Top 10 Safest Countries in the World 2016

By on January 11, 2016

Before traveling, it is normal to worry about all of the disasters that can happen. From tropical ailments to muggings, going abroad seems fraught with potential mishaps. Fortunately, most incidents happen on an extremely rare basis. If you are planning your next trip, the following ten countries were rated by the the Institute for Economics and Peace as the top ten safest countries in the world for 2016.

These ratings were based off of a number of criteria. In considering the safest countries, the Institute for Economics and Peace looked at the rate of corruption and the crime rate. They considered the incidence and severity of natural disasters, ability to solve criminal cases expediently and ability to avoid severe economic crises. These factors combined to make up the list of the world’s safest countries. Depending on the criteria used by various organizations, the actual make up and order can vary.


10. The Czech Republic

Known for having a low cost of living compared to the rest of European Union, the Czech Republic is steeped in history. Prague remains a hot spot for tourists and regularly draws visitors from around the world. Crime rates are at an extremely low level, and dialing 112 is all you have to do to get foreign language assistance in an emergency. Even better, the Czech Republic is an excellent place for investments and boasts of a robust economy. In 2009, the HDI designated the Czech Republic as a place with “Very High Human Development”.

Since it has a low cost of living, it is fairly cheap to visit all of the many attractions in the Czech Republic. The mountainsides, rivers, and verdant forests are perfect places to spend an outdoor trip. During winters, you can enjoy skiing down mountainsides while summertime is perfect for a countryside bicycling trip or a hiking adventure. If you are not into outdoor excitement, you can check out the many historical hot spots, museums, palaces and museums available within Prague.

Getting to the Czech Republic is fairly easy if you are a United States citizen. You can travel to this country without a visa as long as it is for a tourist or business purpose that lasts for less than 90 days. To gain entrance to the country, your passport will have to be valid for at least 90 days after your stay. Once you are in the country, you can easily travel around without any difficulties. A month-long public transit pass only costs about $29 United States dollars. This pass can be used on any public bus, tram or subway.


9. Australia

Australia is one of the top places to live or visit around the world. Considering most of the modern population is due to immigration, Australia has an environment that is welcome to global cultures. It boasts of outdoor activities, fine dining and an amazing wine culture. Better yet, Australia has a low crime rate and a low level of corruption in their criminal justices system and government.

Long-term expats often choose Australia as a place to live because of the excellent healthcare, high wages and top schools. Schooling options are available for children in the nation and have a variety of gifted programs. In addition, the healthcare facilities are available through public insurance and private insurance options.

Outside of logical reasons like healthcare or schooling, Australia is a top destination because of its natural environment. The many unique animals, surfing and hiking spots in Australia make it a favorite location for the outdoor enthusiast. Better yet, its location in the southern hemisphere means that you can enjoy Christmas in the summer with a barbecue or pool party.


8. Japan

You do not have to speak Japanese to love visiting Japan. Although it has one of the highest costs of living in the world, you have to visit Japan at least once in your life. Boasting of a culture that stretches back for thousands of years, the Japanese have one of the world’s most creative cuisines and a highly disciplined culture. While many countries are turning away from their native culture to modernization, the Japanese remain connected to their past. Due to their cultural disavowal of crime or any activity that causes one to lose face, the Japanese enjoy an exceptionally low crime rate. This may also be due to the fact that possessing a firearm is especially limited according to Japanese law. Combined with a wealthy economy, cultural norms and strict laws, these factors make Japan one of the safest places to be.

According to the Global Peace Index in 2010, Japan was the third most peaceful country. They engage in few military actions in modern times, and terrorist activity is limited. Likewise, violent crime such as homicides rarely occurs. Part of the reason that Japan has a limited military influence is due to their constitution. Adopted after the Second World War, Article IX of the constitution states that Japan can never spend more than 1 percent of their GDP on the military. This law is for your benefit, since it makes Japan one of the last targets of terrorists and a de-militarized society.


7. Canada

As the second largest country in land area, Canada has a population that is 20.6 percent made up of foreigners. According to some, Canada may even have the highest rate of immigrants of any nation around the world. This makes it an extremely welcoming, friendly environment for visitors or expats to the country.

Beyond a friendly nation, tourists can enjoy having easy access to healthcare and a safe environment to live in. Although there are always some complaints and debates about the Canadian healthcare system, it does provide universal coverage for an inexpensive price. Despite some of the healthcare system’s drawbacks, it allows everyone to have access to a high standard of treatment.

Unlike other nations, Canada has never been the target of a major terrorist event. It also has an extremely low crime rate and a decent standard of living. Although its cost of living is higher than most in the world, it is still low or comparable to other westernized nations. If you plan on immigrating, Canada’s immigration operates on a point system. By being the right age, having a degree and speaking English and/or French, you can get enough points to qualify for immigration.

Although the people are friendly, the country is safe and the healthcare is excellent, Canada has some downsides. Winters are extremely cold and last for months. Due to this, most of the population lives close to the border with the United States. If you can overcome the winters (or live in relatively balmy Vancouver, British Columbia), Canada is one of the top nations for immigration.


6. Finland

As one of the Nordic countries, Finland is already well known for its commitment to human rights, civil liberties and a high quality of life. Beyond these commitments, this northern nation is also an environmentally friendly country with a very low crime rate. In most rankings, Finland is in the top 10 or 20 best places to live. On our list, it ranks as the sixth safest nation in the world.

Starting since the end of World War II, Finland has chosen to be completely neutral when it comes to war. Even when it comes to crime, prisoners are often punished minimally compared to other countries. Although most crimes are punished with community service, probation and monetary fines, the nation still retains an extremely low crime rate.

Finland boasts of a literacy rate of 100 percent. This is due to the fact that all citizens are required to attend one of Finland’s schools. Boasting of international schools, education is free and compulsory for expats with a residency permit and citizens of Finland. In addition, health care is provided by local municipalities and given to all of the public.

Due to its environmentally friendly environment, enjoying nature in Finland is fairly easy to do. The nation has a good economy and a friendly natural character. Although the people are generally welcoming, they are also fairly reserved and quiet. If you move to Finland, it may take a few months to get people to open up as you adjust to the cultural differences.


5. Switzerland

Switzerland is like a miniature version of Europe due to its many provinces and languages. Officially, this country has four languages and 26 independent states called cantons. Every canton uses its own laws and regulations, which can be confusing for outsiders. The diversity of the cantons is well represented by the diversity of the Swiss. Immigrants are welcomed to this nation and can enjoy a thriving social life. An estimated one out of three people who live in Switzerland are estimated to be born outside of the country.

Within Switzerland, you will discover a government that functions with clock-like precision. The government works to keep political problems, violence, crime and unemployment at a minimum. Due to this security, the banking system has become the world’s most famous. In addition to the world’s best banking services, you can enjoy the sweet chocolates that the Swiss are famous for and the speedy transportation system. Public bus lines and transportation are exceptionally punctual, so you are never late to work or pleasure.

Beyond their policy of neutrality, it seems unlikely that the Swiss will be involved in any wars or terrorist strikes any time soon. The Swiss maintain positive diplomatic ties with their neighboring countries, so the atmosphere is conducive to long-term peace.

new zealand

4. New Zealand

Come live in the land where the Lord of the Rings was filmed! If you are not a Lord of the Rings fan, New Zealand has even more to offer. Nature is supreme in this nation. Within the course of a day, you can traverse majestic mountains, frozen glaciers, beautiful meadows and flowing streams. Beyond the nature, New Zealand also boasts of a calm and easy going atmosphere. People are friendly and tend to avoid personal violence. Boasting of a culturally rich atmosphere, the cities are also hot spots for globe trotters.

Corruption is extremely low in New Zealand, and crime rates are just as low. Collecting hidden fees, unadvertised costs and bribes is completely illegal and will be punished. The strict laws and harsh punishments in New Zealand are part of the reason for the low crime rate. With such a secure environment, you can feel comfortable taking a bus, discovering new restaurants or exploring the bush without worrying about becoming a victim of crime.

Whether you are looking for a welcoming atmosphere or a low crime rate, New Zealand is one of the top tourist destinations. A number of immigrants make their home in this nation, which makes it an ideal atmosphere for expats. Explore the beaches or climb a mountain—New Zealand can offer it all.


3. Austria

Among the world’s safest nations, Austria ranks third. Boasting of a rich folk culture, this nation has a written history that stretches back for millenia. It has been nicknamed the “land of music” due to its tendency to produce some of the world’s most exceptional musicians. Over recent years, it has also enjoyed a reputation for being one of the globe’s safest nations.

As one of the scenic and richest nations in the world, Austria enjoys a thriving tourism sector. Unemployment is low and jobs are available in fields like research, tourism and engineering. To get to work, you can use the well-run transportation system. Railways to major cities, major bus lines and small local lies are interconnected so that you can easily reach all of your destinations without a problem.


2. Denmark

Ranked as the second nation in the world, Denmark has recently risen through the ranks to become much safer. For a while, it had issues with crime and terrorism. Thankfully, Denmark has managed to overcome these problems to be one of the safest nations. Visitors to the area will also enjoy the ease of communication. The Swedish language is close to Danish, so most residents can get by in the second language. Learning English is also compulsory in schools, so most of the Danes can speak at least a little English.

With a focus on internationalization, the Danish government has ensured that visitors to the area feel welcomed and accepted. This has made it a popular destination for expects, despite its size. From 2012 onward, it has also been listed as the happiest nation in the world. The Danish value equal opportunity, healthcare and individual freedoms. Due to this, the wealth gap between the highest paid workers and the lowest paid workers is smaller than it is in other nations.

Altogether, Denmark consists of 400 small islands that are excellent travel destinations. If you are not interested in hanging out along the coastline, Denmark has alternative outdoor and sports options. With a lengthy history, this nation also has a number of culture venues, museums and chic dining options.


1. Iceland

If a bet were made about the most peaceful, safest nation in the world, chances are that you would not guess Iceland. Although it might not be the nation that you expected, Iceland is the safest nation in the world. Unlike most nations, it does not allow a standing army to exist. Rescue teams are used in place of National Guard troops for emergencies. Due to its focus on peace, Iceland only has a homicide rate of 8 for every 100,000 people. Crimes like pick-pocketing are relatively unheard of in this country.

Even when a major crime does occur, Icelanders rally around the victim. In 2013, a police officer killed a man. Afterward, the whole nation rallied around to grief for the victim. Your only worry in this nation would be about volcanic eruptions. Fortunately, eruptions are fairly uncommon and most cities are out of reach of the volcano anyway.

If you want to experience the “real” side of Iceland, you should prepare your winter jacket and a swimsuit. Although the nation is known for its chilly climate, hot springs are one of the top draws for tourism. In addition, you can enjoy checking out unique attractions, the local food and frozen glaciers while you are in the area.

What do you think? Do you have an experience living in one of these nations? Was your experience a safe and happy one? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.


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