A more recent example of the effects flooding can have in the USA comes from 2005 and Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans was especially affected as fatal engineering flaws in the flood protection system caused a large loss of lives and resulted in 80% of the city being flooded.


Bolivia is a popular tourist destination thanks to its amazing natural attractions. However, in the lowlands especially, huge areas become flooded due to a swelling of rivers, including the Amazon, causing roads to become blocked and impassable. Entire towns get washed away. The country is so used to this flooding that many people will opt to use river transport like boats during this time. With landslides common and infrastructure weak, it’s common to see people lose their homes, possessions and even lives in these disasters every year.

Flooded road passing over the railway in Germany


Did you know that flooding is one of Germany’s most common natural disaster? Thankfully, hurricanes and earthquakes are unusual in Europe. But flooding is something that affects the whole continent and Germany is one of the countries most affected. As the climate crisis worsens, it is urban flash flooding that’s a major concern to German residents. Caused by rising rivers, urban flood flashing can be extremely unpredictable and happen quickly, meaning residents have little time to prepare and are left to simply pick up the pieces once a flood does hit.

The Netherlands

Similar to Germany, the Netherlands, famed for its flat landscape and ample rivers and canals, is also a country that’s very prone to flooding. To give you an idea of just how intrinsic waterways are to the country, Amsterdam, the country’s capital city, has more than 100 kilometres of canals throughout its centre. As around one-third of the Netherlands lies below sea level, it’s predicted that, unless the country is able to work out a defence system, much of it will end up being engulfed by the North Sea by as soon as 2030.

Outside United Nations headquarters in Geneva with country flags outside

How to help those affected by flooding

If you want to help people affected by flooding, there are multiple things you can do, from donating, to your thoughts and prayers.


Donating to help rebuild after a flood can be a quick and easy way to help those affected. Donations can be as big or small as you like, and you know that your money will be used for good. At World Vision, we set up disaster and emergency response funds when these major disasters occur, which is ideal for those who want to donate directly to a single cause. Or you could choose to sponsor a child, which provides families and communities with the tools to build resilience to climate disasters like flooding.


Praying for those affected by flooding can be a positive response and directly asks God to intervene and help those who need it most.

READ MORE: Pray for flood victims

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