The 15 Safest Countries in the World

The Global Peace Index ranks a total of 163 countries on safety and peace according to 23 indicators, like violent conflicts, level of distrust, political instability, and terrorism. According to the last GPI report, the world became less safe over the last 14 years, with safety improving in 90 countries, and dropping in 71 countries, with per-country average deterioration of 3.2%. Europe remains the most peaceful region in the world, but perpetual drivers downhill from around the world include Russia, Ukraine, Guinea, Burkina Faso, and Haiti. This list ranks 15 safest and most peaceful countries in 2022 according to the Global Peace Index.

1. Iceland - 1.107

Beautiful view of the historic town of Husavik with traditional colorful houses and traditional fisherman boats lying in the harbor in golden evening light at sunset, northern coast of Iceland
Beautiful view of the historic town of Husavik with traditional colorful houses and traditional fisherman boats lying in the harbor in golden evening light at sunset, on the northern coast of Iceland

Iceland is going into 2023 as the safest country in the world, for the 14th year in a row! The country is most-known for beautiful scenery, and also its safe environment with a sparse population of 340,000 hospitable residents, as well as a community-feel, even within bigger cities like Reykjavik. The Nordic nation may not be ideal for the warmth-seekers, but is surely appealing due to its very low crime rate and very high standard of living. 

People celebrating on the day of "Culture Night" in Reyjavik
People celebrating on the day of "Culture Night" in Reyjavik

The well-trained, gun-free police force evokes trust in keeping communities crime-free, and people actively stand against violence. There is also no military, and no tension between social and economic classes, that differ very-little anyway. Iceland has laws that guarantee equality, including same-sex marriage and adoptions, religious freedom, and equal pay for both sexes. The beautiful country of rugged landscape and Northern Lights is definitely worth a visit. 

2. New Zealand - 1.269

ROTORUA, NZL - JAN 15 2015:Visitors at Rotorua Night market.Rotorua is a major travel destination in New Zealand. It is known for its geothermal activity and hot mud pools.
Visitors at Rotorua Night market, a major travel destination in New Zealand

New Zealand is the world's second-safest country, with a very low level of crime, ans nearly unheard-of violent crime. The risk of petty-theft, notorious everywhere, is minimal and most-likely in touristy areas. There are no deadly animals and no dangerous wildlife to fear like in the neighboring Australia, including box jellyfish, taipan snakes, stonefish, and funnel web spiders, among others.

 People are walkin along the historic tree walk and talking to each other at the Arrowtown Autumn Festival. Background are some trees and historic buildings.
 People are walking along the historic tree walk at the Arrowtown Autumn Festival in New Zealand

The beautiful nation with fantastic nature and friendly species is also home to open-minded New Zealanders, laws against hate speech, and freedom of speech and expression. Police does not carry personal firearms, and authorities watch-out for overall safety and well-being of locals and tourists. 

3. Ireland - 1.288

Fishing boats inside the port of Cobh. A city with colorful houses in Ireland.
Fishing boats inside the port of Cobh, a city with colorful houses in Ireland

Ireland attained peace this year by rising in ranks from 11th to third according to the Global Peace Index for 2022. The country of leprechauns has notably-low crime, with only a handful of cities' neighborhoods to avoid at night, and few pickpockets and scammers in tourist-dense areas. It is ranked most-safe from a threat of cultural violence ranging from low-key to terrorism. The welcoming people love sharing a pub table over a beer to hear more about the other's way of life.

People walking by famous Irish pub , THE TEMPLE BAR
People walking by famous Irish pub , The Temple Bar

The most dangerous places in Ireland are roads and landscapes that lead to cliffs over the breath-taking views over the ocean. Drivers should keep their eyes glued to the winding roads especially since Ireland is at high risk of sudden rainstorms, which could lead to getting stranded in areas with no cell reception.

4. Denmark - 1.296

People enjoy sunny weather in Nyhavn district of Copenhagen, Denmark
People enjoy the sunny weather in the Nyhavn district of Copenhagen, Denmark

The safe and happy Denmark ranks fourth on the Global Peace Index for 2022. It is one of the few countries where people report feeling safe day and night, including children. Denmark is known for collective views with high value for equality, strong sense of common responsibility, and social welfare ensuring happiness and safety for all.

People riding bikes in Copenhagen
People riding bikes in Copenhagen

Danes pride themselves in honesty and trustworthiness including transparent politics and business, void of corruption. There is minimal class-distinction and high personal income tax that gives equal services-access to lead comfortable and prospering lives. Residents enjoy tuition-free higher education and healthcare with no hidden costs, while the elderly get company of government provided home helpers.  

5. Austria - 1.300

Innsbruck town center with lots of people and street cafes decorated for Easter holidays with big Easter eggs, Innsbruck, Tyrol, Austria
Innsbruck town center with lots of people and street cafes decorated for Easter holidays in Tyrol, Austria

Austria faced some violent demonstrations in the wake of ongoing social unrest, but it still ranks fifth on this list. As far as safety goes, tourists should avoid joining demonstrations, and stay away from areas with large protests. 

Apres ski on the slopes of winter resort Mayrhofen, Zillertal valley, Austria.
Apres ski on the slopes of winter resort Mayrhofen, Zillertal valley, Austria

Otherwise, with no particularly unsafe neighbourhoods and streets lined with beautiful buildings, it is imperative to wander through the cities for all architectural sights. There have been no acts of terrorism, rare crimes, especially serious, and the usual caveat of pickpockets and purse-snatchers is no worse than in any other country.

6. Portugal - 1.301

View to Porto Old Town during sunset. The riverside is full of nice restaurants to have a small break and enjoy the romantic sunset.
View to Porto Old Town during sunset. The riverside is full of nice restaurants to have a small break and enjoy the romantic sunset.

Portugal is only slightly "more dangerous" than Austria by 0.001. It made an impressive stride from the 18th place in 2014 to the current sixth-spot. There have been significant actions taken to achieve this spot, like increasing the number of armed police.

Street cafe with tables outside and people sitting and having food, Lisbon, Portugal
A street cafe in Lisbon, Portugal

Portugal’s recent economic resurgence dropped the unemployment rate from over 17% to under 7%. The safe country is a natural paradise, along with many cultures, nice local communities, and beautiful weather. It consistently ranks amongst the best to retire, for most of all, the high feeling of safety.

7. Slovenia - 1.316

Food festival called Odprta Kuhna that lasts every Friday from mid-March to October. This festival is very popular among tourist and slovenian people.
The Odprta Kuhna food festival in Slovenia; it happens every Friday from mid-March to October. This festival is very popular among tourists and slovenian people.

In the years following Yugoslavia’s break-up, Slovenia strived to successfully emerge as a highly-ranking safe country. The sovereign Slavic state has had a democratic government since the mid-1990, and has become the face of stability and high quality of life for its residents in many areas.

 river Ljubljanica, Triple Bridge (Tromostovje), Preseren square and Franciscan Church of the Annunciation; Ljubljana, Slovenia, Europe.
 Preseren square and Franciscan Church of the Annunciation; Ljubljana, Slovenia

It then focused on safety and sustainability, now boasting near-excellent scores in travel security, medical risks, and road safety. Slovenia is one of the most underrated countries in the world, ready to share its one-of-a-kind culture, history, and sights with travelers. 

8. Czech Republic - 1.318

Astronomical Clock at Staromestske namesti (historic square in the Old Town) Christmas market
Astronomical Clock at Staromestske namesti (historic square in the Old Town) Christmas market in Prague

The Czech Republic recently diminished crime rates, particularly the violent kind for an eighth place on this list. Another insignificant drop from the spot above, the inland country is safe from all kinds of natural disasters, and has historically-low incidents of terrorism. 

A street in Prague
A street in Prague

Czech Republic is known as the more westernized country of the states that once formed Czechoslovakia. It boasts highly professional services, especially with clean and efficient hospitals far ahead of those within its former sister-country Slovakia. Czechs enjoy access to a state-run health insurance system with affordable rates and nearly world-wide coverage.  

9. Singapore - 1.326

crowd of people walking on zebra crossing and traffic jam on Cross street in singapore.
A crowd of people walking on zebra crossing on Cross street in Singapore

Currently the ninth country on the GPI ranking for 2022, Singaporeans also reported the highest sense of personal security and positive experiences with law enforcement in 2018, than residents of any other country. It has one of the world's lowest crime rates and rare violent and confrontational crimes. Those who challenge the law by committing even the smallest crimes, face severe penalties. 

: Many People enjoying and playing at Marina Barrage. Marina Barrage is the water-supply place of Singapore and is the park for outdoor activities of Singapore people
People enjoying the sunlight at Marina Barrage

According to the Safe Cities Index from the Economist Intelligence Unit, Singapore city-state ranks second-safest city in the world. In 2019, the country was top-ranked for infrastructure security and personal security, runner-up in digital security, and eighth for health. There is also strict control over guns and firearms.

10. Japan - 1.336

Osaka Castle and full cherry blossom, with Fuji mountain background, Japan
Osaka Castle and full cherry blossom, with Fuji mountain background, Japan

Japan did comes in tenth this year, after having secured a spot within top ten countries in the Global Peace Index for 14 years in a row. It persistently ranks high in low violence, including crime rates, minimal internal conflict and political unrest. Japan's peaceful residents have not been affected by the unrest in the neighboring countries of China and North Korea.

Tokyo, Japan view of Shibuya Crossing, one of the busiest crosswalks in the world.
Tokyo, Japan view of Shibuya Crossing, one of the busiest crosswalks in the world

Japan's limited immigration impedes personal freedom according to GPI standards, but limited access to firearms bids the country well in safety ratings. The Economist Intelligence Unit ranked Tokyo as the safest city in the world in 2019 for cybersecurity, as well as second for health, and fourth in infrastructure and personal securities.

11. Switzerland - 1.357

 People are strolling on the Marktplatz in front of the red town hall in Basel, Switzerland
 People strolling on the Marktplatz in front of the red town hall in Basel, Switzerland

The rich country did not make top 10-safest countries in 2022, and dropped four places from last year's seventh spot. Switzerland is known as one of the most expensive countries for living and tourism, with one of the world’s strongest passports. It is not part of the European Union and has its own currency but the Swiss enjoy the rights to live, work, study, and retire anywhere in the EU or EEA (European Economic Area).

Romantic couple at sunrise, from lake Stellisee, Swiss Alps , Matterhorn Peak, Zermatt,
A couple enjoying the sunrise, from lake Stellisee in the Swiss Alps

Switzerland features low crime rate, stable economy, and democratic government, and has been war-free since 1815, which is not the case with most other European countries. The neutral country still aligned with NATO following start of the Russian-Ukrainian war by adopting sanctions against Russia, and ranks among the highest for gun ownership. Strict regulations on firearms keep the country safe rather than sorry, with extremely-low rate of gun-related violence. 

12. Canada - 1.389

People gathering at downtown Montreal watching the Canada Day Parade
People gathering at downtown Montreal watching the Canada Day Parade

Canada has a national policy of multiculturalism since 1971 that honors and protects diversity within the immense state. Nevertheless, there are innate and ongoing challenges related to indigenous people, and historical differences in the predominantly-French Quebec. Although the constitution guarantees province-wide cultural and linguistic autonomy, their timely movements for complete independence, is contested by the country. Canada stands strong for world peace as a member of NATO, the Commonwealth of Nations, and the UN, with many joint peace-keeping missions worldwide.

A group of friends enjoy a hike
A group of friends enjoy a hike in Canada

The expansive country is void of crimes stemming out of overcrowding, and celebrates a growing population with tons of job vacancies. It is economically-stable, with parliamentary democracy, high standard of living, and great products-range and availability at decent prices, as theUS' largest trading partner. Many work well-paying tech jobs for a high overall GDP. Canada's dry climate makes even freezing temperatures bearable, but summers can get extremely hot. A found wallet will likely be returned to the nearest service, although vehicles should never be left unlocked.

13. Hungary - 1.411

 Many people spend their holidays skating in City Park ice rink in Budapest, Hungary
 Poeple ice skating in City Park ice rink in Budapest, Hungary

The sensible country puts the safety of residents and tourists first and foremost; it has gained two spots since last year on the GPI ranking. Petty crimes like pick-pocketing in Budapest, tricks played by restaurants and taxi-drivers on obliviously-rich tourists are illegal and should be reported. One's life can only be endangered with a spiked drink. Some of the world's greatest movie stars report feeling incredibly safe while filming on location, including Harrison Ford, Angelina Jolie, and Tom Hanks describing it a "totally safe city even at night."

People dancing in the street during a food festival in Budapest (Hungary). June 2017.
People dancing in the street during a food festival in Budapest (Hungary)

Regular female tourists also report feeling totally safe traveling alone. Hungary boasts low crime rate, and especially low drug-related crimes compared to many other European countries. Hungary is also one of the lowest-risk countries for natural disasters, while carrying a firearm is subject to strict authorization. In regards to the war in Ukraine, and many fleeing through Hungary, "The Hungarian Government is doing its utmost to avoid involvement." 

14. Finland - 1.439

Long table with lots of people eating and drinking together. The Day of City Celebration in centre of Helsinki. Finnish your dinner under the sky.
Long table with lots of people eating and drinking together in the centre of Helsinki

Finland's tiny population of 5.54 million makes it difficult to find crime-minded individuals. It is a safe country with largest sub-sectors specializing in information security products and services, guard services, and structural security products. There is also emerging security in logistics, home, environment, infrastructure, as well as drones in guard services and for fire protection.

People Walking On Kluuvikatu Street In Winter Sunny Day. Street Decorated For Christmas And New Year Holidays
People Walking On Kluuvikatu Street on a sunny winter day

Finland boasts an overall low crime rate, but has a new crime-phenomenon involving drones, and rising cybercrime. Cases of online fraud, identity theft, and "sexploitation" of children are increasingly concerning, but have the attention of the authorities. There is also recent priority in privatizing security resources with cut-backs to public funding in law enforcement resources, and outsourcing safety and security related services. Overall, residents report high quality and enjoyment of life.

15. Croatia - 1.440

People shopping in Zagreb, Croatia
People shopping in Zagreb, Croatia

One of the safest countries in the world ranks last of 15 out of 163, according to the Global Peace Index. Croatia isn’t involved in conflicts with other countries and does not seek them out, while attackers simply overlook the small country, with minimal role in global politics. There is a very low risk of gun violence in Croatia, but increase in poverty and more stealing, especially with bikes. People report feeling safe to free-walk without stress or fear at night. Croatian culture andstrong sense community responsibility makes even cities feel like a one, big neighborhood. Kids play outside without parental supervision, and public transport is safe for teens to take alone.

International cycling race Tour of Croatia 2016. - Stage 6. People on Saint Mark's square.
International cycling race Tour of Croatia 2016. - Stage 6. People on Saint Mark's square.

There is some road-safety to watch-out for like ignorant drivers, and absence of cycling paths that may pose difficulty for bikers. Compared to other European countries, Croatia’s knives and firearms crimes are insignificant, along with low numbers of reported cases of sexual assaults and rape, and very rare murders. In March 2020, Zagreb faced a 5,5-Richter scale earthquake, with great damages, and another chaotic 6,2-Richter scale earthquake hit Petrinja in December. The latter was felt by over 10 surrounding countries, while some residents reportedly still live in containers, due to slow reconstruction by the government.

Life satisfaction, political stability, and equality have more effects on safety than wealth and development. According to the Global Peace Ranking for 2022, the United States has been dropping in ranks since 2016, for 129th spot today. Some surprising appearances among top-fifty safest countries include Qatar (23), Ghana (40), and Sierra Leon (50) which is one of the worst countries for women out of 170. North Korea is 152nd, Ukraine is 153rd, Russia is 160th, and Afghanistan places last as 163rd.

Rank Country GPI Score Change
1 Iceland 1.107 None
2 New Zealand 1.269 None
3 Ireland 1.288 +3
4 Denmark 1.296 -1
5 Austria 1.300 +2
6 Portugal 1.301 -1
7 Slovenia 1.316 -3
8 Czech Republic 1.318 +1
9 Singapore 1.326 +1
10 Japan 1.336 +1
11 Switzerland 1.357 +1
12 Canada 1.389 -4
13 Hungary 1.411 +2
14 Finland 1.439 -1
15 Croatia 1.440 -1
16 Germany 1.462 +3
17 Norway 1.465 None
18 Malaysia 1.471 +4
19 Bhutan 1.481 -3
20 Slovakia 1.499 +5
21 Netherlands 1.522 +2
22 Belgium 1.526 +2
23 Qatar 1.533 +6
24 Bulgaria 1.541 +3
25 Poland 1.552 -4
26 Sweden 1.564 -6
27 Australia 1.565 -9
28 Mauritius 1.570 +2
29 Spain 1.603 +3
30 Taiwan 1.618 +3
31 Romania 1.640 -5
32 Italy 1.643 +2
33 Estonia 1.662 -5
34 United Kingdom 1.667 +2
35 Latvia 1.673 -4
36 North Macedonia 1.704 +1
37 Lithuania 1.724 -2
38 Costa Rica 1.732 +1
39 Kuwait 1.739 -1
40 Ghana 1.759 +1
41 Albania 1.761 +3
42 Mongolia 1.775 -2
43 South Korea 1.779 +8
44 Vietnam 1.786 +6
45 Gambia 1.792 +10
46 Uruguay 1.795 -4
47 Indonesia 1.800 -2
48 Botswana 1.801 -5
49 Montenegro 1.801 None
50 Sierra Leone 1.803 +2
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