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The Safest Countries in the World (2020)

The Safest Countries in the World (2020)

Want to know which is the world’s safest country? Every year, the Global Peace Index ranks the safest countries in the world. 

That same report also shows the most dangerous countries in the world, and the lower the score, the safer a country is. The Global Peace Index Report (GPI) is published annually by the Institute for Economics and Peace.

The GPI covers 163 independent nations and 99.7% of the world population. It ranks the most peaceful countries in the world using 23 indicators to measure the level of Societal Safety and Security; the extent of Ongoing Domestic and International Conflict

Top 10 safest countries in the world

  1. Iceland
  2. New Zealand
  3. Portugal
  4. Austria
  5. Denmark
  6. Canada
  7. Singapore
  8. Slovenia
  9. Japan
  10. Czech Republic

1. Iceland

Iceland remained the safest country in the world in the new Global Peace Index report and has held a firm grip on the top position for several years now. The crime level is very low and Icelanders typically enjoy a high standard of living. 

Although it only has around 340,000 inhabitants, the society is characterized by a high level of trust and gender equality. The Icelandic police force doesn’t carry any firearms, only carry batons and pepper spray.

This tiny island nation in the northern part of Europe has also seen a tourism boom with more than 2.3 million tourists visiting last year. Iceland is also famous for having one of the oldest democracies and being home to a wide range of nature and sceneries. 

Iceland is the safest country in the world

Photo: Jay Yuan/Shutterstock

2. New Zealand

New Zealand is another good choice if you want to travel to a safe country. New Zealanders, also known as Kiwis are known for being friendly and laid-back as well. 

Violent crime is almost unheard of and there are no deadly animals in New Zealand, unlike Australia where some of the world’s most dangerous animals are living.

The terrorist attack was a sad thing that happened in March 2019, but in general, visitors are very unlikely to risk becoming victims, and the crime level is very low.

New Zealand

Photo: DmitrySerbin/Shutterstock

3. Portugal

Portugal is ranked as the third safest country in the world 2020, rising two positions from number 5 in the previous year. The unemployment rate has gone from a high level to the lowest percentage since the financial crisis in 2008.

One thing that sets Iceland and New Zealand apart is the fact that Portuguese police do carry firearms, although an increased presence of armed police seems to have had a positive impact on the crime level in Portugal, which has also seen a decrease in recent years. 

Pickpockets and purse-snatchers are the most likely crimes here, and they are concentrated in crowded tourist sites and public transportation in Lisbon and Porto.

However, overall, there is a high level of safety and an absence of violence, and it’s a very peaceful country globally. The risk of encountering any crime is very low. 


Photo: Pawel Kazmierczak/Shutterstock

4. Austria

Austria is another country in Europe which is ranked as one of the safest countries in the world. It scores as low as 1.2 in the Global peace index rate.

Austria is typically seen as a neutral country these days, and the military budget is just 0.74% of national GDP, which can be compared to the U.S which spends 3.3% of its national GDP.

Austria is one of the safest countries in the world

Photo: Sun_Shine /

5. Denmark

Denmark might be a small country with a total area of 42,924 km2 and a population of just 5.8 million people, but it ranks high in all positive rankings that you could think of, such as the happiest countries in the world or most liveable countries in the world. 

The island nation can be considered the pride of Scandinavia where most people live in harmony. Copenhagen is one of the most diverse capitals in Europe and is particularly known for its good atmosphere and bike friendliness.


Photo: olgagorovenko /

6. Canada

Canada is one of the largest countries in the world and a huge chunk of its land is raw wilderness without any development. It’s also known for having some of the most diverse cities in the world, such as Toronto which is home to more than 200 ethnic groups. 

The Canadians live in harmony and are known for their friendliness. The military has several operations that aim to stop illegal activities around the world and serves to make it a better place. 


Photo: Galyna Andrushko/Shutterstock

7. Singapore

Singapore has risen as one of the economic centers of the world and it has seen incredible development in the last couple of decades. Strict law enforcement and a non-violent society make it the safest country in Asia. 

Singapore does have a strong military force but remains peaceful within the country and outside its borders. The harmony between religions and people from various cultures is a beneficial factor as well. 


Photo: joyfull /

8. Slovenia

Slovenia is yet another small country in Europe on the border of Western Europe and the Balkans in East Europe. The country is home to about 2 million people and rose 2 positions in the Global Peace Index compared to the previous year. 

Violent crime is very uncommon in Slovenia and the country also has a very low risk of terrorist acts. It’s typically the safest country in Eastern Europe. 


Photo: RossHelen /

9. Japan

Japan has some of the lowest crime rates in the world and is definitely one of the safest countries in the world. When rating safety in society only, I would even say that Japan is number one.

People are leaving their doors and bikes unlocked, and many even fall asleep on public transportation without worrying about pickpocketers. This is something that is unheard of in most countries in the world, but it’s a result of honesty, honor, and integrity in the Japanese culture as well as strict regulations.

What’s even more fascinating is the fact that the country is home to more than 128 million people, and still has the lowest crime rate in the world. Even in Tokyo, which is the most populated city in the world, the level of crime is very low.



10. Czech Republic

Last but not least in the top 10 safest countries in the world, the Czech Republic, also known as Czechia. It is a relatively small country in Central Europe, famous for its capital Prague, which has become one of the major tourist destinations in Europe.

Over the years, violent crime has decreased rapidly and the same goes for overall crime rates. Petty crimes are most common in Prague due to opportunists targeting tourists. 

Czech Republic

Photo: MoLarjung /

Global Peace Index 2019

Here’s a full list of the Global Peace Index in 2019, and each country’s Global Peace Index score. A lower number is better in this ranking. In 2020, Iceland remains the safest country in the world with around 150 points lower than New Zealand, which is ranked as the second-safest country worldwide. 

Another positive aspect, for the first time in five years, the global peacefulness improved. As many as 86 countries improved and lowered their score compared to the Global Peace Report from 2018. 

Country Global Peace Index  Score
Iceland 1.072
New Zealand 1.221
Portugal 1.274
Austria 1.291
Denmark 1.316
Canada 1.327
Singapore 1.347
Slovenia 1.355
Japan 1.369
Czech Republic 1.375
Switzerland 1.383
Ireland 1.39
Australia 1.419
Finland 1.488
Malaysia 1.529
Netherlands 1.53
Belgium 1.533
Sweden 1.533
Norway 1.536
Hungary 1.54
Germany 1.547
Slovakia 1.55
Mauritius 1.562
Romania 1.606
Bulgaria 1.607
Chile 1.634
Croatia 1.645
Poland 1.654
Botswana 1.676
Qatar 1.696
Spain 1.699
Costa Rica 1.706
Uruguay 1.711
Latvia 1.718
Taiwan 1.725
Estonia 1.727
Lithuania 1.728
Italy 1.754
Malawi 1.779
Indonesia 1.785
Mongolia 1.792
Kuwait 1.794
Ghana 1.796
Laos 1.801
United Kingdom 1.801
Panama 1.804
Zambia 1.805
Serbia 1.812
Albania 1.821
Sierra Leone 1.822
United Arab Emirates 1.847
Tanzania 1.86
South Korea 1.867
Madagascar 1.867
Vietnam 1.877
Senegal 1.883
Liberia 1.889
France 1.892
Namibia 1.892
Cyprus 1.914
Kazakhstan 1.932
Greece 1.933
Macedonia 1.933
Montenegro 1.939
Moldova 1.951
Oman 1.953
Equatorial Guinea 1.957
Ecuador 1.98
Benin 1.986
Swaziland 1.986
Argentina 1.989
Nepal 2.003
Angola 2.012
Jordan 2.012
Rwanda 2.014
Peru 2.016
Bosnia And Herzegovina 2.019
Tunisia 2.035
Jamaica 2.038
Dominican Republic 2.041
Bolivia 2.044
Haiti 2.052
Cambodia 2.066
Morocco 2.07
Cuba 2.073
Guyana 2.075
Trinidad And Tobago 2.094
Mozambique 2.099
Gabon 2.112
Belarus 2.115
Papua New Guinea 2.118
Georgia 2.122
Guinea 2.125
Bangladesh 2.128
Uzbekistan 2.166
Lesotho 2.167
Burkina Faso 2.176
Tajikistan 2.196
Uganda 2.196
Togo 2.205
Djibouti 2.207
China 2.217
Algeria 2.219
Guinea Bissau 2.237
El Salvador 2.262
Guatemala 2.264
Turkmenistan 2.265
Brazil 2.271
Thailand 2.278
Armenia 2.294
Kenya 2.3
Nicaragua 2.312
Mauritania 2.333
Honduras 2.341
Bahrain 2.357
Myanmar 2.393
Niger 2.394
South Africa 2.399
United States 2.401
Saudi Arabia 2.409
Azerbaijan 2.425
Ethiopia 2.434
Zimbabwe 2.463
Eritrea 2.504
Philippines 2.516
Burundi 2.52
Egypt 2.521
Chad 2.522
Cameroon 2.538
Iran 2.542
Mexico 2.6
India 2.605
Palestine 2.608
Colombia 2.661
Venezuela 2.671
Mali 2.71
Israel 2.735
Lebanon 2.8
Nigeria 2.898
North Korea 2.921
Ukraine 2.95
Sudan 2.995
Turkey 3.015
Pakistan 3.072
Russia 3.093
Libya 3.285
Somalia 3.3
Iraq 3.369
Yemen 3.412
South Sudan 3.526
Syria 3.566
Afghanistan 3.574

More about the safest countries in the world

Most of the countries are smaller countries that are highly developed. The only exceptions on the list are Japan, Canada, and Australia, where Japan is one of the most populated countries in the world, and Canada and Australia being home to more people than average. 

The other countries are medium-sized when it comes to population, except Iceland which is the smallest of the 20 safest countries in the world with a population of just 339 000 people in 2019. With that said, Iceland is a clear winner with a score as low as 1.072 in the Global Peace Index.

Europe is the safest continent in the world, which is also reflected by the many European countries ranking high among the safest countries in the world.

There are no South American or African countries in the top 20, and Canada is the only North American country. Asia has 4 countries and Oceania 2, the rest are located in Europe.

The Safest Countries in the world

Photo: Roberto La Rosa /

What is the safest country in the world to live in?

Iceland is ranked as the safest country in the world to live in. However, there are many safe countries where you can move to avoid violence and crime. 

Which are the least safe countries in the world?

Afghanistan, Syria, South Sudan, and Iraq are ranked as some of the most dangerous countries in the world. 

Which country has the lowest crime rate in the world?

Japan has the lowest crime rate in the world per 100,000 residents. 

What is the safest region in the world?

The Nordic region must be considered the safest region in the world since 5 countries out of 5 are listed in the world’s top 20 safest countries.

Safest Region in the World

Photo: Shutterstock

Did you know about the safest countries in the world? Leave a comment below!