Traveling the world and visiting foreign countries is one of life’s most exciting and enriching adventures. But you also want to stay safe when abroad. The Global Peace Index, created by the Institute for Economics and Peace, is an annual report on the overall safety of countries across the world. The GPI measures a wide variety of statistics including crime rates, organized conflicts and per capital weapons.
By using the 2014 Global Peace Index rankings, we have determined the world’s 10 safest countries:
Iceland is ranked number one on the 2014 GPI because of this is a nation which takes care of its citizens. This volcanic nation, located in the North Atlantic Ocean, has an excellent social welfare system, a low rate of violent crime and an excellent human rights record. You will feel comfortable and safe as you explore the glaciers, hot springs and stunning natural beauty in Iceland. And for those who are craving some extra, Iceland has an exciting nightlife and party scene.
Overall, Denmark has very little crime, strong gender equality and a great human rights record. The GPI cites a slight chance of terrorism, mainly due to blowback over the Mohammad cartoon controversy. Overall, however, the country is considered very safe. Be sure and check out their famous Viking artifacts when you visit!
While some of the expert ski runs are pretty dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing, Austria is otherwise a very safe place. With low violent crime, and peaceful relations with its neighboring countries, you can explore the country in peace. Vienna and Halstatt are two famous cities tourists tend to flock to, as well as the famous Austrian hills.
4. New Zealand
New Zealand has a fantastic human rights record and a noticeably welcoming attitude towards foreigners. Plus, crime has steadily been dropping year after year. The most recent statistic, in 2012, revealed a 5.9% drop in crime. There is also a very low risk of political instability. All in all, New Zealand is very welcoming to foreigners who want to enjoy the nation’s beautiful natural wonders. This “Land of the Long White Cloud” was lovingly displayed in the Lord of the Rings movies, but it’s even more beautiful in person.
Switzerland has one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the entire world. This is because most young men are conscripted into military service, and keep their military-issued rifles in their individual homes. However, Switzerland still has a low crime rate, with only 53 killings in 2010 across the entire population. The natural beauty may have something to do with the general peacefulness of the country. The famous Swiss Alps are just one example of the country’s natural beauty. Plus, when you need a break from hiking, biking and sightseeing, you can check out the world-class shopping in Zurich.
Finland has the highest homicide rate of any nation on this list, although it is still lower than most modern nations. Finland’s strong human rights record, with its emphasis on civil liberties and democracy, pushes the nation into the GSI top ten. With beautiful forests, cosmopolitan cities and a rich, historical culture, every traveler will find something to enjoy in Finland.
Canada has a very low rate of violent crime, although its close ties to the United States do slightly elevate its chances of a terrorist attack. Generally, however, Canada is very safe and welcoming. The government promotes multiculturalism among its large immigrant population. The nation also has a strong record of human rights and tolerance. This “Great White North” is filled with both natural beauty and a thriving selection of cosmopolitan, urban cities.
With some of the strictest gun laws in the entire world, Japan has very little violent crime. Although some watch dog groups claim the number of robberies are higher than official statistics report, there is still much less crime overall than most western industrial nations. Tourists can wander the large cities without much fear of encountering any trouble. Aside from the large cities, Japan also has many ancient sights to see, too, such as temples and gardens.
This Western European nation has stable and peaceful relations with its neighbors, as well as low crime and a strong sense of tolerance for the population’s diversity. Travelers enjoy the coastal plains and the fertile valley. There are also plenty of things to do in the city. Belgium is known for its fine cuisine as well as its rich cultural history involving both fine arts and architecture.
Norway’s safety comes in part because of how incredibly well-educated the populace is. The illiteracy rate is immeasurable; pretty much every person school-age or higher can read and write. Unemployment is very low, around 3.5%, which contributes to the low level of crime. Additionally, the ports in Norway are major destinations for cruise ships and the country has is very friendly to tourism.