Get us in your inbox

Lord Howe Island, Australia
Photograph: Shutterstock

The safest countries in the world have been named for this year – but Australia didn't make the top 20

Countries were ranked on factors like rates of violence, crime and corruption

Alice Ellis
Liv Condous
Written by
Alice Ellis
Liv Condous

Safety is a super important consideration when travelling, especially when heading overseas to an unfamiliar country. Every year, the Institute of Economics and Peace releases a Global Peace Index (GPI) – which is an indicator of a country's overall safety and a very handy guide for travel planning. The GPI ranks countries on factors ranging from rates of violence and crime to corruption, terrorism and international conflicts.

You'd assume that Australia would rank quite high, right? Well, the reality is we placed a bit lower than we'd predict, down in 22nd spot. But we did beat some of our western, English-speaking counterparts, such as the UK (who came in spot number 37) and the US (who ended up way down in spot number 131).

Which country is regarded the safest? Iceland came out on top – as they have every year since all the way back in 2008 – thanks to its low crime rates, low military spending and low rates of international conflict.

Denmark landed in 2nd place, in part due to its low levels of corruption. And Ireland jumped five places up since last year's results. 

The ten safest countries in the world in 2023:

  1. Iceland
  2. Denmark
  3. Ireland
  4. New Zealand
  5. Austria
  6. Singapore
  7. Portugal
  8. Slovenia
  9. Japan
  10. Switzerland

What about the most dangerous countries?

At the other end of the spectrum, there are countries that are suffering through war, extensive violence and political instability. According to the Global Peace Index, these are the ten countries that finished in the bottom ten, ranking as the most dangerous in the world for 2023. 

  1. Afghanistan
  2. Yemen
  3. Syria
  4. South Sudan
  5. Democratic Republic of the Congo
  6. Russia
  7. Ukraine
  8. Somalia
  9. Sudan
  10. Iraq

You can check out the rankings and GPI’s interactive map here.


You may also like
You may also like