The safest countries in the world

With a shooting here and a bombing there, earthquakes, tsunamis, war and civil unrest, travel may not be the first thing on many minds. But there are some safe places to go, such as one of the 10 safest countries in the world – according to the 2016 Global Peace Index.

Each year, the Global Peace Index rates all the countries in the world from safest to most dangerous. It uses more than 25 measures such as safety and security, homicide, intensity of internal conflict, violent crime, terrorism, weapons imports, police, political instability and incarceration.

Unsurprisingly, the largest deterioration in peace during 2016 occurred in the Middle East and North Africa.

At the peaceful end, Iceland took out the top spot for the sixth year in a row, with its minimal homicides and people in jail, as well as the low risk of terror acts. The fact that it’s an island nation also helped it score low on border disputes.

One of the happiest countries in the world, Denmark, is the second safest country in the world. Austria pops in at cool third, scoring very highly on peaceful elections and low weapon imports.

New Zealand gets one over on Australia, sitting a solid fourth and heralded not only for its exhilarating tourism, but also for its non-existent internal conflict and low rates of violence.

Rounding out the top five is Portugal. Its capital city, Lisbon, recently named by Condé Naste Traveler as the most under-rated city in Europe, can now add a ‘safest’ notch to its belt.

The remaining countries that make up the top ten are:

6. Czech Republic

7. Switzerland

8. Canada

9. Japan

10. Slovenia

Australia is currently the 15th safest country in the world, and for that, we should spare a thought for the 57 million refugees, displaced people and others who have lost their homes through violence, war and natural disasters.

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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