The Global Peace Index rates the world’s safest countries. The Institute for Economics and Peace publishes this report annually. The Institute for Economics and Peace describes itself as “an independent, non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to shifting the world’s focus to peace as a positive, achievable and tangible measure of human wellbeing and progress.”
The study includes information on 163 nations. There are 23 distinct indications used to assess whether a nation is safe or harmful. These elements are classified as follows: Ongoing International Conflict, Societal Safety and Security, and Militarization.
The following elements were considered when compiling this report: the number of internal and foreign violent conflicts, the level of distrust, political instability, the potential for terrorist activities, the number of homicides, and military spending as a proportion of GDP. Each of the 163 nations mentioned in the study is assigned a score based on these parameters. The lower the score, the greater the country’s safety ranking.
The top 25 world’s safest countries are overwhelmingly European. Since 2009, Europe is the only continent that has not suffered a decrease in safety. Asia is the second-most prevalent region in the top 25. Homicides occur at a rate of roughly 3 per 100,000 people in both regions.
The Nordic nations of Europe are particularly notable. Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, and Finland are all ranked in the top 25 world’s safest countries, making this area the safest in the world. Homicides occur at a rate of 0.8 per 100,000 people in this area. These five Nordic countries are also among the top ten happiest in the world.
Iceland is top 1 in the rankings of world’s safest countries for the 13th year in a row, according to the Global Peace Index. Iceland is a Nordic country with a population of 340,000 people. Iceland has an extremely low crime rate due to its high quality of living, small population, strong anti-crime societal attitudes, a high degree of trust in its well-trained, highly educated police force, and a lack of antagonism between social and economic strata.
Iceland does not have a military, and police officers do not carry guns (only extendable batons and pepper spray). Iceland also has legislation in place to ensure equality, such as same-sex marriage and adoption, equal pay for men and women, and religious freedom.
2. New Zealand
New Zealand is second in world’s safest countries. New Zealand, like Iceland, has an extremely low crime rate, particularly violent crime. Theft, on the other hand, is a widespread occurrence, particularly among visitors. New Zealand has no hazardous creatures, in contrast to its southern neighbor, Australia, which is noted for having some harmful species.
The terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch that happened on March 15, 2019, where 51 people were killed, caused New Zealand’s score to fall somewhat from the previous year. New Zealanders are typically liberal, and there are regulations in place to protect people’s right to free expression. Police in New Zealand, like those in Iceland, do not carry personal guns.
Portugal is ranked third among the most peaceful countries. Portugal was rated 18th in the world in 2014, but has recently risen to third place. Portugal, unlike Iceland and New Zealand, has armed police; yet, it appears that enhanced police presence has resulted in a lower crime rate in the country. Portugal has had an economic revival in the last six years, with unemployment falling from over 17 percent to around 7 percent. According to the Annual Global Retirement Index, Portugal is the best nation for retirement in 2020, owing in large part to its high level of safety.
Austria is fourth in the rankings of the world’s safest countries. Austria’s 2020 score improved marginally by 0.011 points from 2020, but it remained in fourth position. Austria, on the other hand, had a decline in the risk of violent protests indicator following the election of Sebastian Kurz’s People Party in October of 2017. Social unrest has grown as a result of the country’s political insecurity. Otherwise, Austria is a fairly safe nation to visit. Serious crimes are infrequent, however individuals should be on the lookout for pickpockets and handbag snatchers. Furthermore, no serious terrorist incidents have occurred in Austria.
Denmark, ranked fifth on the Global Peace Index, is one of the world’s safest and happiest countries. Denmark is one of the few countries where everyone, including children, report feeling safe at any hour of day or night. Denmark has a strong level of equality and a strong feeling of shared responsibility for social welfare, both of which contribute to the country’s safety and happiness. Corruption is uncommon in business or politics in Denmark, since honesty and trust are valued highly. Denmark is also a welfare state, which means that everyone receives services and benefits that allow them to live comfortably. Everyone in Denmark enjoys free healthcare and education, and the elderly are given with in-home caregivers.
According to the Global Peace Index, Canada is the sixth in the list of world’s safest countries, a position it has held since 2019. Canada scored exceptionally high marks for internal disputes, crime levels, and political stability. In addition to abundant career prospects, easy access to healthcare, and efficient administration, Canada has some of the world’s friendliest people. Canada has around one-third the crime rate of its neighbor, the United States (1.6 incidents per 100,000 vs. 4.5 per 100,000 respectively). According to a Gallup poll conducted in 2018, 84 percent of Canadians stated they felt safe in their nation.
Singapore is ranked eighth in the world according to the GPI. According to the same Gallup poll from 2018, Singaporeans enjoy the highest sense of personal security and have the most favorable encounters with law enforcement of any country. Singapore has one of the lowest crime rates in the world, owing to harsh consequences for even minor offenses. Guns and other weaponry are rigorously controlled by the government and police in Singapore, therefore violent and confrontational crimes are uncommon. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Safe Cities Index, the city-state is also the world’s second-safest metropolis. Singapore was ranked first in infrastructure and personal security, second in digital security, and seventh in health security.
8. Czech Republic
The Czech Republic rounds out the top 10 world’s safest countries. The Czech Republic climbed two places from tenth to eighth place in 2019. Crime rates, particularly serious crimes, have gradually declined throughout the years. This is despite the country’s relatively simple access to weaponry. Terrorism has a limited influence in the Czech Republic as well. The country’s drop in ranks is attributed to its relatively heavy engagement in international conflicts, a large ratio of convicts per capita, and the appraisal of security forces and police.
Japan is the world’s ninth in the ranking of world’s safest countries. For the past 13 years, Japan has been in the top 10 countries in the Global Peace Index, receiving high marks for low crime rates, internal strife, and political terror. Concerns include Japan’s strained ties with its neighbors, as well as the growing size and capability of the country’s self-defense forces. Japan is well-known for its strict immigration policies and restricted access to guns. Carrying a firearm is not seen as an individual’s right in Japan. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Safe Cities Index, Tokyo is the safest city in the world, ranking first in cybersecurity, second in health security, and fourth in infrastructure security and personal security.
Switzerland, with a score of 1.366, rounds out the top ten world’s safest countries. Switzerland is ranked fifth in the Safety & Security area, down one spot from 2019. Switzerland, along with numerous other peaceful countries, has consistently rated in the top 10 weapons exports per capita over the previous five years. Fortunately, Switzerland ranks fourth in the world in terms of food security and is one of the ten most peaceful countries in terms of continuing domestic and international conflict.