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Can you guess which is the world’s safest country right now?

This year’s Global Piece Index ranking looked at factors like political stability and crime rates

Sophie Dickinson
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Sophie Dickinson

It’s all very well living dangerously (who doesn’t love white-water rafting?) but sometimes, feeling safe can be really, really important. That’s especially true for solo travellers: safety can totally impact how you feel about a place. But given crime and violence isn’t exactly something tourism bureaus tend to advertise, it can sometimes be tricky to work out which places to travel are safe, and which are… less so.

Enter the annual study from the Institute for Economics and Peace: the Global Peace Index, which ranks 163 of the world’s nations by analysing data on factors like their political stability, neighbouring country relations, number of refugees, nuclear weapons, internal and external conflicts, military expenditure and incarceration rates. It’s about a lot more than the personal safety of travellers, but it’s a pretty good guide.

Top of the list? That would be Iceland. Not only that, but it’s held the Number One position since 2008. The report notes that its lack of violent demonstrations and criminality, making it an ideal spot for a tranquil getaway.

New Zealand follows it in second place, with Ireland, Denmark and Austria rounding off the top five. Europe, then, is the place to be: the continent as a whole comprises seven of the top ten entries.

Afghanistan fares the worst for the fifth consecutive year, followed by Yemen, Syria, Russia and South Sudan. The report notes that the overall level of global peacefulness has deteriorated by 0.3 per cent this year, meaning that everywhere, on average, is just that little bit less safe. Not great.

The report does reckon, though, that this will improve as countries continue to recover from the last few years. So if you’re looking to plan a trip, there are plenty of super peaceful places that are only going to get more Zen.

Here are the top ten safest countries in the world, according to the 2022 Global Piece Index.

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

And since you asked, we recently surveyed 20,000 people to rank the best cities in the world, including asking them about how safe they considered their city, and Singapore ranked first for safety. Worth knowing if you’re playing it safe for your next big trip.

Did you see that Berlin has been named the cheapest city in the world?

Plus: ten things to do before you die, according to TripAdvisor.

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