These ten countries are viewed as the safest countries in the world, but are they really safe places to live? Let’s take a look and see.
10. The Netherlands
U.S. News & World Report ranked The Netherlands as the 10th most safe country by perception. In fact, crime rates in The Netherlands are very low. And, according to INSIDER, it’s one of the best countries to live in 2020 if you’re a woman. A report from Numbeo revealed that worries about being subject to a physical attack because of gender are very low. But, it’s not just a safe place for women. The Netherlands is also a safe place to live for people of just about every skin color, ethnic origin, and religion.
If you’re looking for a safe place to retire, you should seriously consider Austria. Coming in at number nine on U.S. News & World Report’s list, Austria scores especially high in safety and human rights. It also boasts the second-lowest homicide rate (0.66 per 100,000 inhabitants) in the 28-member European Union (EU). That’s far lower than the United States’ homicide rate, which was 5.03 per 100,000 people in 2019.
Like The Netherlands, Austria is also a safe place for women. In fact, the country finished in fourth place in the Global Peace Index race.
NOTE: If you plan on retiring here, you should know that obtaining residency in Austria can be difficult for non-EU citizens.
Finland is another country that’s a great place for women to live in 2020. Its new government is led by women, so it’s no wonder that it scored high in gender equality. And, according to The Legatum Prosperity Index, Finland is a very tolerant country overall. In fact, it’s the third most tolerant nation in the world!
Also, Finland has the lowest overall threat levels when it comes to medical risks, security, and road safety. In fact, it was ranked number one for safety and security in the World Economic Forum’s biennial Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report.
Sweden is a top destination for the LGBTQ+ community. In fact, it’s been named the most LGBT-friendly country in the world for travelers, according to new research into gay rights in 150 countries. Sweden is one of the best places for LGBTQ+ travel enthusiasts. It offers many important basic rights and protections. As a result, Sweden is a top vacation destination for the gay community.
And, as the other countries mentioned thus far, Sweden is also an excellent country for women to live in 2020.
It’s important to note, however, that Forbes reported back in November that Sweden was dealing with a slight security issue due to growing concerns about an increase in criminal gang activity.
6. New Zealand
Here’s another safe place for both women and retirees. New Zealand came in second place in the Global Peace Index race. Unfortunately, New Zealand’s Peace Index scores dropped a bit due to the white-nationalist terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch on March 15, 2019. Though improvements in five other indicators helped New Zealand maintain its rank as the second most peaceful country in the world.
Australia isn’t actually in the top 10 safest countries in the world — it’s just perceived to be in the top 10. It’s actually ranked #13 by the Global Peace Index. Still, Australia is very safe. In fact, it has a 9.6 safety rating and is another country that’s considered a safe place for women to live in 2020. Unfortunately, the country fell one place in the Global Peace Index due to an increase in weapons imports, military expenditure (% GDP), and nuclear and heavy weapons. Australia’s incarceration rate also rose.
When it comes to retirees, getting a residence permit in Denmark can be difficult, even more so than in other EU countries. But, you’re in luck if you hold a passport from another EU nation, are married to a Dane, are a student, are an au pair, or you can prove you have strong ties to Denmark.
IMPORTANT: Although Denmark is ranked as one of the safest countries in the world, “Danish police have become so concerned that the gang activity is spreading across the Öresund Bridge to Copenhagen that they have introduced temporary border checks. The Danish capital has also been rocked by blasts this year, although not on the scale seen in Sweden,” Forbes reported back in November.
When it comes to safe holiday travel, Nordic countries often rank highly. And, according to the Daily Express, Norway is listed as the best of them all! It has a safety rating of 9.8 out of 10. Additionally, the country ranks fourth in the 19 best countries to live in 2020 if you’re a woman. It has a perfect score of 10 when it comes to income equality and a score of 8.8 for gender equality. Also, Norway ranks as one of the top three destinations for LGBTQ+ travelers.
Coming in at number two on U.S. News & World Report’s list is Canada. According to CNBC, Canada is a safe place for retirees. “What really makes Canada a standout retirement destination is its cultural and geographic proximity to the States,” CNBC said on its website. Canada is also a bit cheaper than the U.S. “The Canadian dollar, or loonie, is worth about 75 U.S. cents, offering an instant 25% savings on many expenses,” CNBC also said. Plus, there are no restrictions on buying properties in Canada. There is, however, a special one-time 15% “speculation tax” nonpermanent residents must pay upon closing.
Switzerland is perceived as the safest country in the world. Not only is Switzerland the only country in which both men and women reported feeling equally safe walking alone (that’s according to the Global Peace Index 2019), but it was also crowned the safest country on the planet for 2020. As a result, Switzerland is also a safe holiday destination, as well as a safe place for women to live in 2020, with a perfect score of 10. Switzerland also ranked high in human rights, with a score of 9.3 out of 10.
Were you surprised to see any of the countries listed above? Thanks for reading, and feel free to leave a comment below.