Special Report

Safest Cities In The World

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The primary role of government is to provide security for its citizens. At the most basic level, this means offering protection from violence. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated, there are many potential threats to well-being and safety — beyond physical violence — that can often be mitigated through public policy. 

Transportation safety, cyber-security, access to health care, air and water quality, emergency services responsiveness, and exposure to terrorism and civil unrest are just some of many factors that impact the overall safety of a given population. According to the 2021 Safe Cities Index, a report recently published by The Economist, some cities are meeting these challenges and protecting their citizens far better than others. 

24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from the 2021 Safe Cities Index to identify the safest cities in the world. Cities were ranked based on an index of 76 measures that fall into one of five categories: digital security, health security, infrastructure security, personal security, and environmental security. Each of the 32 cities on this list has a higher overall safety score than the 66.1 out of 100 average among all 60 major cities reviewed in the report. 

The cities on this list are disproportionately concentrated in high-income countries with relatively little government corruption. The link between overall safety and wealth and government transparency is not straightforward, however. Rather than high income areas simply being able to afford greater security, experts argue that safe conditions and limited corruption are what have allowed economies in these areas to thrive. Here is a look at the richest countries in the world

All six American cities covered in the report have an above average overall safety score. However, none of the top 10 safest cities are in the United States. Here is a look at America’s 50 most dangerous cities.

Click here to see the safest cities in the world.
Click here to see our detailed methodology.

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32. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
> Overall safety score: 66.6 out-of 100
> Digital security score: 59.1 out-of 100
> Health security score: 64.0 out-of 100
> Infrastructure security score: 69.0 out-of 100
> Personal security score: 60.1 out-of 100
> Environmental security score: 81.0 out-of 100
> Total population: 8,210,745

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31. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
> Overall safety score: 66.9 out-of 100
> Digital security score: 66.8 out-of 100
> Health security score: 76.5 out-of 100
> Infrastructure security score: 77.3 out-of 100
> Personal security score: 67.0 out-of 100
> Environmental security score: 46.7 out-of 100
> Total population: 1,511,768

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30. Shanghai, China
> Overall safety score: 67.9 out-of 100
> Digital security score: 57.2 out-of 100
> Health security score: 73.6 out-of 100
> Infrastructure security score: 80.3 out-of 100
> Personal security score: 59.0 out-of 100
> Environmental security score: 69.3 out-of 100
> Total population: 27,795,702

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29. Rome, Italy
> Overall safety score: 69.4 out-of 100
> Digital security score: 60.1 out-of 100
> Health security score: 65.2 out-of 100
> Infrastructure security score: 74.5 out-of 100
> Personal security score: 69.4 out-of 100
> Environmental security score: 78.0 out-of 100
> Total population: 4,278,350

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28. Lisbon, Portugal
> Overall safety score: 70.1 out-of 100
> Digital security score: 64.3 out-of 100
> Health security score: 57.5 out-of 100
> Infrastructure security score: 77.4 out-of 100
> Personal security score: 76.9 out-of 100
> Environmental security score: 74.3 out-of 100
> Total population: 2,971,587

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27. Milan, Italy
> Overall safety score: 71.3 out-of 100
> Digital security score: 65.1 out-of 100
> Health security score: 61.3 out-of 100
> Infrastructure security score: 76.6 out-of 100
> Personal security score: 68.7 out-of 100
> Environmental security score: 84.9 out-of 100
> Total population: 3,144,473

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26. Brussels, Belgium
> Overall safety score: 73.6 out-of 100
> Digital security score: 68.5 out-of 100
> Health security score: 67.8 out-of 100
> Infrastructure security score: 82.3 out-of 100
> Personal security score: 79.2 out-of 100
> Environmental security score: 70.4 out-of 100
> Total population: 2,095,688

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25. Seoul, South Korea
> Overall safety score: 73.8 out-of 100
> Digital security score: 62.1 out-of 100
> Health security score: 81.1 out-of 100
> Infrastructure security score: 83.0 out-of 100
> Personal security score: 69.9 out-of 100
> Environmental security score: 72.9 out-of 100
> Total population: 9,967,677

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24. Taipei, China
> Overall safety score: 74.0 out-of 100
> Digital security score: 63.2 out-of 100
> Health security score: 73.5 out-of 100
> Infrastructure security score: 82.4 out-of 100
> Personal security score: 70.9 out-of 100
> Environmental security score: 80.3 out-of 100
> Total population: 2,731,208

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23. Paris, France
> Overall safety score: 74.3 out-of 100
> Digital security score: 69.4 out-of 100
> Health security score: 68.6 out-of 100
> Infrastructure security score: 82.6 out-of 100
> Personal security score: 79.0 out-of 100
> Environmental security score: 71.7 out-of 100
> Total population: 11,078,546

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22. Dallas, United States
> Overall safety score: 74.5 out-of 100
> Digital security score: 76.5 out-of 100
> Health security score: 74.6 out-of 100
> Infrastructure security score: 82.9 out-of 100
> Personal security score: 61.4 out-of 100
> Environmental security score: 77.2 out-of 100
> Total population: 1,347,120

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21. Madrid, Spain
> Overall safety score: 74.7 out-of 100
> Digital security score: 72.9 out-of 100
> Health security score: 67.0 out-of 100
> Infrastructure security score: 84.0 out-of 100
> Personal security score: 76.6 out-of 100
> Environmental security score: 73.1 out-of 100
> Total population: 6,668,865

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20. Chicago, United States
> Overall safety score: 75.0 out-of 100
> Digital security score: 76.7 out-of 100
> Health security score: 74.8 out-of 100
> Infrastructure security score: 84.5 out-of 100
> Personal security score: 64.9 out-of 100
> Environmental security score: 74.0 out-of 100
> Total population: 2,679,080

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19. Zurich, Switzerland
> Overall safety score: 76.3 out-of 100
> Digital security score: 74.8 out-of 100
> Health security score: 66.6 out-of 100
> Infrastructure security score: 84.2 out-of 100
> Personal security score: 73.4 out-of 100
> Environmental security score: 82.3 out-of 100
> Total population: 1,407,572

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18. Los Angeles, United States
> Overall safety score: 76.5 out-of 100
> Digital security score: 82.0 out-of 100
> Health security score: 74.8 out-of 100
> Infrastructure security score: 82.9 out-of 100
> Personal security score: 66.6 out-of 100
> Environmental security score: 76.3 out-of 100
> Total population: 3,983,540

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17. Osaka, Japan
> Overall safety score: 76.7 out-of 100
> Digital security score: 64.8 out-of 100
> Health security score: 81.8 out-of 100
> Infrastructure security score: 86.6 out-of 100
> Personal security score: 73.2 out-of 100
> Environmental security score: 77.0 out-of 100
> Total population: 19,110,616

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16. London, United Kingdom
> Overall safety score: 77.2 out-of 100
> Digital security score: 76.6 out-of 100
> Health security score: 78.8 out-of 100
> Infrastructure security score: 82.7 out-of 100
> Personal security score: 74.4 out-of 100
> Environmental security score: 73.7 out-of 100
> Total population: 9,425,622

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15. San Francisco, United States
> Overall safety score: 77.2 out-of 100
> Digital security score: 82.0 out-of 100
> Health security score: 77.3 out-of 100
> Infrastructure security score: 83.6 out-of 100
> Personal security score: 64.9 out-of 100
> Environmental security score: 78.3 out-of 100
> Total population: 883,255

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14. Washington, D.C., United States
> Overall safety score: 77.4 out-of 100
> Digital security score: 72.1 out-of 100
> Health security score: 74.0 out-of 100
> Infrastructure security score: 86.5 out-of 100
> Personal security score: 66.8 out-of 100
> Environmental security score: 87.6 out-of 100
> Total population: 714,153

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13. Frankfurt, Germany
> Overall safety score: 77.7 out-of 100
> Digital security score: 76.7 out-of 100
> Health security score: 72.3 out-of 100
> Infrastructure security score: 84.1 out-of 100
> Personal security score: 80.3 out-of 100
> Environmental security score: 74.9 out-of 100
> Total population: 784,780

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12. Barcelona, Spain
> Overall safety score: 77.8 out-of 100
> Digital security score: 72.9 out-of 100
> Health security score: 78.1 out-of 100
> Infrastructure security score: 83.7 out-of 100
> Personal security score: 75.8 out-of 100
> Environmental security score: 78.4 out-of 100
> Total population: 5,624,498

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11. New York, United States
> Overall safety score: 77.8 out-of 100
> Digital security score: 81.6 out-of 100
> Health security score: 75.2 out-of 100
> Infrastructure security score: 84.4 out-of 100
> Personal security score: 66.9 out-of 100
> Environmental security score: 80.9 out-of 100
> Total population: 8,230,290

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10. Stockholm, Sweden
> Overall safety score: 78.0 out-of 100
> Digital security score: 72.6 out-of 100
> Health security score: 66.5 out-of 100
> Infrastructure security score: 87.3 out-of 100
> Personal security score: 79.7 out-of 100
> Environmental security score: 83.7 out-of 100
> Total population: 1,656,571

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9. Hong Kong, China
> Overall safety score: 78.6 out-of 100
> Digital security score: 70.1 out-of 100
> Health security score: 84.0 out-of 100
> Infrastructure security score: 93.4 out-of 100
> Personal security score: 70.4 out-of 100
> Environmental security score: 74.8 out-of 100
> Total population: 7,598,189

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8. Melbourne, Australia
> Overall safety score: 78.6 out-of 100
> Digital security score: 78.3 out-of 100
> Health security score: 81.9 out-of 100
> Infrastructure security score: 84.0 out-of 100
> Personal security score: 73.0 out-of 100
> Environmental security score: 76.1 out-of 100
> Total population: 5,061,439

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7. Wellington, New Zealand
> Overall safety score: 79.0 out-of 100
> Digital security score: 77.3 out-of 100
> Health security score: 63.4 out-of 100
> Infrastructure security score: 84.2 out-of 100
> Personal security score: 78.3 out-of 100
> Environmental security score: 91.7 out-of 100
> Total population: 215,100

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6. Amsterdam, Netherlands
> Overall safety score: 79.3 out-of 100
> Digital security score: 79.3 out-of 100
> Health security score: 72.5 out-of 100
> Infrastructure security score: 83.5 out-of 100
> Personal security score: 80.5 out-of 100
> Environmental security score: 80.9 out-of 100
> Total population: 1,157,519

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5. Tokyo, Japan
> Overall safety score: 80.0 out-of 100
> Digital security score: 71.0 out-of 100
> Health security score: 87.7 out-of 100
> Infrastructure security score: 87.7 out-of 100
> Personal security score: 73.3 out-of 100
> Environmental security score: 80.6 out-of 100
> Total population: 37,339,804

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4. Sydney, Australia
> Overall safety score: 80.1 out-of 100
> Digital security score: 83.2 out-of 100
> Health security score: 77.7 out-of 100
> Infrastructure security score: 84.5 out-of 100
> Personal security score: 76.3 out-of 100
> Environmental security score: 79.0 out-of 100
> Total population: 4,991,654

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3. Singapore, Singapore
> Overall safety score: 80.7 out-of 100
> Digital security score: 82.8 out-of 100
> Health security score: 84.1 out-of 100
> Infrastructure security score: 92.1 out-of 100
> Personal security score: 74.5 out-of 100
> Environmental security score: 69.9 out-of 100
> Total population: 5,991,801

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2. Toronto, Canada
> Overall safety score: 82.2 out-of 100
> Digital security score: 75.0 out-of 100
> Health security score: 80.0 out-of 100
> Infrastructure security score: 88.6 out-of 100
> Personal security score: 77.2 out-of 100
> Environmental security score: 90.3 out-of 100
> Total population: 6,254,571

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1. Copenhagen, Denmark
> Overall safety score: 82.4 out-of 100
> Digital security score: 82.2 out-of 100
> Health security score: 70.0 out-of 100
> Infrastructure security score: 89.0 out-of 100
> Personal security score: 86.4 out-of 100
> Environmental security score: 84.5 out-of 100
> Total population: 1,358,608

Methodology

To determine the safest cities in the world, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from the 2021 Safe Cities Index of the Economist Intelligence Unit, sponsored by NEC Corporation, an information technology company. The report ranks 60 cities across 76 indicators covering digital security, health security, infrastructure security, environmental security, and personal security. Data on population came from the World Population Review, which is based on data from the World Urbanization Prospects of the United Nations. Data on population density is from the June 2021 edition of the World Urban Areas report from urban development website Demographia.

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