The Safe Cities Index is an initiative sponsored by the Economist magazine, and uses four categories to determine the perceived safety of a given city. The categories are:
- Digital security which measures how likely one is to be a victim of privacy violations or identity theft through the internet. Availability of technology and its level is also measured.
- Health security which measures ease of access to care for residents, as well as its quality. Air and water quality is also taken into consideration, as is life expectancy.
- Infrastructure safety which measures the resilience and safety of urban infrastructure, particularly against potential disasters. Frequency of accidents is measured along with the standards with which infrastructure is held to.
- Personal safety measures the incurrence of violent and petty crime, drug use, theft, and violence. How safe residents generally feel in their city is also taken into consideration.
Data was sourced from cities on overall liveability, as well as data from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Kaspersky Lab, and other sources. The higher the score is to 100, the safer the city's ranking is considered. Below is an overview of where major Asian cities fall with this ranking.
10. Kuwait City, Kuwait (63.5/100)
Kuwait City is the largest city in Kuwait with a population of 2.5 million. Kuwait City scored 64.2/100 in terms of digital security, 56.2/100 for health security, 73.4/100 for infrastructure safety, and 59.5/100 for personal safety. This brings the overall safety of Kuwait City to 63.5/100, granting it the tenth place in this list. Although crime rates in Kuwait City are reportedly low, relatively low rankings in terms of health security and the resident's perceived low level of personal security contribute to Kuwait City's place on the list of most dangerous cities in Asia. There is also concern that crime is being underreported or even unreported, which could be contributing to misleading data.
9. Beijing, China (63.3/100)
Beijing, China's capital city has a population of almost 25 million within its metropolitan area. It scored 56.9 on digital security, 63.3 on health security, 76.5 on infrastructure, and 55.5 in terms of personal safety. Despite its ranking on this list, Beijing has a low rate of violent crime for a major urban center of its size. Growing income disparity in China has been blamed for the increase in petty crime. A pattern of an increase in violent crimes, particularly violent crimes within the workplace, has also been noted.
8. Guangzhou, China (62.8/100)
Guangzhou is a city in southern China, within the province of Guangdong. Its population sits at just over 13 million. Guangzhou's scores were 55.1 in digital security, 60.07 in health security, 76.6 in infrastructure security, and 59.37 in personal security. Like Beijing, income disparity has also been cited as a possible cause for an increase in petty crime rates within Guangzhou. These examples of petty crime can include pickpocketing and the theft of personal electronics. Like many major cities, the highest instances of violent crime within Guangzhou is said to occur during the early morning hours surrounding bars and nightclubs.
7. Bangkok, Thailand (62.7/100)
Bangkok, the capital of Thailand with a population of nearly 15 million in its metropolitan area, falls in 7th place on this list. Its scores were 52.9 in digital security, 60.5 in health security, 66.4 in infrastructure safety, 70.9 in personal safety. Drug abuse, organized gangs, and corruption have all been cited as possible causes of crime in Bangkok. In recent years, the homicide of tourists and expatriates in Thailand have made the news, spreading the reputation of Bangkok as a dangerous city to visit.
6. Delhi, India (61.9/100)
The city of Delhi, in India, has a population of over 16 million in its metropolitan area. Delhi scored 63.3 in digital security, 53.8 in health security, 57.7 in infrastructure security, and 72.7 in personal security. Crimes against women, cyber crime, and corruption and police misconduct are all types of serious crime that is of grave concern in Delhi. Additionally, petty crime such as pickpocketing and theft of belongings is of concern to tourists, as well as possible scams and tricks. Organized crime is also a concern throughout India, including Delhi.
5. Mumbai, India (60.7/100)
Mumbai is the most populous city in all of India, with an metropolitan population of over 20 million residents. Its scores were 68.07 in digital security, 45.31 in health security, 55.89 in infrastructure security, and 73.61 in personal security. Part of Mumbai's reputation of lacking safety has been blamed on a massive network of underground organized crime. Drug trafficking has also been cited, as well as money laundering. Residential theft is also a concern in Mumbai.
4. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (57.9/100)
Riyadh is the capital of Saudi Arabia, as well as the most populous with an urban population of over four million. Riyadh scored 53.2 in digital security, 53.3 in health security, 61.5 in infrastructure security, and 60.2 in personal security. Although the crime rate of Saudi Arabia has historically been seen as low, it has been noted that the crime rate appears to be drastically increasing. Petty crime is particularly cited as an area of concern, as is the risk of terrorism. However, the murder rate overall remains low.
3. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (54.9/100)
Ho Chi Minh City is Vietnam's largest city with a population of over eight million. It was previously known as Saigon. Ho Chi Minh City scored 53.3 in digital security, 48.4 in health security, 52.4 in infrastructure security, and 65.6 in personal security. Like many of the entries on this list, petty crime and pickpocketing are of highest concern in Ho Chi Minh City, as violent crime such as murder remains relatively rare.
2. Tehran, Iran (53.8/100)
Tehran is the largest city as well as the capital of Iran, with a population of 9 million within the city and 16 million in the wide metropolitan area. Tehran scored 46.58 in digital security, 48.22 in health security, 63.9 in infrastructure security, and 56.35 in personal security. Drug trafficking and selling, alcohol smuggling, oil smuggling, tax evasion, kidnapping, theft, fraud, money laundering and even murder occur in Tehran. Although crime rates in Tehran have been statistically low on average, the rates do seem to be increasing.
1. Jakarta, Indonesia (53.7/100)
Jakarta is Indonesia's largest city with a population of nearly ten million. Its scores were 48.5 in digital security, 53.11 in health security, 54.0 in infrastructure security, and 59.2 in personal security. Although petty crime is the most common type of criminal activity reported in Jakarta, more violent crimes are not completely uncommon. A high rate of organized crime has also been cited in Jakarta. Internet fraud is also suspected to be on the rise, which could explain the low ranking in digital security. Block M in South Jakarta has been suggested as a hotbed for crime within Indonesia, as well as the Ancol Port in north Jakarta.