During a time when crime rates in the US – particularly violent crime – are steadily creeping higher once again after declining for roughly a quarter-century, readers may wonder: What are the safest cities in the world?
Well, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that few of them are in the US. In fact, when it comes to urban security the Asia-Pacific region is the world leader. In the Economist Intelligence Unit’s latest ranking of the world’s safest cities, Tokyo has once again taken the top spot. Singapore and Osaka (Japan’s second-largest city), came in at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively.
Amsterdam came in at No. 4, making it the safest city in Europe. Notably, the Dutch capital confines most non-violent crime to its infamous red-light districts, havens for prostitution and drugs.
Sydney, Australia’s second-largest city, took the No. 5 spot, followed by Toronto, Canada’s largest city and the safest city in North America.
Making a “surprise” appearance in the top 10 for the first time, US capital Washington DC took the No. 7 spot, making it by and away the safest US city. This marks a massive stride for Washington DC, which was once riddled with AIDS and other signs of urban decay.
Copenhagen, Seoul and Melbourne round out the top 10.
Ranking 60 cities on five continents, the index takes into account factors including digital, health, infrastructure and personal security as components of overall urban safety.
The cities that led the index offer easy access to high-quality health-care, strong cybersecurity and community-based policing, according to Bloomberg.
As one analyst noted, wealth is an important factor in determining safety, though it’s not the only factor.
“Overall, while wealth is among the most important determinants of safety, the levels of transparency – and governance – correlate as closely as income with index scores,” said Naka Kondo, the editor of the latest Safe Cities report. “The research also highlights how different types of safety are thoroughly intertwined – that it is rare to find a city with very good results in one safety pillar and lagging in others.”
While AsiaPac is home to many of the world’s safest cities and countries, there are also many low-scoring cities. These include Myanmar’s Yangon, Pakistan’s Karachi, Bangladesh’s Dhaka and India’s New Delhi. All four of these cities ranked in the bottom ten.