World's safest city for 2021 revealed

There’s been a shake-up on The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Safe Cities Index, a report that usually features Asian cities such as Tokyo, Singapore and Osaka in the top spots. The report, undertaken every two years since 2015, has a surprising new number one for 2021.

Copenhagen topped this year’s list, scoring 82.4 points out of 100, Toronto follows close behind with 82.2, Singapore was third with 80.7 points.

The research also ranked Sydney and Melbourne in the top 10 – Sydney has placed fourth, and Melbourne tied with Hong Kong in eighth place.

Read: Safe cities for solo women travellers

The report ranks 60 cities across the world based on factors including digital, health, infrastructure and personal security. The introduction of a new pillar this year, based on environmental security, reflects the growing importance of sustainability issues and climate adaptation measures.

This is the category where Copenhagen, along with Toronto, performed noticeably better than the top-three cities from previous years.

Leading in digital security are Sydney, Singapore, Copenhagen, Los Angeles and San Francisco. While the health security leaders are Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Melbourne and Osaka.

Read: World’s most dangerous cities

This change reflects not a tectonic shift but more a reordering among cities that have always come close to the top. Typically, Amsterdam, Melbourne, Tokyo, Toronto, Singapore and Sydney have all figured among the leading 10, with only a few points separating them.

This year’s results reflect the effects of COVID-19 on urban security in all aspects – not just health.

“Digital security is now an even higher priority as more work and commerce have moved online; those responsible for infrastructure safety have to adjust to dramatic changes in travel patterns and where residents consume utilities,” the report states.

“Agencies responsible for personal security need to address a large, lockdown-driven shift in crime patterns.

“And the priority that urban residents and officials assign to environmental security has risen markedly, as COVID-19 serves as a stark warning of unexpected crises.”

Read: World’s friendliest cities

Overall, the other six cities listed included Tokyo in fifth place, followed by Amsterdam, Wellington, Hong Kong, Melbourne and Stockholm.

Although Sydney took the top spot in the digital security ranking, the NSW capital ranked 10th for health, ninth for infrastructure, 11th for personal security and 16th for environmental security.

Melbourne ranked fourth for health, eighth in the digital security ranking, 15th for infrastructure, 18th for personal security and 25th for environmental security.

The top 10 world’s safest cities for 2021

  1. Copenhagen
  2. Toronto
  3. Singapore
  4. Sydney
  5. Tokyo
  6. Amsterdam
  7. Wellington
  8. Hong Kong
  9. Melbourne
  10. Stockholm

Do any of these cities surprise you? Do you look at reports like this when deciding on travel destinations? Why not share your thoughts in the comments section below?

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Written by Ellie Baxter



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