The Global Peace Index is a ranking of the safest countries in the nation. This report is published annually by the Institute for Economics and Peace. The report researches countries to determine which are the safest, while also ranking the most dangerous. A total of 163 countries are featured in the report. There are 23 different indicators used to determine how safe or how dangerous a country is. These factors are broken into three categories:
Ongoing International and Domestic Conflict Societal Safety and Security Militarization The factors used to compile this report include: Number of internal and external violent conflicts Level of distrust Political instability Potential for terrorist acts Number of homicides Military expenditures as a percentage of GDP
Based on these factors, a score is calculated for each of the 163 nations featured in the report. The lower the score, the higher the nation is ranked in terms of safety.
According to the 2018 version of the report, the nation of Iceland is considered the world’s safest country. This isn’t the first year that this nation has received this honor. In fact, 2018 is the 11th consecutive year that Iceland took the top spot on the list. New Zealand was ranked as the second safest country in the world in 2018, keeping its spot from the report released in 2017. Austria is ranked third, rising one spot from the previous year. The top 10 safest countries in the world are as follows:
The Republic of Ireland remained in the number ten spot with a 1.393 overall score (slightly more peaceful than last year), netting its marks for low political instability and political terror, and faring well in U.N. peacekeeping funding. Whether you’re just generally into beautiful places, or smaller islands specifically, the Emerald Isle has something for you—and now you know you can sleep easy at night.
Japan jumped up a spot this year with its score of 1.391, getting high marks on the peace index for its low number of homicides and limited access to weapons. Beyond safety, the country also makes it very easy for travelers to get around, with high-speed and even invisible trains part of a mission to double the number of visitors by 2020.
Singapore jumped all the way from its number 27 spot in 2017’s list to land in the top ten this year, earning a score of 1.382. The island city-state earns bragging rights with enviably low scores in domestic and international conflict, plus societal safety. That means instead of fretting about your well-being, your energy can go towards picking which hawker centers and museums you want to visit first.
7. Czech Republic
The country that was home to the Velvet Revolution got 1.381 points for low per-capita military spending and relatively few acts of violent crime. Now, won’t you please start calling it Czechia?
Despite being larger than its neighbor to the south, Canada’s 1.372 score ranks much higher than the United States (they’re at 121st this year). Try visiting one the country’s most friendly cities or checking out Toronto on a stopover with Air Canada.
Denmark regularly ranks among the happiest countries in the world, and its 1.353 score says it’s also one of the safest—other than a minor conflict with Canada over an uninhabited island, that is. These days, the main source of conflict is whether its better to summer on the country’s northern coast or soak up some hygge during the winter.
In 2016, Condé Nast Traveler declared Lisbon the most underrated city in Europe. The Global Peace Index only underlines that point: Portugal’s relative affordability and beauty combined with its safety score of 1.318 make it a must-visit. Perhaps that’s why more people are visiting the country than ever before?
Violence and politically-related instability are practically non-existent in Portugal.
Robert Frost wrote that “good fences make good neighbors,” and that’s true of Austria, whose neighbors (including Germany and the Czech Republic) also scored high on the index. Austria scored 1.274, getting points for low weapon imports and consistently peaceful elections.
2. New Zealand
New Zealand may be one of the world’s best destinations for gasp-inducing adventure travel, but you’re more likely to be shocked by stunning beach views than by internal conflict or violence, which contributed to the Kiwis’ score of 1.192.
For the eleventh year in a row, Iceland tops the safety index. The Nordic nation scored low points for homicides, number of people in jail, and terror acts, earning a 1.096 overall. Another bonus: Being an island makes it somewhat harder to have border disputes. What more incentive do you need to jump in a thermal bath already?