Special Report

This Is the World's Safest Country

Scandinavian nations, especially Norway, often dominate “best countries” lists. Most recently, Norway was named in the United Nations’ latest Human Development Index as the top nation based on quality of life. The World Health Organization named it the best country to raise children. The Swiss-based international investment company RobecoSAM named it the world’s most sustainable country, based on measures that include its environmental policies.

Norway also has extremely high gross domestic product per capita, with its oil and gas exports and reserves, making it one of the richest nations in the world. And its social services are the envy of most other countries. It’s no surprise, then, that Norway is the world’s safest country.

For Gallup’s 2021 “Global Law and Order Report,” researchers interviewed approximately 120,000 adults in 115 nations throughout 2020. Gallup did fieldwork in 51 countries through October of last year.  

The Gallup analysis is divided into four parts: Confidence of people in their police force; whether people feel safe walking alone at night; whether people have had money or property stolen from them or another household member; and whether people have been assaulted in the past 12 months. (On the flip side, this is the world’s most dangerous country.)

As might be expected, Norway topped the list for safety, and several other Scandinavian countries were not far behind. Norway’s Law and Order Index score was 94, the highest. Finland (92) and Iceland (92) tied in the top 10. The Netherlands and Denmark, tied at 89, and Sweden at 88, are among the other countries that did extremely well. The U.S. has a score of 87, tied with Spain and ranking 22nd.

The bottom of the list is dominated by underdeveloped countries and those with histories of national unrest and violence. Venezuela and Gabon share a score of 53, which puts them at the lowest rank. (This is the world’s most dangerous city.)

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