Special Report

This Is the World's Most Dangerous City

hadynyah / E+ via Getty Images

What goes into an evaluation of whether or not a city is safe? Crime? Personal liberty? Dangerously dirty air? Bad weather brought on by climate change? The Economist Intelligence Unit released its biennial Safe Cities Index, which attempts to answer the question. According to the index, the world’s most dangerous city is Yangon, the largest city in Myanmar.

The Economist study looks at five factors of security: digital security, health security, infrastructure security, personal security, and environmental security. Each of these is broken into more specific indicators, a total of 76, all factored into the score. Each metric is measured across 60 cities, with a total possible high score of 100, with 100 being best health, or safest. Cities are categorized as very high (75.1 to 100), high (50.1 to 75), medium (25.1 to 50), and low (0 to 25).

Among the broad factors that affect the ranking is the rise of COVID-19 globally and its presence in the world’s largest cities. In the report, Fang Zhao, professor of innovation and strategy at Staffordshire Business School, explains, “covid-19 has changed the whole concept of urban safety.”

The report is sponsored by the NEC Corporation, which has an unusually visible presence in the EIU study.

The safest cities in the world are in highly developed nations, including Australia, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Korea, Spain, and the United States. Many of these countries are among the countries where people have the highest average net incomes.

The top-rated city, at 82.4, is Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, followed by Toronto (82.2), Singapore (80.7), Sydney (80.1), Tokyo (80.0), Amsterdam (79.3), and New Zealand’s capital of Wellington (79.0). The top-rated U.S. city is New York (77.8).

All the cities with the lowest ratings are in developing or emerging nations. The city with the worst rating is Yangon, the largest city in Myanmar, at 39.5. The city is known for its aging infrastructure and poverty. It has a population of about 5.2 million people. The health care system is also considered substandard.

Joining Yangon at the bottom of the list are Karachi (the capital of Pakistan and one of the largest cities in the world) with a score of 39.7, Caracas (the capital of Venezuela) at 40.5, and Cairo at 43.7. Some of these are also among the 50 most densely populated cities in the world.

Click here to see the world’s most dangerous city

Source: tifonimages / Getty Images

28. Santiago, Chile
> Overall score: 65.3
> Digital security score: 64.2 — 29th highest out of 60 cities
> Health security score: 66.5 — 26th lowest out of 60 cities(tied)
> Infrastructure security score: 70.8 — 25th lowest out of 60 cities
> Personal security score: 70.7 — 20th highest out of 60 cities
> Environmental security score: 54.3 — 11th lowest out of 60 cities

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Source: AdonisVillanueva / Getty Images

27. Buenos Aires, Argentina
> Overall score: 64.9
> Digital security score: 60.0 — 28th lowest out of 60 cities
> Health security score: 67.4 — 29th lowest out of 60 cities
> Infrastructure security score: 62.6 — 19th lowest out of 60 cities
> Personal security score: 55.9 — 22nd lowest out of 60 cities
> Environmental security score: 78.8 — 17th highest out of 60 cities

Source: Delpixart / iStock via Getty Images

26. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
> Overall score: 64.6
> Digital security score: 66.8 — 24th highest out of 60 cities(tied)
> Health security score: 75.5 — 13th highest out of 60 cities
> Infrastructure security score: 76.0 — 29th lowest out of 60 cities
> Personal security score: 67 — 25th highest out of 60 cities(tied)
> Environmental security score: 37.7 — 5th lowest out of 60 cities

Source: Daniel Case / Wikimedia Commons

25. Beijing, China
> Overall score: 63.8
> Digital security score: 52.2 — 16th lowest out of 60 cities
> Health security score: 73.6 — 19th highest out of 60 cities(tied)
> Infrastructure security score: 76.5 — 30th lowest out of 60 cities
> Personal security score: 59.5 — 27th lowest out of 60 cities
> Environmental security score: 57.0 — 13th lowest out of 60 cities

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Source: damircudic / Getty Images

24. Istanbul, Turkey
> Overall score: 62.9
> Digital security score: 58.7 — 25th lowest out of 60 cities
> Health security score: 71.9 — 25th highest out of 60 cities
> Infrastructure security score: 72.1 — 26th lowest out of 60 cities
> Personal security score: 48.8 — 13th lowest out of 60 cities
> Environmental security score: 62.8 — 17th lowest out of 60 cities

23. Moscow, Russia
> Overall score: 62.5
> Digital security score: 59.4 — 27th lowest out of 60 cities
> Health security score: 68.6 — 28th highest out of 60 cities(tied)
> Infrastructure security score: 74.2 — 27th lowest out of 60 cities
> Personal security score: 49.9 — 14th lowest out of 60 cities
> Environmental security score: 60.5 — 16th lowest out of 60 cities

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Source: marchello74 / Getty Images

22. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
> Overall score: 61.8
> Digital security score: 53.8 — 22nd lowest out of 60 cities
> Health security score: 50.7 — 8th lowest out of 60 cities
> Infrastructure security score: 62.9 — 20th lowest out of 60 cities
> Personal security score: 58.4 — 25th lowest out of 60 cities
> Environmental security score: 83.3 — 8th highest out of 60 cities

21. Sao Paulo, Brazil
> Overall score: 61.7
> Digital security score: 53.8 — 22nd lowest out of 60 cities
> Health security score: 57.7 — 13th lowest out of 60 cities
> Infrastructure security score: 66.5 — 23rd lowest out of 60 cities
> Personal security score: 53.9 — 21st lowest out of 60 cities
> Environmental security score: 76.7 — 23rd highest out of 60 cities

20. Bogota, Columbia
> Overall score: 60.8
> Digital security score: 51.6 — 15th lowest out of 60 cities
> Health security score: 59.0 — 16th lowest out of 60 cities
> Infrastructure security score: 57.0 — 12th lowest out of 60 cities
> Personal security score: 50.9 — 16th lowest out of 60 cities(tied)
> Environmental security score: 85.5 — 4th highest out of 60 cities

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Source: ferrantraite / Getty Images

19. Mexico City, Mexico
> Overall score: 60.3
> Digital security score: 57.2 — 24th lowest out of 60 cities(tied)
> Health security score: 57.4 — 11th lowest out of 60 cities
> Infrastructure security score: 62.1 — 18th lowest out of 60 cities
> Personal security score: 52.5 — 19th lowest out of 60 cities
> Environmental security score: 72.1 — 27th lowest out of 60 cities

Source: thitivong / Getty Images

18. Bangkok, Thailand
> Overall score: 60.2
> Digital security score: 52.7 — 17th lowest out of 60 cities
> Health security score: 73.1 — 22nd highest out of 60 cities
> Infrastructure security score: 65.7 — 22nd lowest out of 60 cities
> Personal security score: 46.4 — 6th lowest out of 60 cities(tied)
> Environmental security score: 62.9 — 18th lowest out of 60 cities

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Source: DC_Colombia / Getty Images

17. Quito, Ecuador
> Overall score: 58.8
> Digital security score: 45.7 — 9th lowest out of 60 cities
> Health security score: 58.3 — 14th lowest out of 60 cities
> Infrastructure security score: 59.1 — 15th lowest out of 60 cities
> Personal security score: 50.9 — 16th lowest out of 60 cities(tied)
> Environmental security score: 80.1 — 15th highest out of 60 cities

Source: Diversity Studio / iStock via Getty Images

16. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
> Overall score: 58.5
> Digital security score: 46.2 — 10th lowest out of 60 cities
> Health security score: 63.9 — 22nd lowest out of 60 cities
> Infrastructure security score: 59.5 — 16th lowest out of 60 cities
> Personal security score: 56.5 — 23rd lowest out of 60 cities
> Environmental security score: 66.4 — 21st lowest out of 60 cities

Source: nala_rinaldo / Getty Images

15. Jakarta, Indonesia
> Overall score: 56.4
> Digital security score: 38.0 — 3rd lowest out of 60 cities
> Health security score: 58.9 — 15th lowest out of 60 cities
> Infrastructure security score: 63.7 — 21st lowest out of 60 cities
> Personal security score: 47.6 — 9th lowest out of 60 cities
> Environmental security score: 73.8 — 30th highest out of 60 cities

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Source: THEGIFT777 / E+ via Getty Images

14. Johannesburg, South Africa
> Overall score: 56.2
> Digital security score: 53.1 — 19th lowest out of 60 cities(tied)
> Health security score: 61.0 — 18th lowest out of 60 cities
> Infrastructure security score: 49.8 — 7th lowest out of 60 cities
> Personal security score: 51.7 — 17th lowest out of 60 cities
> Environmental security score: 65.6 — 19th lowest out of 60 cities

Source: hadynyah / E+ via Getty Images

13. New Delhi, India
> Overall score: 56.1
> Digital security score: 47.5 — 13th lowest out of 60 cities
> Health security score: 63.6 — 21st lowest out of 60 cities
> Infrastructure security score: 59.8 — 17th lowest out of 60 cities
> Personal security score: 52.8 — 20th lowest out of 60 cities
> Environmental security score: 56.8 — 12th lowest out of 60 cities

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Source: HansMusa / iStock via Getty Images

12. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
> Overall score: 55.1
> Digital security score: 53.1 — 19th lowest out of 60 cities(tied)
> Health security score: 68.6 — 28th highest out of 60 cities(tied)
> Infrastructure security score: 55.2 — 11th lowest out of 60 cities
> Personal security score: 51.8 — 18th lowest out of 60 cities
> Environmental security score: 46.7 — 10th lowest out of 60 cities(tied)

Source: Alenka00 / Getty Images

11. Mumbai, India
> Overall score: 54.4
> Digital security score: 45.4 — 8th lowest out of 60 cities
> Health security score: 60.8 — 17th lowest out of 60 cities
> Infrastructure security score: 57.3 — 13th lowest out of 60 cities
> Personal security score: 48.2 — 11th lowest out of 60 cities
> Environmental security score: 60.1 — 15th lowest out of 60 cities

Source: fazon1 / Getty Images

10. Manila, Philippines
> Overall score: 52.5
> Digital security score: 47.4 — 12th lowest out of 60 cities
> Health security score: 49.9 — 7th lowest out of 60 cities
> Infrastructure security score: 52.9 — 9th lowest out of 60 cities
> Personal security score: 46.4 — 6th lowest out of 60 cities(tied)
> Environmental security score: 65.9 — 20th lowest out of 60 cities

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9. Baku, Azerbaijan
> Overall score: 49.8
> Digital security score: 48.9 — 14th lowest out of 60 cities
> Health security score: 47.3 — 5th lowest out of 60 cities
> Infrastructure security score: 58.6 — 14th lowest out of 60 cities
> Personal security score: 47.3 — 8th lowest out of 60 cities
> Environmental security score: 46.7 — 10th lowest out of 60 cities(tied)

8. Kuwait City, Kuwait
> Overall score: 49.4
> Digital security score: 43.6 — 7th lowest out of 60 cities(tied)
> Health security score: 69.7 — 27th highest out of 60 cities
> Infrastructure security score: 53.4 — 10th lowest out of 60 cities
> Personal security score: 58 — 24th lowest out of 60 cities
> Environmental security score: 22.0 — the lowest out of 60 cities

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Source: Meinzahn / Getty Images

7. Dhaka, Bangladesh
> Overall score: 48.9
> Digital security score: 39.0 — 5th lowest out of 60 cities
> Health security score: 50.9 — 9th lowest out of 60 cities
> Infrastructure security score: 49.6 — 6th lowest out of 60 cities
> Personal security score: 46.6 — 7th lowest out of 60 cities
> Environmental security score: 58.2 — 14th lowest out of 60 cities

Source: sarra22 / iStock via Getty Images

6. Casablanca, Morocco
> Overall score: 48.2
> Digital security score: 53.7 — 20th lowest out of 60 cities
> Health security score: 51.4 — 10th lowest out of 60 cities
> Infrastructure security score: 52.2 — 8th lowest out of 60 cities
> Personal security score: 48.5 — 12th lowest out of 60 cities
> Environmental security score: 35.1 — 3rd lowest out of 60 cities

Source: MKoleosho / Getty Images

5. Lagos, Nigeria
> Overall score: 45.0
> Digital security score: 46.4 — 11th lowest out of 60 cities
> Health security score: 43.7 — 2nd lowest out of 60 cities
> Infrastructure security score: 32.4 — the lowest out of 60 cities
> Personal security score: 33.7 — 2nd lowest out of 60 cities
> Environmental security score: 68.8 — 22nd lowest out of 60 cities

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Source: Anton Aleksenko / iStock via Getty Images

4. Cairo, Egypt
> Overall score: 43.7
> Digital security score: 43.6 — 7th lowest out of 60 cities(tied)
> Health security score: 45.6 — 4th lowest out of 60 cities
> Infrastructure security score: 47.2 — 5th lowest out of 60 cities
> Personal security score: 48.1 — 10th lowest out of 60 cities
> Environmental security score: 33.8 — 2nd lowest out of 60 cities

3. Caracas, Venezuela
> Overall score: 40.5
> Digital security score: 37.4 — 2nd lowest out of 60 cities
> Health security score: 39.0 — the lowest out of 60 cities
> Infrastructure security score: 38.0 — 2nd lowest out of 60 cities
> Personal security score: 46.1 — 4th lowest out of 60 cities
> Environmental security score: 41.9 — 6th lowest out of 60 cities

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Source: Adnan Asim from North Nazimabad, Karachi 74700 ( Sindh ), Pakistan / Wikimedia Commons

2. Karachi, Pakistan
> Overall score: 39.7
> Digital security score: 38.5 — 4th lowest out of 60 cities
> Health security score: 48.4 — 6th lowest out of 60 cities
> Infrastructure security score: 43.0 — 4th lowest out of 60 cities
> Personal security score: 33.3 — the lowest out of 60 cities
> Environmental security score: 35.4 — 4th lowest out of 60 cities

Source: 183662434@N02 / Flickr

1. Yangon, Myanmar
> Overall score: 39.5
> Digital security score: 28.1 — the lowest out of 60 cities
> Health security score: 44.6 — 3rd lowest out of 60 cities
> Infrastructure security score: 40.5 — 3rd lowest out of 60 cities
> Personal security score: 39.2 — 3rd lowest out of 60 cities
> Environmental security score: 45.3 — 7th lowest out of 60 cities

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