Top Five Safest Countries In The World


The Danger In US

As residents of the land of the free, we tend to think that because our country is big and powerful that we are safe where we live. Unfortunately, the statistics tell us otherwise. Last year in New York City, there were 515 reported murders, 1,092 forcible rapes, 19,773 robberies, and 18,159 burglaries. Needless to say, the US is not the safest country in the world.

Which countries are the safest, then? Below is our list of the top five safest cities in the world. Factors we included in our top five included:

  • Crime Index (Numbeo): An annual study of the crime rates by country, which measures the overall seriousness of crimes committed. The lower the number, the less serious the crime.
  • Political Instability Index (The Economist): Measures the threat level to a government based on social unrest. A smaller number means less social unrest.
  • Theft Rate Per 100,000 People (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime): Shows how many thefts occur in a country.
  • Police Per 100,000 People (Twelfth United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice): Reveals how many police there are in a country.
  • Buying Power (Google Currency Converter): The amount the country’s currency is worth to a dollar. This, combined with the economic stability of this conversion rate, helps determine how economically stable a country is, which can help predict the economic satisfaction of its citizenry.
  • World Happiness Ranking (2013 World Happiness Report): Measures the happiness of a country. This is important because the satisfaction of the people inside a country will help determine the political and social outlook of that country.

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Number 5: Australia

  • Crime Index: 44.44
  • Political Instability Index: 3.6
  • Theft Rate Per 100,000 People: 2,156.9
  • Police Per 100,000 People:  217
  • 1 Australian Dollar = .92 US Dollar
  • World Happiness Ranking: 10th

Considering its history as a British penal colony, Australia’s spot on the list of safest countries might seem like a mistake. However, in its 112 year history—and especially since the creation of the Australian Federal Police in 1979—Australia has proved itself to be very safe. In 2011, only .06 percent of the population was a victim of robbery, a huge decrease from the 13.8 percent high it had a decade earlier. Home and vehicle thefts have also been on the decline in Australia. Unlawful entry with intent to commit a crime decreased by 58 percent in the same time period and motor vehicle theft decreased 66 percent.

Then again, not everything is perfect in Australia. In the past two decades,kidnapping rates have increased and fluctuated at about 600 to 700 instances per year. Instances of sexual assault, too, have fluctuated in the past decade, and now hovers around 17,200. In order to claim its spot higher up on the list, Australia will have to decrease these numbers.

Number 4: Luxembourg

  • Crime Index: 18.75
  • Political Instability Index: 3.6
  • Theft Rate Per 100,000 People: 1,650
  • Police Per 100,000 People: 331
  • 1 Euro = 1.33 US Dollar
  • World Happiness Ranking: 19th
With a long running lead in gross domestic product per capita (as of 2012, $91,388), Luxembourg is definitely one of the most economically stable countries to live in. This economic stability is the basis for some political and social stability, as we observe in the percentage of sexual incidents (only .3%, while the European Union’s [EU] average is 1.1 percent) and incidents of bicycle theft (1.6 percent, compared to 3.1 percent in the EU). This economic stability also puts Luxembourg’s citizens at risk for other crimes. Most notably, the incidents of attempted burglary are almost twice the EU’s average (2.7 percent compared to 1.5). Successful burglaries are less common, but still more prevalent in Luxembourg than in the EU (1.7 percent compared to 1.6 percent). Even though a home security system is integral to moving to Luxembourg, these numbers should not affect travelers.

Number 3: Norway

  • Crime Index: 25.61
  • Political Instability Index: 1.2
  • Theft Rate Per 100,000 People: 2,557.2
  • Police Per 100,000 People: 222
  • 1 Norwegian Krone = .17 US Dollar
  • World Happiness Ranking: 2nd

For those who want to live a healthy life, Norway might be the best option. According to Global Age Watch, Norway has the eighth highest healthy-life expectancy at birth, which means that Norwegians can expect to live a very long time free of disabilities.Norway’s commitment to safety influences this number heavily. Only 2.3 of every 100,000 Norwegian people were victims of homicide in 2011, a number that might seem high until compared to the United States (4.7) or the Russian Federation (9.7).

According to The Norway Post, though, foreigners are increasing criminal activity. In 2012 alone, instances of pickpocketing increased by 19.4 percent, and instances of drug-related crimes increased by 15.1 percent. The US Department of State advises travelers to exercise caution in metropolitan areas, like Oslo, to protect against theft.

Number 2: Switzerland

  • Crime Index: 27.58
  • Political Instability Index: 3.4
  • Theft Rate Per 100,000 People: 1,894.1
  • Police Per 100,000 People: 224
  • 1 Swiss Franc = 1.07 US Dollar
  • World Happiness Ranking: 3rd
Infamous for being the neutral country of the world, Switzerland has consistently established itself as a safe haven. In fact, the country has a deep rooted history as a refugee state, a role that began in the 16thcentury with the Huguenots and continues today. As a population, Swiss citizens are also very safe. Only 36 percent of the prison population in Switzerland are Swiss citizens. Furthermore, the number of criminal convictions has nearly doubled since 1984. While this doesn’t seem like a good thing, it means that the Swiss police are cracking down on criminals and finding better ways to protect their citizens and tourists. The chink in Switzerland’s armor is the increase in law-breaking in recent years. Between 2011 and 2012, offenses against the Criminal Code increased by nine percent (around 52,000 more offenses per year). The increase in theft was even more dramatic — around 11 percent, or 24,000 more thefts a year. If you’re just visiting Switzerland, these numbers should not be concerning, but for those living in Switzerland, the increase is dramatic.

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Number 1: Canada

  • Crime Index: 34.98
  • Political Instability Index: 2.8
  • Theft Rate Per 100,000 People: 1,492.3
  • Police Per 100,000 People: 202
  • 1 Canadian Dollar = .96 US Dollar
  • World Happiness Ranking: 6th

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the land to our north tops the list of safest countries in the world. Canada has consistently been a safer country holistically than the United States and is at the forefront of homeland security for the world. Since 1991, police reported crime in Canada has decreased at a steady rate and is now at the same levels it was in 1972. The severity of crimes has also decreased by 26 percent in a decade.

But Canadians and travelers should still be careful. Considering that 81 percent of Canadians live in urban areas, the risks of living in metropolitan areas are still present. The rate of police reported drug crimes has increased slightly since the 1990s. In 2011 alone, 113,100 drug crimes were reported. In the same year, over 82,400 vehicle thefts were reported. The moral of this story: no country is completely safe. One of the only ways to ensure your safety is to stay alert and use lines of defense.

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