In this article we shared our list of the 25 safest countries in the world. Click to skip ahead and see the 5 safest countries in the world.
In our rapidly changing world, safety has become more critical than ever to ensure the well-being and prosperity of any country. In a global context, safety has come to be seen in regards to the level of a country’s involvement in domestic and international conflict, which can be reflected by various indicators like the crime rate, frequency of terrorist acts, and the extent of political turmoil.
As per the Global Peace Index Report, the gap between the least and most safe countries is consistently widening. Since 2008, the 25 least peaceful countries have seen a decline of 12.1 percent on average, while the 25 most peaceful countries have enjoyed an average increase of 4.3 percent in their ratings. Overall, there has been a decline of 2 percent in the level of global peace and safety. This deterioration has been mainly attributed to the conflict in the Middle East over the last 13 years.
The last year has been one like no other with the onset of the pandemic. A new trend has been observed with the increase in violence and political turmoil across the world. As per the Institute for Economics and Peace, Covid 19 has contributed towards an increase of 10% in civil unrest globally. A total of 14,871 violent demonstrations and riots were recorded in the past year, with around 5000 being attributed to Covid 19. Different factors played a part in pandemic-related incidents, such as the imposition of restrictions, frequent lockdowns, a rising rate of unemployment, and economic slowdown.
Furthermore, the pandemic also led to a rise in racially charged assaults. Findings of the Institute for Economics and Peace suggest that people of Asian descent faced a sharp increase in physical assaults during the period between January 2020 and April 2021. Close to 85 percent of Asian Australians reported being a target of discrimination during the pandemic. Similarly, Vancouver reported a shocking increase of 717 percent hate crime during this period.
These findings were reaffirmed by the founder and executive chairman of the Institute for Economics and Peace, Mr. Steve Killelea who remarked, that the Global Peace Index has documented “nearly 15,000 demonstrations globally in 2020, with 5,000 COVID-related incidences.” On being asked about the reason behind the rise in civil unrest, Mr. Killelea responded, “the demonstrations were related to a broad range of factors, including Black Lives Matter, COVID measures, Indian farmers’ demonstrations, economic policies in Latin and South America, among others.”
All these incidents have led to the safety of many countries across the world is compromised. This makes it essential to take a fresh look at all the countries’ peace and security levels in the current situation.
For our list of the 25 safest countries in the world, we would be using the Global Peace Index (GPI) 2021 as our metric. The GPI report is produced yearly by the Institute for Economics and Peace, an independent think tank working towards developing frameworks and providing metrics to gauge global peace.
Ranking 163 independent states and territories and covering 99.7 percent of the world population, the Global Peace Index is the leading indicator of safety worldwide. It makes use of 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators to produce its rankings. These indicators are defined under three domains: “Societal Safety and Security, the extent of Ongoing Domestic and International Conflict, and the degree of Militarization.” The GPI assigns scores to different indicators to reach a composite score for each country on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being the safest and 5 being the least.
With this context and the global situation in mind, let’s now begin our list of the 25 safest countries in the world.
25 Safest Countries in the World
Global Peace Index: 1.53
Romania lands the last position in our list of 25 safest countries in the world with a composite score of 1.53. While Romania had a pretty decent score of 1.007 under the domain of ongoing domestic and international conflict, it failed to perform well in the other two domains. The country was awarded a score of 1.820 under societal safety and security and 1.773 under militarization. Romania has been considered one of the countries in the positive peace deficit list to face an increasing level of violence in the next decade.
Global Peace Index: 1.524
Over the past year, Poland saw a significant improvement in its ranking. The country had an 8.5 percent rise in its score, which reflected the third-largest increase in peacefulness, recorded on the Global Peace Index 2021. This led to it rising 9 places on the GPI rankings this year. The improvement was attributed to betterment in violent crime, political terror, and riots indicators which fall under the domain of societal safety and security. The country is ranked 17th in Europe and 24th globally.
Along with improving the safety conditions, the country also seems to be attracting companies like PepsiCo (NASDAQ: PEP), (NYSE: UBER), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), and (NASDAQ: PYPL) to scale their operations and benefit from the improved economic and social environment.
Global Peace Index: 1.515
Malaysia makes it to the 23rd position in our list of the 25 safest countries in the world. The country improved its score by 0.037 this year. Malaysia, located in Southeast Asia, faces a comparatively lower level of domestic and international conflict, allowing it to receive a decent score of 1.015 in this domain. Moreover, in terms of militarization, the country has been considered the 6th safest country with a score of 1.266 in this domain. However, societal safety has been of concern as the country has the greatest proportion of people in Asia who “view violence as a risk to their safety”.
Global Peace Index: 1.51
The 22nd position is occupied by Bhutan, with a score of 1.51. Although the country’s ranking has gone down from last year (it was ranked 19th with a score of 1.501 in GPI 2020), it has yet again managed to outperform all other countries in South Asia and is ranked as the most peaceful country in the region. One of the biggest contributing factors to this is the fact that Bhutan is one of the least militarized nations of the world, ranked 12th in the militarization domain with a score of 1.330.
21. The Netherlands
Global Peace Index: 1.506
The Netherlands has retained its ranking of 21st from last year’s GPI 2020, even though its overall score has gone down from 1.528 in GPI 2020, to 1.506. Netherlands’ scores for both Societal Safety and Security and Ongoing Domestic and International Conflict are quite decent (1.537 and 1.009, respectively) and have improved from last year’s GPI scores (1.609 and 1.011 respectively). However, the primary reason for the dip in the overall score is the worsening of the militarization domain’s score, from 2.120 to 2.166. The country has been consistently ranked in the ten highest weapon exporters per capita for the past five years, explaining its poor militarization scores.
Global Peace Index: 1.496
Belgium is ranked as the 20th most safe country overall in our list of 25 safest countries in the world. It has managed to retain its composite score of 1.496 from GPI 2020; however, the country’s current ranking has gone down from last year’s GPI ranking of 17th. Although Belgium has shown improvements in the domains of Societal Safety and Security, and Ongoing Domestic and International Conflict, its score has dropped from 1.527 to 1.572 for militarization. In addition, Belgium is one of those countries in Europe which faced a decline in the ‘feelings of safety’ due to local violence, etc.
Global Peace Index: 1.494
The Central European country of Hungary has shown a significant improvement in its ranking, going from 24th in GPI 2020 to 19th this year. This has been brought about due to a major improvement in its Societal Safety and Security score (going from 1.902 in 2020 to 1.741 in 2021). In addition, Hungary has consistently been ranked among the most peaceful countries globally for the militarization domain. It ranked third in the world this year.
Moreover, an improvement has also been seen in terms of various multi-national companies like PepsiCo (NASDAQ: PEP), (NYSE: UBER), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), and (NASDAQ: PYPL) showing an increased interest in scaling their production and service levels in the country.
17. Germany & Croatia
Global Peace Index: 1.48
The European countries of Germany and Croatia are jointly ranked at 17th, meaning that there is no country ranked at 18th. Of the two, Germany has dropped from 16th place in GPI 2020, even though its score has improved (it was 1.494 in GPI 2020), while Croatia has made a remarkable improvement from its 26th rank in GPI 2020. Germany showed a slight improvement in all three domains, although it was one of the countries which experienced violent anti-covid19 lockdown demonstrations. On the other hand, Croatia owes its enormous progress mainly to its score betterment in the domain of Domestic & International Conflict, going from 1.403 to 1.201.
Global Peace Index: 1.47
Australia ranks as the 16th most safe country in the world. The country’s ranking, as well as score, has gone down from last year (13 and 1.386, respectively). Despite this downward movement, the country ranks as the fourth most peaceful in the Asia-Pacific region. Among violent incidents and fatalities related to the covid-19 pandemic, there were reported instances of discrimination against Asian-Australians during 2020, where 85% of the community reported at least one such instance.
Global Peace Index: 1.46
Sweden secured 15th position in the rankings, similar to last year. However, the country’s score showed slight improvement, going from 1.479 to 1.46. Even though the country’s overall score has improved, there are some concerns for the country, as the experience of violence is highest in Sweden among all European countries. Twenty-five percent of Swedes reported that they have been or know someone who has been affected by instances of violent crimes in the previous two years.
In addition to being one of the safest countries to live in, Sweden is also suitable for business as major companies like PepsiCo (NASDAQ: PEP), (NYSE: UBER), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), and (NASDAQ: PYPL) are expanding their operations in the country and its economy is also growing.
Global Peace Index: 1.438
Norway has improved its ranking and score from last year’s GPI 2020. It went from being 17th with a score of 1.496 to its current rank and score. Norway also ranks as the safest country in the world for the Safety and Security domain and is ranked 10th overall in Europe.
Global Peace Index: 1.402
Finland is ranked at number 13 in our list of 25 safest countries in the world. The country has managed to maintain its position in the charts like Norway. During the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, Finland was one of the few European countries to declare a state of emergency, resulting in a decrease in intrapersonal violence and civil unrest. In the list of the ongoing Domestic and International Conflict domain, Finland rests on number 30th with a score of 1208, whereas the best score being 1000.
Global Peace Index: 1.373
Japan is ranked 12th with a score of 1.373. The country is currently ranked as the fifth safest in the world in terms of the Safety and Security domain and third safest overall in the Asia Pacific region. An impressive achievement of Japan is that it has been reported as the only full democracy in the world which has the ‘experience of violence’ rate at less than 10 percent.
Global Peace Index: 1.347
In this list of 25 safest countries in the world, Singapore takes the 11th position. Throughout the world, the lowest levels of fear of violence were reported in Singapore, and only 5% of the entire population expressed fear over being a victim of extreme violence. Unfortunately, it became the only country to fall out of the top 10 due to political terror and political stability.
Global Peace Index: 1.33
Canada ranks 10th in the list of safest countries. Being among the only two countries in the North American region (with the US being the other), Canada has recorded a slight increase in peacefulness. This slight increase meant that Canada dropped three positions. However, Canada still remains as one of only two non-European countries in the top ten for GPI 2021.
9. The Czech Republic
Global Peace Index: 1.329
The Czech Republic ranks 9th overall and the 8th safest country in Europe in GPI 2021. This has mainly been the result of the country’s remarkable score of 1.007 in the Domestic and International Conflict domain. In addition, the country is ranked in the top 20 of all three domains.
Global Peace Index: 1.326
Ireland makes it number 8th on our list of 25 safest countries in the world. The country’s ranking has gone 3 points up since last year and enjoys the third position in the list of ongoing domestic and international conflict domains with an ideal score of 1000. Even though the country experienced civil unrest due to anti-lockdown protests, it quickly recovered from it peacefully.
Global Peace Index: 1.323
At the seventh spot, we have Switzerland. Switzerland is currently ranked as the third safest country for the Societal Safety and Security domain (with a score of 1.242). The country also ranks as the sixth safest country overall in Europe. However, in spite of such impressive numbers, Switzerland ranks among the ten highest weapons exporters per capita in the last five years.
Global Peace Index: 1.317
With a score of 1.317, Austria enjoys the 6th position in our list of 25 safest countries in the world. Despite being amongst the top 10 safe countries, Austria experienced the largest deterioration in safety and peacefulness when a terrorist attack occurred in November 2020. However, the Austrian government took swift action and introduced new legislation to keep terrorists behind bars for life.
Apart from this, the government also encouraged companies like PepsiCo (NASDAQ: PEP), (NYSE: UBER), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), and (NASDAQ: PYPL) to expand their operations in Austria to improve the country’s economic outlook as well.
Click to continue reading and see the 5 Safest Countries In the World.
Disclosure: 25 Safest Countries In the World is originally published at Insider Monkey.