Google Analytics Alternative

The Expert in Baby Boomer Travel

Travel Copywriter
Iceland is drop-dead beautiful in many locations (but don't take that literally). Photo from Inspired by Iceland

Iceland is drop-dead beautiful in many locations (but don’t take that literally). Photo from Inspired by Iceland

By a nice coincidence following our last post on travel safety, two new surveys are out that try to identify the safest countries in the world, with implications for travelers as well as residents.

One, called the Global Peace Index 2018, comes from the Institute for Economics and Peace. It looks at 23 relevant statistics for 163 countries — including political terrorism, murder rates, and deaths from internal conflicts — and ranked them for overall safety.

The second, from the Gallup polling organization, takes a different tack: Gallup went straight to nearly 150,000 residents of 142 countries and asked them how safe they felt, based on factors such as their own experiences with crime and their attitudes toward local policing.

The results, as you might imagine, were quite different, though one country emerged as apparently the safest haven of all: the little European nation of Iceland, resting in the remote North Atlantic just under the Arctic Circle.

Iceland finished first in the Global Peace Index — as it has for the past 11 years. According to the Institute for Economics and Peace, Iceland boasts an annual murder rate of only 1.8 per 100,000 population. Since Iceland has just 334,000 residents, that works out to be about six murders per year.

An Icelandic waterfall -- enjoy gorgeous scenery and safety, too. Photo from Inspired by Iceland.

An Icelandic waterfall — enjoy gorgeous scenery and safety, too. Photo from Inspired by Iceland.

Meanwhile, in the Gallup survey, Iceland tied for second with Norway and Finland, two other Scandinavian countries where residents feel safe.

On the other hand, Iceland does have active volcanoes, so you may wish to take that into consideration before booking your flight to Reykjavik. There are no guarantees in life.

Singapore Slings Top Spot in Gallup

The Southeast Asian island nation of Singapore, best known recently for its safe hosting of a summit between two of the most volatile leaders on earth, America’s Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, apparently has the confidence of its citizens as well.

Singapore snagged 97 out of 100 possible points in Gallup’s scoring system, four points ahead of the three Scandinavian nations.

Glittering Singapore is safe, too. Photo from Visit Singapore.

The Gallup survey turned up some surprises.

The Central Asian nation of Uzbekistan finished right behind Iceland, Norway, and Finland, while Southeast Asia’s Indonesia and North Africa’s Egypt — both scenes of civil unrest in recent years — scored spots in the top ten, counting ties. (Egypt tied with six other countries for that ranking, all European except for China).

But again, the Gallup survey measured how residents perceived their own safety, as opposed to the statistics employed by the Global Peace Index. And authoritarian governments may play a role in how people answered.

Canada Does Well, Not So the U.S. 

In the Gallup survey, Canadians rated their safety right behind Uzbekistan and Hong Kong (tied with Switzerland for seventh), while Canada ranked sixth in the Global Peace Index.

In other notable results, Singapore fell to eighth place in the Global Peace Index, followed closely by Japan — where I’ve never felt safer –– in ninth place.

New Zealand ranked second in the Global Peace Index while not making the top 10 in Gallup. Austria and Denmark landed top 10 spots in each survey.

The U.S finished out of the top countries in both.

 

10 Responses to Are These the World’s Safest Countries?

  • It’s natural that Iceland is the safest country since Icelanders say they have the best and most beautiful everything, per capita.

  • And said to be the most literate nation on earth.

  • You can bet that the Uzbekistan rating does indeed suggest a government hand at work in the polling. It seethes with violent ethnic tensions and religious fanaticism.

  • And, by contrast, President Trump and common perceptions suggest that the US is less safe than it actually is (according to statistics), despite the gun violence we experience.

  • The irony is that many people who live in gated, and comparatively crime free, communities in the U.S. are often more fearful than those who live in ostensibly higher crime areas. But I guess that’s what drives them to live in gated communities in the first place. Perception of safe vs. non-safe — which can certainly be stoked by authoritarian leaders — becomes reality, which is the flaw in the Gallup approach.

  • well written and relevant piece Clark!

  • Clark, these were very interesting. I am not surprised by seeing Indonesia. I don’t know what the statistics show, but I have always felt safe up and down the archipelago.

  • Good to know, Steve. I was in Bali shortly after the nightclub bombing and everyone was on edge there, but that was back in 2004 and I felt perfectly safe at the time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Auto Europe Car Rental

retirees_raise-2015-v2-300x250

Save

Save

Save

Save

Sign up to follow my blog


 Follow me on Twitter
 Connect on Facebook
 Amazon Author page
 Connect on LinkedIn
 Circle me on Google+

Travel Writing Blogs

Save

Getting On Travel Top Boomer Travel Blog 2018 Badge

2014Seal_Gold

Baby

Top Senior Adventures Blog

Save

retirees_raise-2015-v2-300x250

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Best Baby Boomer Travel Blogs in 2015

image001

NATJA SEAL-Gold winner

According to government and private surveys:

  • Leading-edge baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1955) and seniors account for four out of every five dollars spent on luxury travel today.
  • Roughly half the consumer spending money in the U.S.--more than $2 trillion--is in the hands of leading-edge baby boomers and seniors.
  • Baby boomers (born 1946-1964) travel more than any other age group.
  • When asked what they would most like to spend their money on, baby boomers answered “travel” more than any other category, including improving their health or finances.

Auto Europe Car Rental