Safest Cities in the World in 2023
Are you looking to move to a new city and want to make sure it’s safe? Look no further than the safest cities list below.
The Safe Cities Index, published by The Economist Intelligence Unit is a report that ranks 60 cities based on 76 indicators related to environmental, personal, and digital security.
As with most reports where the quality of life and safety are measured, Scandinavian cities again find themselves a place in the Top 10, while Australia stands out with two cities.
Let’s dive into the top 10 safest cities and also explore the bottom of the list to see the most dangerous cities to avoid.
World’s Safest Cities: Top 10
Stockholm is one of the safest cities in the world, which is dependent on several factors, the first being well-policed. But you won’t see an officer on every corner, but if the need for a police presence arises, officers always seem to respond quickly. The second factor is the well-lit streets. As Stockholm is a very dark city in the winter, significant investments have been made to ensure that streets are well-lit, that lights are properly maintained and cared for, and that residents rarely have to walk down a dark or poorly lit street. Also, the transportation system is good and well-regulated. Pickpocketing and other small-time crimes are relatively uncommon but always dealt with effectively when they are reported.
Overall Score: 78
#9 Hong Kong
Hong Kong is a developed economy with very low crime rates throughout the city. It has a long history of embracing expats and foreign workers as part of its rich cultural heritage. That is not to say that crime does not occur. Thefts, assaults, and burglaries occur in the same way that they do in any other city, and organized crime is an issue in the city. However, crime rates are comparatively low and decreasing. Many Hong Kongers state that they feel safe walking around alone at night. The transportation system is also open until late and some mini-busses will run at night as well.
Overall Score: 78.6
Melbourne is the capital of Victoria and Australia’s second-largest city. It is a city with numerous museums and art galleries, earning it the moniker “Australia’s Cultural Capital.” Melburnians are known for their friendliness, helpfulness, and desire to have a good time. In general, Melbourne’s public transportation is safe, but the stations on the city’s outskirts can feel unsafe due to their emptiness. The City of Melbourne has a number of strategies and plans in place to keep its residents safe. Tourists also say that they feel safe and welcomed in the city but they’re still recommended to stay in areas where security cameras are installed.
Overall Score: 78.6
New Zealand is regarded as one of the safest countries in the world, and Wellington is one of the safest cities in the world. Tourists visiting the area should not be concerned about street crime. Of course, it is critical to maintain common sense precautions in terms of self-protection, as anything can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time. However, the chances of becoming a victim of a crime in Wellington are slim to none. Taxis are generally safe to hail at any time of day or night (though larger cab companies are preferable), and it is safe to walk around Wellington.
Overall Score: 79
Amsterdam is one of Europe’s most famous cities, and as such, it is a popular tourist destination. People come from all over the world to see the sights, enjoy the nightlife, and perhaps indulge in some of the city’s unique vices. It is simple to get around the city, which has efficient public transportation, bike rentals, and numerous bicycle routes. Many locals speak English, in case you need help. There are numerous safe hotels and hostels that cater to visitors. With a few exceptions, most Amsterdam neighborhoods are safe for walking—even alone. The Red Light District is one place to avoid after dark. During the day, it attracts all types of people, but at night, it might be a bit dodgy.
Overall Score: 79.3
It is well known that Japan has one of the lowest overall crime rates in the world. The city of Tokyo is no exception. People routinely walk home alone very late at night without fear of physical harm because rough areas are few and far between. Respect for other people’s persons and possessions is an important part of Japanese culture. This means that if you leave your wallet on a park bench, your phone on the subway, or your purse in a store, you will most likely be able to get it untouched. Tokyo is very populated There aren’t many cities with that many people where it’s safe to walk around at night and take public transportation. However, as in any other large city, remaining vigilant is the key to staying safe.
Overall Score: 80
Sydney is one of the world’s safest and most livable cities, with a diverse and inclusive population of global citizens. Sydney, Australia’s financial and economic powerhouse, offers business and career opportunities in addition to its famous landmarks, natural beauty, and amazing restaurants. Australians are known for their friendliness, and you will always find a smile wherever you go. For the most part, you’ll feel safe and welcomed as you join the vibrant and multicultural communities that span social, religious, and cultural groups across Sydney. However, incidents do happen occasionally. The best way to stay safe in or around Sydney is to exercise constant vigilance and use caution while exploring the area.
Overall Score: 80.1
Singapore is a very secure and clean city. You can visit any part of Singapore on your own at any time of year, regardless of gender. Except for a small number of senior citizens, almost all Singaporeans speak English. Any local in the city can give you directions. Toilets, food restaurants, and shops are plentiful and immaculately clean. Taxis are inexpensive, and cab drivers are trustworthy because there are no hidden fees; what you see on the meter is what you pay, and you have the right to refuse to pay more than the displayed amount if the cab driver requests it. All these features add to Singapore’s safe and secure environment.
Overall Score: 80.7
Toronto is one of the most populous cities in North America, as well as the most populous city in Canada, although it isn’t the country’s capital. There are so many different races and cultures living in Toronto that the city is considered to be one of the most multicultural areas in the world, and Toronto has a lot more to boast about. Because the city is a hub for business, the arts, and finance, it’s no surprise that it’s one of the safest cities in the world. It’s true some pickpocketing cases have been recorded but still, they’re not as many as in different parts of the world. Using taxis and the public transit system when exploring the city is considered very safe.
Overall Score: 82.2
One of the main reasons for Copenhagen’s high safety ranking is its low crime rate. It’s a city with a first-class police force that is technically well-trained and equipped. Also, Denmark is a very liberal country where you can walk around freely, male, female, old, young, minority or not. A narrow wealth gap is also considered a major factor in Copenhagen’s safety. It is a city where the cleaning assistant and the CEO meet at the local supermarket and have their children in the same school. The narrow disparity between wealthy and non-wealthy citizens reflects trust among the Danish people. It is common to see members of the Royal Family riding their bikes to the public daycare center to drop off their children. All these factors create trust in society which helps constitute a safe environment.
Overall Score: 82.4
Safest Cities: Pillars and Indicators
Both quantitative and qualitative indicators are included in the Safe Cities Index 2021, secure internet servers and life expectancy at birth as quantitative indicators, and petty crime rates and privacy policies as qualitative indicators.
The index includes 76 indicators that are related to various facets of urban safety and covers 60 major cities worldwide. These are categorized into five main pillars:
- Digital Security
- Health Security
- Infrastructure Security
- Personal Security
- Environmental Security
Here’s how cities rank according to these pillars:
3. Hong Kong
1. Hong Kong
3. Washington DC
The 10 Most Dangerous Cities
Now that we’ve become familiar with the safest cities in the world, let’s take a close look at the dangerous ones. According to the index, the below cities aren’t safe at all.
10th Most Dangerous City: Mumbai
Mumbai is a large, populated city, so crime is prevalent there. Travelers should avoid riding alone in taxis or on public transportation during the evening hours as they are more likely to become victims. When you are in crowded, busy parts of the city, it is always a good idea to keep an eye on your possessions.
9th Most Dangerous City: Manila
Manila scores 52.5 points overall and is among the lowest scorers for personal security due to its moderately high levels of crime and the likelihood of natural disasters. Due to high rates of street crime, you should exercise common sense caution and pay extra attention when using public transportation.
8th Most Dangerous City: Baku
Muggings do occasionally happen after dark in Baku's center near the bars and clubs and close to the dimly lit entrances of private apartments. Visitors are recommended to be alert, avoid carrying a lot of cash, and avoid going for a nighttime walk alone.
7th Most Dangerous City: Kuwait City
As long as local laws and customs are followed, it is generally safe for tourists to visit. However, despite the fact that violence against foreigners is uncommon, Kuwait is ranked very high in the index for the threat of terrorism, military conflict, and civil unrest.
6th Most Dangerous City: Dhaka
Dhaka is one of the most dangerous cities because of its rapidly growing population, which makes it a high-risk area for air pollution and poses a significant risk to public health. Dhaka is also considered one of the most polluted cities in the world.
5th Most Dangerous City: Casablanca
With 48.2 points, Casablanca is ranked fifth. The absence of a sustainability master plan and poor waste management cause a low score for environmental security in particular. Since 2015, the overall crime rate has remained moderate, but travelers still should be cautious.
4th Most Dangerous City: Cairo
Cairo is well-known for its pyramids and ancient history, but the city's crime rate is unfortunately very high. less desirable. Cairo is a city with widespread petty crime, high levels of income inequality, and poor environmental security. The report notes that there is a high risk of terrorism in Cairo and nearby sites.
3rd Most Dangerous City: Caracas
Venezuela's capital, despite being a significant center for culture, commerce, and industry, is third on a list of the world's most dangerous cities due to a high rate of crime. The murder rate is very high in Caracas, with an estimated 53 murders per 100,000 residents.
2nd Most Dangerous City: Karachi
Even though Pakistan's security has recently improved, there are still significant problems with income inequality, sectarian violence, and terrorism. Kidnapping and attempted terrorist attacks are deemed to be very likely. The city's overall score is 39.7.
The Most Dangerous City: Yangon
When a coup occurred in February 2021 and the Myanmar military seized power, the situation in the country's capital reached a crisis point. The city scored just 39.5 out of a possible 100 points, making it the most dangerous in the world.
Safety Tips for Traveling Abroad
🌎 Research your destination and learn about the local customs and laws. Avoid breaking them. Example: no chewing gum in Singapore
📞 Share your itinerary with a friend or family member and keep in touch with them throughout your trip.
💳 Keep your valuables and important documents in a secure place, and carry only what you need for the day.
🏨 Choose a reputable accommodation and avoid staying in sketchy areas.
👀 Be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts if something doesn't feel right.
🚖 Use reputable transportation services and avoid traveling alone at night.
🍽️ Be cautious about what you eat and drink, and stick to bottled water.
💰 Avoid flashing your wealth or carrying large amounts of cash.
📵 Use a VPN on public Wi-Fi to protect your personal information.
🆘 Know the local emergency numbers and have a plan in case of an emergency.
🌞 Protect yourself from the sun and bugs by using sunscreen and insect repellent.
🙅♀️ Don't give in to scams, and be wary of anyone trying to sell you something that seems too good to be true.
Remember, these tips can help keep you safe while traveling, but there is no guarantee of 100% safety. Use your common sense and trust your instincts to stay safe and enjoy your trip!
World’s Safest Cities: The Bottom Line
While no city can guarantee complete safety, it’s always reassuring to know which places have a reputation for being secure. The cities that top this list can provide you with that peace of mind.
Remember, personal safety begins with being cautious and vigilant, no matter where you are.
If you enjoyed this article, make sure to check out our article on the Safest Countries in the World.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the number 1 safest city in the world?
Copenhagen is considered to be the safest place according to the index. High living standards, trust among the residents, being a walkable city, transport safety, and equal rights are some of the features that add to the urban safety outlook of the city.
Is Dubai among safe cities?
In the index, Dubai ranks 35th safest city with a score of 64.6, which is considered under average. Under the environmental security pillar, it ranks 56th which is very low. But under personal security and digital security, its rank is 25 and 24 respectively. Its health security score is 75.5 which makes it 13th in that category. Its infrastructure security ranking is 32.
Are Asian cities safe?
Asia is usually considered safe. Tokyo, Singapore, and Hong Kong find themselves places in the top 10. However, as you can see, Yangon in Myanmar is considered the most dangerous city in the world. So make sure to do research before you plan a trip.
Is San Francisco safe?
According to the index, San Francisco is the 15th safest city in the world. According to the digital security category, it's the fourth. Under the health security index, it's the 11th safest city. Infrastructure security wise it's the 18th and in the environmental security category, it's the 19th. But under the personal security pillar, it's the 30th.
What are some of the lesser known safety factors for cities?
For starters, a safe city should have proper crime prevention in place, particularly for violent crime. The overall smart city plan should allow for infrastructure safety in urban areas and ample transportation networks. It should allow for safe domestic and international travel. Some commonly underestimated safety issues have to do with. the health factors and the environmental factors. The air quality requires strict monitoring. Universal healthcare should be available and a cosmopolitan city should have sufficient medical facilities to ensure physical health, mental health, and pandemic preparedness.
Source: The Safe Cities Index 2021