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29 Safest Cities in the World 2024 | Top City Safety Ratings

There’s no doubt that safety is always a concern when choosing where to travel next. After all, whether you’re traveling or relocating – the last thing you want to worry about is constantly looking over your shoulder. 

So, here are 25 of the safest cities in the world that you should know about before deciding where you’ll travel or move to next. 

Tip: Before getting into the safest cities in the world, familiarise yourself with the most dangerous cities in the world

How the World’s Safest Cities Are Determined

The Economist Intelligence Unit releases the Safe Cities Index (SCI) every two years, with the latest released in 2021. 

The index ranks 60 destinations according to digital security, health security, infrastructure security, personal security, and environmental security.

You might enjoy reading my article on the Safest Countries in the World.

29 Safest Cities in the World

1. Tokyo, Japan

japan_tokyo_ginza-night

Overall score: 92

Taking the top spot for the safest city in the world is Tokyo. This is not surprising considering that Tokyo has been world-renowned for its innovation, infrastructure, and outstanding healthcare system for several years. 

Although Tokyo has a large population, it’s one of the top cities with the lowest crime rate in the world. Rough areas are few, and it’s common to see people taking public transportation or walking home alone late at night. 

A significant factor contributing to Tokyo’s high safety score is respecting other people’s space and possessions, which is a key pillar in Japanese society.

If you’re interested in learning more about Tokyo and Japan check out my articles on Tokyo in One Day and my 10 Day Japan Itinerary.

2. Singapore, Singapore

Singapore Travel Guide Attractions Activities
Gardens by the Bay

Overall score: 91.5

Hot on Tokyo’s heels is its Asian neighbor, Singapore – famous for its efficient governance and strict laws. The city also has a world-class and highly sophisticated transport system, advanced digital security, and low crime rates. 

Another key element that makes Singapore such a desirable city to travel to and live in is its reputation for cleanliness. Over many years, Singapore has worked hard to eradicate numerous undesirable behaviors, including littering. Littering in public spaces can earn you a fine of $300 or more. 

Read more about Singapore in my article on Singapore in One Day.

3. Copenhagen, Denmark

copenhagen-denmark
copenhagen-denmark

Photo by Nick Karvounis on Unsplash

Overall score: 87.4 

Copenhagen is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, with its idyllic waterways and colorful houses. It’s well-known for being the home of Europe’s oldest theme park, Tivoli Gardens

This city is one of the lowest crime-rated cities in the world, thanks to its well-trained and ever-present police force. 

Copenhagen’s citizens also enjoy a high quality of life and great access to an excellent healthcare system. Its well-maintained infrastructure, the importance of sustainability, and an efficient transport system all contribute to its SCI score. 

Another important factor is the locals’ trust and concern for one another. 

Read about more European cities that are safe in my article.

4. Stockholm, Sweden 

stockholm-sweden
stockholm-sweden

Photo by Ana Bórquez on Unsplash

Overall score: 86.5

Heading to Denmark’s Nordic neighbor – Stockholm is another destination that ranks high on many travelers’ bucket lists. 

Like Copenhagen, Stockholm also has an exceptionally well-trained police force that is very present throughout the city, contributing to its low crime rates. While there aren’t police officers around every corner, there are enough to make you feel safe when walking around the city’s streets, even at night. 

As a whole, Sweden highly emphasizes digital security, gender equality, environmental sustainability, and access to good healthcare. 

5. Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne Tram
Classic Melbourne Tram

Overall score: 87.3

Known as “Australia‘s Cultural Capital,” Melbourne is the second largest city in the country and where I was born!

According to a Time Out survey conducted in 2019, Melbourne was voted “The Happiest City in the World.” A large part of that is because people living here feel pretty safe. Melbourne is one of the most visited places in Australia and a popular option for people looking to relocate. 

That’s because it has relatively low crime rates, good infrastructure, and a high emphasis on personal safety. Its healthcare system is also one of the best in the world. 

Find out more about Melbourne in my articles on where to stay in Melbourne, best brunches in Melbourne and where to watch the sunset in Melbourne.

6. Hong Kong, Hong Kong 

hong kong skyline
the stunning hong kong skyline

Overall score: 83.7 

Hong Kong once had a place in the top 10 safest cities in the world, but since 2017 has dropped in the ranks due to a rise in unexpected protests against the government. Despite this, it still ranks much higher than so many other countries. 

It’s very developed economy and relatively low crime rates make it one of the safest major cities in the world for traveling and living. 

Community patrols and increased police presence throughout the city make it a reasonably safe place to use public transport and walk home alone at night. Hong Kong also has strict digital security measures and is a leader in innovative data-driven techniques, ensuring your data is protected. 

7. Amsterdam, The Netherlands

amsterdam-nl
amsterdam-nl

Image by Javier M on Unsplash

Overall score: 88.0

Amsterdam is one of the best cities in Europe and thus attracts millions of visitors each year. It’s also a trendy city for people looking to start a new life.

The main reason for this is it’s got one of the best healthcare systems in the world. In fact, Amsterdam ranks fourth alongside Stockholm regarding health security. 

One of its biggest contributors to its safety score is its disaster preparedness. It rates an outstanding 99.2 in safety for future preparedness regarding shocks and potential terrorist attacks. 

Amsterdam’s sustainable practices and high quality of life are a big drawcard for many travelers and citizens. Numerous biking routes throughout the city encourage people to cycle to where they need to be, thus reducing emissions and air pollution. 

8. Wellington, New Zealand

wellington-new-zealand safest cities in the world
wellington-new-zealand

Image by Makalu from Pixabay 

Overall score: 84.5 

Another one of the lowest crime rate cities in the world is Wellington in New Zealand. Each year thousands of people flock to this island city seeking permanent residency. The main reason is that Wellington’s highest priority is its citizens’ personal safety. 

Wellington also ranks high because of its well-maintained infrastructure, efficient healthcare, and focus on sustainability. 

Although Wellington has quite a low crime rate, the city has been dealing with a drug problem for decades. However, there’s been a major crackdown on illegal drug use and selling in recent years thanks to a well-trained police force committed to minimizing the problem. 

9. Sydney, Australia

Australia_sydney_opera-house-from-botanic-gardens-2

Overall score 87.9 

Sydney is Australia’s financial hub and a booming metropolis. It’s well recognized for its diversity and inclusive culture and welcomes visitors and immigrants worldwide. 

The city offers a wealth of business and employment opportunities and thus has a relatively low unemployment rate. Researchers say this is essential as it contributes to the city’s low crime rate. 

This, coupled with excellent infrastructure, a great healthcare system, and a high emphasis on sustainability, earns Sydney a spot on the safest cities in the world list for travelers and residents. 

Read more about Sydney in my articles on Restaurants in Barangaroo, Watson’s Bay, Sydney Itinerary and weekends away from Sydney.

10. Toronto, Canada

toronto-canada
toronto-canada

Photo by ennvisionn

Overall score: 87.8

While there are many dangerous cities in Canada, Toronto isn’t one of them. It’s only one of two cities in America to make it to the top 10 safest cities list. 

Toronto is the most populous city in Canada, renowned for its diversity and booming economy. While it is a populated city, it still ranks highly regarding safety. That’s because its safety is not concentrated in one area alone but rather in a few places. 

This includes digital security and cybersecurity, healthcare security, and personal security. While there are occasional cases of pickpocketing in busier areas, you’ll hardly hear of things like severe street crime. 

11. Madrid, Spain

madrid-spain
madrid-spain

Photo by Florian Wehde on Unsplash

Overall score: 81.4

It’s undeniable that Madrid is one of the most beautiful cities in Spain and is always a top destination on many travellers’ bucket lists. 

In terms of safety, it might lack in some departments, such as digital and cyber security, coming in with one of the lowest scores on the SCI. However, it makes up for that with its healthcare system, excellent metro system, and infrastructure making it one of the safest places in the world.

12. Brussels, Belgium 

brussels-belgium
brussels-belgium

Image by Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay

Overall score: 82.1 

Belgium’s bustling capital is highly regarded as one of the best-prepared cities in the world for safety. Since the terrorist bombing scare in 2016, the city has taken more precautions in its preparedness for disasters. 

This includes stricter safety measures in cyber security and more police presence. One area of safety where the city excels is in health security. That’s partly because the World Health Organisation’s Representation to the E.U. Office is located in Brussels. 

Besides a good healthcare system, Brussels has an efficient transport system and great infrastructure. 

13. Zurich, Switzerland 

zurich-switzerland
zurich-switzerland

Image by Henrique Ferreira on Unsplash

Overall score: 84.5 

Zurich is another firm favorite on many people’s travel lists and a top option for people looking to move. 

It scores decent numbers in health and personal security, as well as in digital and infrastructure security. Its best safety asset is an area that many countries don’t always rank well in – damage and threat multipliers. 

Zurich stands in 9th place overall because the city regularly assesses potential threats such as natural disasters and terrorist attacks. It places high importance on evaluating and also finding the best solutions to minimising or eradicating these threats. 

14. Frankfurt, Germany 

frankfurt-germany
frankfurt-germany

Image by JUV on Pexels

Overall: 85.4

The Germans are well known for many things, including their precision engineering and innovation. So it’s not a surprise that Frankfurt makes it to the list of the top 100 safest cities in the world. 

Frankfurt has a score of 93.7 regarding infrastructure security, so residents and visitors can walk around safely, knowing that it’s highly unlikely that the building they’re in will collapse. 

Other safety areas in which the city excels are its access to healthcare and traffic safety. 

There are such strict traffic laws in place that Frankfurt only recorded 15 vehicle deaths per 10,000 residents in recent years.

15. Seoul, South Korea

seoul-south-korea
seoul-south-korea

Image by Markus Winkler from Pixabay

Overall score: 87.4

Seoul is one of the best destinations in Asia. It’s highly praised for technological advancements and innovation across various sectors. 

It’s ranked the 3rd safest city in Asia because of sustainability efforts and focus on providing safe food and water for its residents. Cyber and personal security is also a big deal here, and you’ll regularly find people walking alone even late into the evening. 

There’s a real feel of community in Seoul, and everyone tries to look out for each other. One area where Seoul excels is its healthcare services, as it has one of the quickest emergency response teams in the world. 

Read more about Seoul in my articles on: Seoul Itinerary, Seoul Day Trips, Seoul Boutique Hotels, Things to do in Gangnam and things to do in Myeongdong.

16. Washington DC, USA

washington-dc
washington-dc

Photo by Jorge Alcala on Unsplash

Overall score: 87.6

It only makes sense that Washington, DC, would be one of the safest cities in the world and one of the safest cities in the United States. It is home to the president of the U.S., after all. 

Regarding digital security alone, it ranks 4th in the top 10, which makes perfect sense, as the White House would want to protect all its secrets. But, it’s not only America’s elite that benefits from this, as regular citizens and visitors also benefit from the government’s cyber and digital security. 

Being the capital, Washington also has better infrastructure and a sophisticated transport system than many other U.S. cities.

17. Osaka, Japan

osaka-japan
osaka-japan

Photo by Nomadic Julien on Unsplash

Overall score: 90.9 

As mentioned, Japan has been a leader in security, healthcare, and innovation for decades. So naturally, another Japanese city finds itself on this safest cities list – Osaka. It’s currently the third-ranked safest city in the world. 

Factors contributing to this include its outstanding and people-friendly infrastructure. Osaka’s highest safety contributor is its healthcare security and easy access to it. The city has one of the fastest emergency response times in Japan. 

18. Taipei, Taiwan

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Photo by Timo Volz on Pexels

Overall score: 82.5

Perhaps Taipei is not a city that many would expect to see on this list. But, it holds its own against some of its larger Asian neighbors. Its digital and cyber security is pretty decent, but where it excels is in its security. 

The police are highly involved in keeping Taipei safe and use cutting-edge measures and data-driven techniques to fight organised, violent, and petty crimes. The city also has one of the best criminal justice systems in the world. 

Taipei’s residents also enjoy a long life expectancy because of its excellent healthcare system.

19. Chicago, U.S

chicago-illonois
chicago-illonois

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

Overall score: 86.7

Chicago is another bustling U.S. city and a firm favorite amongst travelers. While its healthcare system could do with some work, it performs well in other categories. 

The first one is digital and cyber security. In 2018 it even launched the Cyber Policy Initiative that provides guidance on cyber and digital crimes to governments around the globe. 

Apart from that, Chicago has a great transport system that makes getting around easy and has good infrastructure.

20. Barcelona, Spain

Basílica La Sagrada Familia exterior
Basílica La Sagrada Familia exterior

Overall score: 81.2

As a top global destination, Barcelona has excellent infrastructure and a well-maintained transport system to quickly get locals and visitors around. 

Its healthcare system is sound, but its digital security could use some work. Barcelona‘s sustainability security is where it does set itself apart, scoring an A in climate leadership advocacy. It aims to reduce carbon emissions by 45% by 2030 and is already on track. 

Read more about Barcelona in my article on Landmarks in Barcelona.

21. Reykjavik, Iceland 

sun voyager sculpture reykjavik iceland
sun voyager sculpture reykjavik iceland

Overall score: 79.1

Reykjavik is the world’s northernmost city. Its highly regarded as one of the world’s friendliest cities, and its stunning natural attractions make it one of the top destinations to visit in Europe. 

Reykjavik is a rather quiet city, so it has a lower crime rate than other European cities. It’s one of the top leaders in sustainability, making it a lovely place to visit and live. 

22. Dubai, UAE

Dubai-boat.
Dubai Old and New

Overall score: 79.1 

Dubai started out as a small fishing village but has now progressed into one of the hottest places (quite literally) to travel to. 

This city in the Middle East is constantly pushing the bars of innovation and technology, and its infrastructure is one of the best in the world. Its booming economy, job opportunities, and advanced healthcare system make it earn the top spot as one of the safest cities. 

What’s more, there are cameras at every corner of the city, and Dubai also has a rather strict criminal justice system which is a strong deterrent for any criminals. 

Read more about Dubai in my articles on one day in Dubai, Dubai Itinerary, where to stay in Dubai and best Dubai morning desert safaris.

23. Abu Dhabi, UAE

abu-dhabi-uae
abu-dhabi-uae

Image by Kamil Rog on Unsplash

Overall score: 79.5

Having a slight edge over its neighbor, Dubai – Abu Dhabi is another world-class city. It’s renowned for its rich culture, shopping, and technological advancements. 

Like Dubai, its healthcare and transport systems are absolutely outstanding. It boasts one of the fastest yet safest metro systems in the world. It also highly emphasizes personal and digital security, with surveillance cameras almost everywhere, making it a great place to visit and live. 

24. Paris, France

paris-france-eiffel-tower
paris-france-eiffel-tower

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

Overall score: 82.7

Over the years, Paris has been an unfortunate victim of terrorist attacks such as the one in 2015 and disasters such as the Notre Dame Fire in 2019. 

But these cases are exactly what has sparked the city to increase its security. Stricter security measures are now in place, including more police and military surveillance spread across the city.

Paris also has good infrastructure, a well-connected transportation system, and a first-world healthcare system. 

Read more about Paris in my articles on how to plan a week in Paris, what to do in a week in Paris, Paris at night, Paris at Sunrise, hotels with great views in Paris, Paris Landmarks, Paris in April and Paris in May.

25. San Francisco, U.S

san_francisco_golden-gate-bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge

Overall score: 85.9 

Last but not least on this list is San Francisco, on the U.S. west coast. While it sits on the San Andreas fault line, the city has employed various safety measures to ensure that it is hit with minimal damage should there be a natural disaster. 

San Francisco has good infrastructure, a great transportation network, and a reasonably good healthcare system. 

Read more about San Francisco in my articles on Unusual restaurants in San Francisco, where to watch the sunset in San Francisco, best places to visit in the bay area and weekends away from San Francisco.

26. New York, U.S.

Overall score: 77.8

view-of-new-york-from-old-pier-1

The iconic ‘City That Never Sleeps’ has undergone a remarkable transformation over the decades. Once infamous for its high crime rate in the 1970s and 1980s, New York is now a global hub known for its safety measures.

The New York Police Department’s (NYPD) community-based programs have fostered a cooperative relationship between law enforcement and residents. Techniques like the CompStat program have used real-time data analysis to allocate police resources more efficiently. With millions of visitors annually, New York ensures that tourist-heavy areas like Times Square and Central Park are well-patrolled.

27. London, United Kingdom

tube sign london
tube sign london

Overall Score: 77.2

As the capital city of the United Kingdom, London boasts a rich history and cultural significance. Despite its dense population, it ranks among the world’s safest cities. London’s extensive closed-circuit television (CCTV) system is renowned for keeping an eye on public areas.

Community policing initiatives, such as neighborhood watch schemes, have also been integral in curbing crime. Iconic spots like the Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, and the Tower Bridge have dedicated police forces ensuring safety.

28. Los Angeles, U.S.

griffiths observatory los angeles
griffiths observatory

Overall Score: 76.5

The sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles, known for its film stars and palm-lined boulevards, has also made impressive strides in improving public safety.

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has invested heavily in community outreach programs. Initiatives like the Gang Reduction and Youth Development program have reduced gang-related activities. Popular areas such as Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and the Santa Monica Pier have seen increased patrols and security measures.

29. Dallas, U.S.

texas sunflower fields with sun dropping behind

Overall Score: 74.5

A vibrant cultural hub in Texas, Dallas is not just about cowboy hats and rodeos. Over the years, it has established itself as one of the safest cities in the U.S. Dallas has made commendable efforts in crime reduction through its community engagement programs and a data-driven approach to policing.

Tourist attractions like the Reunion Tower and the Dallas World Aquarium benefit from dedicated police patrols and community vigilance.

Frequently Asked Questions about The Safest Big Cities in the World

Here are some of the answers to the top questions about the safest cities in the world. 

What is the Safest City in the World Overall? 

Tokyo is currently the safest city in the world, with a SCI score of 92. This is thanks to its high emphasis on digital security, health security, infrastructure security, and personal security.

What are the Top 4 Safest Cities in the World?

The top four safest cities in the world, according to the 2021 SCI report, are Tokyo, Osaka and Copenhagen, and Singapore. 

Which Cities Offer the Highest Quality of Life? 

Copenhagen, Tokyo, Taipei, and Melbourne all offer the highest quality of life, partly thanks to their outstanding healthcare systems.

Final Thoughts on the Safest Cities in the World

So there you have it, the top 25 safest cities in the world. While no country is entirely free from crime, the cities on this list are leaders in crime reduction and other aspects.

Hopefully, this list helps when you pick your next travel destination or if you are looking to relocate.

You might enjoy reading my article on the safest countries in the world. Or you might enjoy reading my article on the most visited cities in the world.

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