Copenhagen iconic view of the old Nyhavn port during a summer sunny day.

Safest Cities in the World

The safest cities in the world are a balance of every necessary sense of security residents need to excel in what they do while living peacefully and not having to worry about external threats that hinder progress. This list is based on the world safety index, which ranks a total of 60 cities with a framework that reflects the dynamic nature of the urban safety landscape with a special focus on the pandemic impact and environmental security. The overall score analyzes personal, infrastructure, health, digital, and environmental security and combines to determine their ranking on a global scale of urban safety. Additionally, all the safest cities ranked on this list go side-to-side with the average income of residents and the top 29 are all in high-income countries.

10 Safest Cities in the World

1. Copenhagen

Aerial view of downtown Copenhagen, Denmark
Downtown Copenhagen, Denmark.

The capital and most populous city in Denmark, Copenhagen is reputed to be the happiest city in the world. Known for its canals, excellent food, and Tivoli Gardens, the city has many beautiful vibrant waterfront homes. The city enjoys one of the lowest crime rates, ranking 1st for personal security and 3rd for infrastructure. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Safe Cities Index of 2021, Copenhagen is the safest city in the world. The city is so safe that it is common to see members of the royal family riding bikes around the center.

2. Toronto

People enjoying beautiful sunny afternoon near lake Ontario in Toronto
Sunny afternoon near Lake Ontario in Toronto.

Nicknamed "The Six" in pop culture and modern slang, Toronto, Ontario, is often mistaken to be the capital of Canada and is one of the most diverse cities in the world, known to be home to over 200 ethnic groups, with over 140 languages spoken. The city has something for everyone, with many high-rise buildings. Some of the most popular destinations in Toronto include Nathan Philips Square, the CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium, and downtown’s expansive shopping center, Eaton Centre. The city ranks 2nd among the safest cities in the world and first in North America. Toronto gets its high rating for being 2nd in environmental security and 4th in infrastructure security. 

3. Singapore

Street view of Singapore with Masjid Sultan
Street view in Singapore.

Singapore is one of the fastest-growing cities in the southeast Area region and is also a country. The Republic of Singapore is a state city that gained its independence from Malaysia in 1965 and sits on one of the world's busiest shipping lanes along the Strait of Malacca. The city is known for its quick adoption of technology, the cleanliness of its streets, being a global financial center, and having a world-class city airport with a waterfall. Singapore is the 3rd safest city in the world, with a high score of 2nd place in each health, digital and personal security. 

4. Sydney

Downtown Sydney skyline in Australia at twilight
Downtown Sydney skyline.

Sydney is the largest city in Australia by population, neck-and-neck with Melbourne by a few hundred thousand, and boasts incredible architecture and breathtaking beaches. Some of its most popular landmarks include the Sydney Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, and The Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. The city ranks 4th on the list of the world’s safest cities, priding itself on 1st place in digital security and holding a tie with Chicago at 9th for the best infrastructure.

5. Tokyo

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

Tokyo, the capital of Japan, is the ultimate destination for anyone who wants to experience a city that offers a completely unique lifestyle to any other city. Tokyo features everything from historic shrines to temples and performing arts such as Noh, Kabuki, and Rakugo. The city boasts bustling metropolitan aesthetics and skyscraping buildings embellished with flashy designs and lights. While the city ranks 5th among the safest cities in the world, it is the 2nd safest city in Asia, right after Singapore. Tokyo makes a list for scoring 5th in infrastructure and 1st in understanding Covid-19 health security.

6. Amsterdam

Amsterdam Netherlands dancing houses over river Amstel landmark in old european city spring landscape.
Waterfront homes in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Amsterdam is the world’s go-to destination for a European vacation, and there is more than one good reason. Amsterdam is home to vibrant waterfront architecture on the Prinsengracht Canal and boasts artistic heritage and beautiful green landscapes. The city ranks 6th on the list of the world’s safest cities, 2nd for the best personal city for personal security, and 7th in digital security. Amsterdam has a police force known for its proactive approach to community policing and crime prevention, working closely with local organizations and residents to ensure public safety.

7. Wellington

View of the Wellington, New Zealand Cable Car.
Wellington, New Zealand Cable Car.

The capital of New Zealand and home to many cultural attractions and artistic, creative energy. Wellington is world-renowned for its beautiful nature, low pollution, and picturesque scenery. Wellington, New Zealand, ranks 7th among the world’s safest cities and leads with 1st place in its environmental security. Wellington has many creative industries and booming economic sectors, including fintech, engineering, and construction.

8. Hong Kong

Tsim Sha Tsui street is a very popular shopping place in Hong Kong.
Tsim Sha Tsui street, Hong Kong. Image credit TungCheung via Shutterstock

Hong Kong is world-renowned for its fast-paced developing rate and is a hub for opportunity as it is still a gateway to China. Hong Kong is also famous for the quality of its nightlife and is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. However, it ranks 8th on the list of the world’s safest cities for leading 3rd with its understanding of the Covid-19 health pandemic and 1st in infrastructure security.

9. Melbourne

Melbourne downtown with people walking along the water
Melbourne, Australia downtown.

The capital of Australia’s Victoria State, Melbourne, is the world’s sports capital, with over 1,000 cricket local cricket clubs and over 100,000 registered cricketers in the city. Some of Melbourne's most popular tourist attractions include the State Library of Victoria, Melbourne Skydeck, and the Royal Botanic Gardens. The city’s high rank among the safest cities in the world is thanks to its high score on Covid-19 understanding of health and security, scoring 4th after Hongkong and 8th in digital security.

10. Stockholm

Scenic summer aerial panorama of the Old Town (Gamla Stan) pier architecture in Stockholm, Sweden
The Old Town in Stockholm, Sweden.

Stockholm, Sweden, is a major hub for business enterprises and is Sweden’s capital city and the largest city in the Nordic region. The city, with a rich culture and sophisticated architectural designs, ranks as the 10th safest city in the world and the 3rd in Europe. Stockholm ranks 6th for infrastructure security while dominating 4th place for one of the best places for personal security.

Determining the safest cities in the world involves analyzing many factors, from the economic state and wealth to how the local governments responded to the Covid-19 pandemic. Some cities, like Toronto, which ranked the 2nd safest city in the world, still have high crime rates, with 28,000 occurrences in Toronto in 2022, which is an 18.9% increase. Therefore, all factors must be accounted for when deciding what a safe city is for you.  With these overall rankings, you can further research each city and find the next place to call home or to travel on your next adventure.

60 Safest Cities in the World

Rank City Overall Safety Rating *
1 Copenhagen 82.4
2 Toronto 82.2
3 Singapore 80.7
4 Sydney 80.1
5 Tokyo 80
6 Amsterdam 79.3
7 Wellington 79
8 Hong Kong 78.6
9 Melbourne 78.6
10 Stockholm 78
11 Barcelona 77.8
12 New York 77.8
13 Frankfurt 77.7
14 Washington, DC 77.4
15 London 77.2
16 San Francisco 77.2
17 Osaka 76.7
18 Los Angeles 76.5
19 Zurich 76.3
20 Chicago 75
21 Madrid 74.7
22 Dallas 74.5
23 Paris 74.3
24 Taipei 74
25 Seoul 73.8
26 Brussels 73.6
27 Milan 71.3
28 Lisbon 70.1
29 Rome 69.4
30 Shanghai 67.9
31 Abu Dhabi 66.9
32 Kuala Lumpur 66.6
33 Santiago 65.3
34 Buenos Aires 64.9
35 Dubai 64.6
36 Beijing 63.8
37 Istanbul 62.9
38 Moscow 62.5
39 Rio de Janeiro 61.8
40 Sao Paulo 61.7
41 Bogota 60.8
42 Mexico City 60.3
43 Bangkok 60.2
44 Quito 58.8
45 Ho Chi Minh City 58.5
46 Jakarta 56.4
47 Johannesburg 56.2
48 New Delhi 56.1
49 Riyadh 55.1
50 Mumbai 54.4
51 Manila 52.5
52 Baku 49.8
53 Kuwait City 49.4
54 Dhaka 48.9
55 Casablanca 48.2
56 Lagos 45
57 Cairo 43.7
58 Caracas 40.5
59 Karachi 39.7
60 Yangon 39.5

*Source: The Economist (Safe Cities Index 2021)

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