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This Is the World’s Safest City

By Katherine LaGrave

08.29.19

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The Tokyo Tower is one of the main landmarks of Tokyo’s skyline.

Photo by Byjeng/Shutterstock

The Tokyo Tower is one of the main landmarks of Tokyo’s skyline.

The Economist Intelligence Unit’s just-released Safe Cities Index ranks 60 cities around the world.

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Safety can be hard to quantify, but a new study from the London-based Economist Intelligence Unit attempts to do that. The organization, which provides research and analysis, ranked 60 cities around the world on 57 safety-minded indicators, including factors like the level of police engagement, access to healthcare, and pedestrian friendliness. 

Overall, Tokyo was ranked the world’s safest city, scoring a 92 out of 100 overall. The capital of Japan also took first place for digital security (94.4) and scored in the top five for health security (second), infrastructure security (fourth), and personal security (fourth). Coming in second place overall was Singapore (91.5), followed closely by Osaka, Japan, at 90.9. (Singapore also topped a 2018 Gallup poll of countries where locals feel safest.) 

In fact, locations in the Asia-Pacific region make up six of the study’s top 10 world’s safest cities, which additionally included  Sydney, Seoul, and Melbourne. The only U.S. city to crack the top 10 was the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., which took seventh place overall. Chicago, which came in at 11, just missed the cut. 

Despite rating cities across several rubrics, the study notes in its findings that city safety is “indivisible.” In other words? Cities either do well, sit somewhere in the middle, or lag across all pillars, rather than appearing at the top of one list and the bottom of another. “The research highlights how different types of safety are thoroughly intertwined,” Naka Kondo, senior editor of the Economist Intelligence Unit and editor of the report, told CNNAnd that research matters: Due to the spread of urbanization, by 2050, an estimated 68 percent of the world will live in cities, compared to 56 percent today, according to U.N. Population Division data referenced in the study.

Across the 60 cities surveyed, the overall safety average out of 100 was 71.2—slightly lower than Rome (76.4) and a notch higher than Beijing (70.5). The bottom three cities were Yangon, Myanmar (41.9); Caracas, Venezuela (40.1); and Lagos, Nigeria (38.1). 

World’s Safest Cities


1. Tokyo, Japan
2. Singapore
3. Osaka, Japan
4. Amsterdam, the Netherlands
5. Sydney, Australia
6. Toronto, Canada
7. Washington, D.C. 
= 8. Copenhagen, Denmark
= 8. Seoul, South Korea
10. Melbourne, Australia
11. Chicago, Illinois
12. Stockholm, Sweden
13. San Francisco, California 
14. London, United Kingdom
15. New York City
16. Frankfurt, Germany
17. Los Angeles, California
= 18. Wellington, New Zealand
= 18. Zurich, Switzerland
20. Hong Kong

>> Next: These Are 5 of the World’s Most Peaceful Places to Visit

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