The Global Peace Index Score determines the safety of a country by looking at 23 factors. Some of these factors include the homicide rate, political terror, deaths caused by internal conflict as well as violent crimes. According to the ranking, the lower the value, the safer the place. By this measure, many of the safest countries in the world are in Europe with a few in Asia and elsewhere.

1. Iceland

Iceland has ranked as the world's safest country for the past 11 years. The small northern European country is home to about 300,000 people and has a score of only 1.096 on the Global Peace Index. Iceland reported a minuscule crime rate, with 1.8 murder cases per 100,000 persons in the last year. Iceland is a pleasant place to live, with equal opportunities provided in education, infrastructure, and health. There is gender equality with the first female president having been elected back in 1980. Iceland is notably so safe that the country does not have an army, air force or a navy. They have never engaged in war with another country and despite the huge number of civilians licensed to carry guns, no gun related crime has ever been reported.

2. New Zealand

New Zealand is ranked the second safest country in the world with a score of 1.192 on the Global Peace Index. While safety is a luxury in many parts of the world, New Zealanders enjoy a safe environment with marginal levels of crime. Personal violence, political violence, and inter-community strife are nearly unheard of. The country is also well-known for its low levels of corruption.

3. Austria

Austria is the world's third safest country with a measurement of 1.274 on the Global Peace Index. The number of serious crimes reported in Austria is comparatively low, aside from a small level of cyber crimes, bank fraud, and petty crimes such as pickpocketing.

4. Portugal

Portugal is the world's fourth safest county with a score of 1.318 on the Global Peace Index. Crime rates are very low and tend to be isolated to select crowded areas. Portugal is notable for having decriminalized all drugs in 2001.

5. Denmark

Denmark is the fifth safest county in the world according to this ranking system. The country is deemed a safe place except for a few threats from petty crimes such as pickpockets and ATM scams. The risk of mugging, terrorism, natural disaster, and gender-based abuse are low.

What Makes a Country Safe? 

There are a variety of factors that contribute to a country's safety rating. There is a clear correlation between low poverty rates and countries with low crime. Where there is less of an obvious income disparity, it is less likely that a population will turn to desperate measures. In addition, a solid network of social services and a non-corrupt government and police force also works to keep a country safe. 

The Safest Countries in the World

Rank´╗┐CountryGlobal Peace Index Score
1 Iceland1.096
2 New Zealand1.192
3 Austria1.274
4 Portugal1.318
5 Denmark1.353
6 Canada1.372
7 Czech Republic1.381
8 Singapore1.382
9 Japan1.391
10 Ireland1.393