News / Weird & Wonderful

Croatia ranked 22nd safest country in the world

Croatia ranked 22nd safest country in the world
© Paul Prescott

Croatia has been ranked at 22 in a newly published list of the world's safest countries. The 2019 list has been compiled by New York-based Global Finance. The magazine weighed up three essential factors to compile the list; war and peace, personal security, and risk of natural disaster.

The top 20 safest countries in the world were all European countries who have developed economies and healthcare systems, with Qatar, Singapore, New Zealand, and Canada being the only non-European countries in the top 20.

Croatia ranked at 22, a significantly higher placing than some European countries like France (36), the UK (38), Italy (40), Bosnia and Herzegovina (56), Greece (57) and Serbia (58). The United States ranked 65 on the list, Turkey at 107 and Russia at 108.

The most unsafe countries in the world were those ravaged by combinations or extreme experiences of war, crime and/or natural disasters, with the Philippines ranked the world's most unsafe country, followed by Yemen, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nigeria and Pakistan.

Croatia's high ranking should come as no surprise to the country's residents, whose streets are regarded as incredibly safe places despite not having as visible a police presence as in other European countries. Murders and reported instances of sexual assault or rape are extremely rare in the country in comparison to other countries, including much of Europe.

In Croatian villages, it is extremely common for people to not lock their front doors or even their cars. You can even commonly see this in some of Croatia's major cities such as Osijek, which is so crime free that it appears 90% of police time is spent on driving, bicycling and pedestrian infractions, the latter two presumably frustrated by Osijek having Europe's slowest changing semafori (traffic lights).

Croatia's extremely low risk of natural disasters also assists the high ranking. The country's universal obsession with papuče (slippers) and elderly relatives who insist on closing windows helps to protect against Croatia's only real natural disaster waiting-to-happen, propuh (drafts). Despite the frightening folklore continuously repeated by window-closing, elderly relatives, death from propuh in Croatia is extremely rare.

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