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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. 

Portugal

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 / Shutterstock.com

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.

Denmark

Photo: olgagorovenko / Shutterstock.com

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. 

Canada

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. 

Singapore

Photo: joyfull / Shutterstock.com

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. 

Slovenia

Photo: RossHelen / Shutterstock.com

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.

Japan

Photo: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock

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 / Shutterstock.com

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. 

CountryGlobal Peace Index  Score
Iceland1.072
New Zealand1.221
Portugal1.274
Austria1.291
Denmark1.316
Canada1.327
Singapore1.347
Slovenia1.355
Japan1.369
Czech Republic1.375
Switzerland1.383
Ireland1.39
Australia1.419
Finland1.488
Malaysia1.529
Netherlands1.53
Belgium1.533
Sweden1.533
Norway1.536
Hungary1.54
Germany1.547
Slovakia1.55
Mauritius1.562
Romania1.606
Bulgaria1.607
Chile1.634
Croatia1.645
Poland1.654
Botswana1.676
Qatar1.696
Spain1.699
Costa Rica1.706
Uruguay1.711
Latvia1.718
Taiwan1.725
Estonia1.727
Lithuania1.728
Italy1.754
Malawi1.779
Indonesia1.785
Mongolia1.792
Kuwait1.794
Ghana1.796
Laos1.801
United Kingdom1.801
Panama1.804
Zambia1.805
Serbia1.812
Albania1.821
Sierra Leone1.822
United Arab Emirates1.847
Tanzania1.86
South Korea1.867
Madagascar1.867
Vietnam1.877
Senegal1.883
Liberia1.889
France1.892
Namibia1.892
Cyprus1.914
Kazakhstan1.932
Greece1.933
Macedonia1.933
Montenegro1.939
Moldova1.951
Oman1.953
Equatorial Guinea1.957
Ecuador1.98
Benin1.986
Swaziland1.986
Argentina1.989
Nepal2.003
Angola2.012
Jordan2.012
Rwanda2.014
Peru2.016
Bosnia And Herzegovina2.019
Tunisia2.035
Jamaica2.038
Dominican Republic2.041
Bolivia2.044
Haiti2.052
Cambodia2.066
Morocco2.07
Cuba2.073
Guyana2.075
Trinidad And Tobago2.094
Mozambique2.099
Gabon2.112
Belarus2.115
Papua New Guinea2.118
Georgia2.122
Guinea2.125
Bangladesh2.128
Uzbekistan2.166
Lesotho2.167
Burkina Faso2.176
Tajikistan2.196
Uganda2.196
Togo2.205
Djibouti2.207
China2.217
Algeria2.219
Guinea Bissau2.237
El Salvador2.262
Guatemala2.264
Turkmenistan2.265
Brazil2.271
Thailand2.278
Armenia2.294
Kenya2.3
Nicaragua2.312
Mauritania2.333
Honduras2.341
Bahrain2.357
Myanmar2.393
Niger2.394
South Africa2.399
United States2.401
Saudi Arabia2.409
Azerbaijan2.425
Ethiopia2.434
Zimbabwe2.463
Eritrea2.504
Philippines2.516
Burundi2.52
Egypt2.521
Chad2.522
Cameroon2.538
Iran2.542
Mexico2.6
India2.605
Palestine2.608
Colombia2.661
Venezuela2.671
Mali2.71
Israel2.735
Lebanon2.8
Nigeria2.898
North Korea2.921
Ukraine2.95
Sudan2.995
Turkey3.015
Pakistan3.072
Russia3.093
Libya3.285
Somalia3.3
Iraq3.369
Yemen3.412
South Sudan3.526
Syria3.566
Afghanistan3.574

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 / Shutterstock.com

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


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