Living Abroad

Which Are the Safest Countries in the World | 2021 Rankings

Updated: 13 October 2021

The Annual Global Peace Index released by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) ranks the countries in the world as the safest and the most dangerous. The report uses a total of 23 different indicators to rank 163 countries in the world. These indicators are broken down into three different categories:  

  1. Militarization
  2. Social security and safety
  3. Ongoing domestic and international conflict

Some of the factors taken into account for the report include political instability, level of distrust, total number of homicides, potential for terrorism, external and internal violent conflicts, military expenditure. Each country is given a score as per these factors.

We’ve listed below the most 10 safest countries based on the Global Peace Index.

  • Iceland
  • New Zealand
  • Denmark
  • Portugal
  • Slovenia
  • Austria
  • Switzerland
  • Ireland
  • The Czech Republic
  • Canada
  • 1st: Iceland  

    Reykjavík, Iceland

    The Global Peace Index terms Iceland as the safest country in the world for the 13th year in a row. Though the tourists can’t seem to get enough of the northern lights and natural beauty, the small population of 340,000 people has a lot of other factors to rejoice for. 

    Living Standards 

    Economic and social tensions are not prevalent in the Icelandic population. The country has legalized same-sex adoptions and marriages, ensured equal pay for all genders, and ensured religious freedom. However, the cost of living is pretty high, and affordable rentals and housing are hard to find.  

    Crime Rates  

    Iceland has extremely low crime rates, no armed forces, and a high level of political stability, which are the factors that help the country to hold its status as the most peaceful country in the world. The police force is educated and well-trained while the citizens are vigilant against crime.  

    Economic Conditions  

    The small economy of Iceland makes it volatile to external disturbances. The dominant economic sectors here are tourism, seafood, and aluminum.  

    Natural Resources

    Most of the produce found here is organic since the climate discourages pests and insects, and thus, the use of pesticides. The country is highly dependent on seafood. The primary energy sources are geothermal power and hydroelectricity.  

    2nd: New Zealand  

    Queenstown, New Zealand

    New Zealand is the second name on the list thanks to its low crime rates, high living standards, and abundance of natural resources. The proximity of the country to Australia makes it even more lucrative as a place to reside in.  

    Living Standards

    New Zealand has recently been praised all over the world for its success in controlling the coronavirus outbreak. The publicly funded universal healthcare coverage has been a major aid in ensuring this. Additionally, Auckland and Wellington are the most habitable cities ever.  

    Crime Rates

    New Zealand is remarkable for its low crime rates and violence. The most common crime in the country is petty theft.  

    Economic Conditions  

    The economy is primarily dependent on the service sector. Other major industries found here are metal fabrication, aluminum production, and paper and wood products. The rest of the GDP is served by food processing, manufacturing, mining, electricity, exports, and gas. 

    Natural Resources

    The booming farming sector of the country brings quality food products to the citizens and the world. Meat and dairy are consumed locally and exported globally. New Zealand is one of the top thirty countries in gold and iron ore production.  

    3rd: Denmark 

    Copenhagen, Denmark

    Denmark is one of the very few nations in the world where the citizens report that they feel safe at any time of the night and day. A strong sense of social welfare, equality, and common responsibility have made the land a peaceful place to live and thrive for the population.  

    Living Standards  

    Denmark is a successful and progressive nation that has a strong sense of social welfare and responsibility. Being a welfare state, the citizens get benefits that ensure an affluent lifestyle. Though the taxes are high, it pays for tuition-free education, free healthcare, and at-home helpers. 

    Crime Rates  

    Crime rates are low in this country. Corruption in politics and business continues to be low since trust and honesty are highly valued in this country. The safest city in the country is the capital of Copenhagen. 

    Economic Conditions  

    Denmark has a mixed economy consisting of government services, along with a booming foreign trade. The country’s service sector offers a majority of jobs, with the rest of the employment being offered in agriculture, manufacturing, and engineering.

    Natural Resources

    The agricultural industry is small and includes organic food and animal produce. The North Sea offers limited oil and natural gas reserves. However, the high food prices continue to remain a challenge in the industry.  

    4th: Portugal  

    Lisbon, Portugal

    Portugal gets the fourth position in the ranking for the most peaceful country in the world. What makes this rank even more commendable is that Portugal was ranked 18th on the same list in 2014. It has made significant improvements to living standards, crime rates, and more.  

    Living Standards

    Right from rent to groceries, and more, the cost of living in Portugal is low. It is one of the most affordable countries. The low unemployment rate has ensured a resurgence of the economy. It’s also a favorite country among retirees.

    Crime Rates  

    Widely present and strongly armed, Portugal’s police have ensured low to moderate crime rates in the country. Violent crimes are extremely low.

    Economic Conditions 

    The largest sector in Portugal is the tertiary sector. It has important industries in fisheries, energy, services, agriculture, and the natural resources sector. 

    Natural Resources

    Olives and wines are pretty affordable here because of their abundant local production. An abundance of forests ensures the supply of almost half of the cork in the world.  

    5th: Slovenia 

    Ljubljana, Slovenia

    The blue lakes, majestic mountains, vintage castles, and more have made Slovenia famous in the world. To top it off, it is also a highly progressive high-income economy.

    Living Standards

    Nearness to countries like Croatia, Hungary, Austria, and Italy has given a diverse culture to Slovenia. Thus, expats looking for a new place to settle down will find Slovenia welcoming and warm. 

    Crime Rates

    The crime rates are pretty low in Slovenia. Popular tourist spots might note some petty crimes, but the offenses are non-violent. It is also a member of the United Nations, NATO, Eurozone, and the European Union. 

    Economic Conditions

    The GDP is dominated by the service sector, and that is closely followed by agriculture and industry. Despite ample instances of economic downturn, the country has managed to bounce back to stability and prosperity repeatedly. 

    Natural Resources

    Slovenian cuisine is made delectable by the fresh produce that comes from the local farms of the country. Quality beer and wine are also locally produced here.  

    6th: Austria

    Hallstatt, Austria

    Austrians enjoy the highest quality of living in the world. Its political, social, economic, educational, healthcare, and environmental systems are all stable throughout the year. 

    Living Standards

    It is one of the best places to live in Europe because of its historic cities, beautiful countryside, vibrant cities, and high-quality cities. High levels of social assistance and excellent infrastructure are all features of Austria.

    Crime Rates

    In Austria, crime is quite rare, with the majority of reports being pickpocketing. Walking safety is relatively high in most big cities, both during the day and at night.

    Economic Conditions

    Austria is an industrialized country with thriving service industry. Food and luxury commodities, mechanical engineering and steel building, chemicals, and automobile manufacture are the most important sectors. The service sector generates the vast majority of the country’s GDP.

    Natural Resources

    Austria is a leading producer of natural magnesite which is used extensively in the chemical industry. It’s also one of the largest soybean producers in Europe. Pig and poultry farming are also common in the country’s arable regions. The large forested areas of Austria provide abundant timber resources.

    7th: Switzerland

    Zurich, Switzerland

    Switzerland is known for its breathtaking landscape and fine chocolate, but that is not what the country is all about. It’s an ideal location as a central European location makes it the perfect destination for expats from around the world. 

    Living Standards

    Universal health care, nearness to other European nations, and a great outdoor scene make Switzerland the ideal location to stay at. It is also great for starting a business and getting a quality education. 

    Crime Rates 

    Though Switzerland is renowned for its booming weapons export industry, it still ranks pretty high among the safest countries in the world. The crime rates are extremely low in the country, especially in cities like Zurich and Geneva. 

    Economic Conditions 

    One of the most in-demand and advanced free markets is found here. Swiss tourism and banking are the leading economic activities in the country. 

    Natural Resources 

    The domestic food production industry supplies most of the food that the country consumes. The region grows its milk, cattle, veal, pork, and potatoes. 

    8th: Ireland

    Dublin, Ireland

    Ireland is a fantasy country for many because it has Europe’s youngest population. It has a solid economy, a reliable education system, a bustling social life, a diverse culture, and stunning scenery.

    Living Standards

    Healthcare is widely available in Ireland, Public transportation is available throughout the country. Ireland has a vibrant social scene where you can eat, drink, and have fun.

    Crime Rates 

    Violent crime is uncommon in Ireland, yet it does exist. Crimes include petty theft, burglary, and other small charges. However, cybercrime is a serious worry, especially as Ireland is home to many technological corporations.

    Economic Conditions

    Ireland has made significant strides forward in development during the last century, allowing the country to vastly enhance its living standards. Industrialization and international investment have brought income to Ireland, which has been utilised to better people’s lives.

    Natural Resources

    Inland fisheries, minerals, energy supplies, and other geological resources assist to fuel the national economy, produce jobs, and deliver social benefits for Irish citizens.

    9th: The Czech Republic 

    Prague, Czech Republic

    The list of the top ten safest nations in the world gets completed with the Czech Republic. The fact that it has climbed two spots to reach this position makes it even more special for the country. 

    Living Standards

    It is widely held as one of the best countries in the world for expats to come and live. The Czech Republic also happens to be student-friendly, so students flock to the nation every year. 

    Crime Rates

    Crime rates have seen a steady decline over the past few years, particularly in violent crimes. It is even more commendable because accessing weapons in the country is not too difficult. The main issue in the country is its high involvement in several foreign conflicts. 

    Economic Conditions 

    It is an advanced economy with a keen focus on manufacturing and services. The country has the lowest scores in terms of population at the risk of poverty. 

    Natural Resources

    The main natural resources of the country are timber, hard coal, soft coal, clay, graphite, and kaolin.   

    10th: Canada

    Ottawa, Canada

    Canada has been consistently ranked as one of the safest countries in the world, and here are the reasons. 

    Living Standards 

    Canada has the friendliest citizens in the world. The cost of rent and health insurance is also less, though consumer goods like fuel and staple food tend to cost more. 

    Crime Rates

    Crime rates are almost one-third of the USA, which makes the citizens feel safe in the country. Though the crime rates are rising in the past three years, it is still at a low to moderate level. 

    Economic Conditions 

    The developed and diverse economy of Canada is heavily dependent on the services sector that employs three-quarters of the population. Some of the chief industries are construction and finance, gas and oil, mining, manufacturing, property, and real estate. 

    Natural resources

    It has the third-highest estimated value of the natural resources in the world that is valued at $33.2 trillion US dollars. The country has a small population but natural resources are abundant. 

    Conclusion

    The scores are definitely not set in stone as is evident from the fact that several countries have jumped ten points or more in their ranks this year. So, hopefully, the next year will bring more positive changes to each country on the list. 

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