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Safest Cities 2017

Some cities are incredibly dangerous. In Caracas, Venezuela about 1.3 people were murdered per 1,000 in 2016 (almost 12 per day)! Though in certain cities I’ve lived, 12 homicides a year would be considered high.

Murders are only one variable in determining how “safe” a city is. Other serious crimes also play a determining factor.

In a more positive take on our “Most Dangerous Cities 2017” post, I wanted to uncover where the safest cities on earth were.

Methodology

I used Numbeo’s Safe City Index for analysis.

Numbeo surveys visitors to their website about city crime to produce their Safe City Index. Questions for their surveys are similar to many similar scientific and government surveys. They use their own data due to inconsistencies with government reporting of crime data worldwide.

The Safe City Index is an estimation of overall level of crime in a given city. If the city has a high Safe City index, it is considered very safe (low crime). The maximum attainable index value is 100.

Results

Top 10 Safest Cities 2017

Top 10 Safest cities 2017 (Numbeo Safety Index)

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Rank City Continent Safety Index
1 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Asia 84.49
2 Munich, Germany Europe 84.28
3 Taipei, Taiwan Asia 84.24
4 Basel, Switzerland Europe 84.18
5 Arhus, Denmark Europe 83.99
6 Heidelberg, Germany Europe 83.64
7 Doha, Qatar Asia 83.43
8 Singapore, Singapore Asia 83.42
9 Mangalore, India Asia 82.49
10 Zurich, Switzerland Europe 81.86
369 Rio De Janeiro, Brazil Americas 22.13
370 Pretoria, South Africa Africa 22.01
371 Recife, Brazil Americas 22
372 Johannesburg, South Africa Africa 21.51
373 Durban, South Africa Africa 21.42
374 Selangor, Malaysia Asia 21.1
375 Fortaleza, Brazil Americas 16.1
376 Pietermaritzburg, South Africa Africa 15.77
377 San Pedro Sula, Honduras Americas 14.41
378 Caracas, Venezuela Oceania 13.39

Full list (378 total).

In the 2017 Numbeo Safe City index, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates ranks 1st. All of the top 10 have an index value of 80 points and above (out of a maximum of 100).

Caracas, Venezuela ranks last for safety with an index value of 13.39 points. It’s not surprising with about 1.3 people murdered per 1,000 people in 2016 (see our dangerous cities 2017 post)!

Safest cities 2017 (Numbeo Safety Index) histogram

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The median index value is 55.82 points. The mean index value is 56.08 points.

Safest Regions 2017

Top-10-Safest-Continents-2017-Numbeo-Safety-Index

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Region Mean Average Safe City Index Value 2017 Count of cities considered
Europe 59.40 164
Asia 58.92 112
Oceania 55.66 16
Africa 50.31 42
Americas 40.62 42
376

Full list.

It’s a close run battle for the safest region with 0.48 index points the difference between 1st and 2nd, Europe and Asia respectively. Cities within North and South America (Americas) have the lowest average index points (40.62 points) — almost 10 points lower than Africa).

Changes in safety 2012 – 2017

Change in safety index value 2017 - 2012 histogram

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I analysed 126 cities that had Numbeo Safe City Index data spanning 2012 – 2017. Of these 126 cities, 72 are safer than in 2012, 54 are more dangerous.

City 2012 2017 2017 – 2012 pc dif 2017 rank (/376) 2012 – 2017 change rank
Gurgaon, India 15.89 37.54 136.25% 326 1
Beijing, China 32.99 58.35 76.87% 173 2
Kolkata, India 27.97 48.89 74.79% 259 3
Geneva, Switzerland 42.19 72.52 71.89% 72 4
Monterrey, Mexico 29.17 49.33 69.11% 252 5
Johannesburg, South Africa 13.04 21.51 64.95% 372 6
Vienna, Austria 48.18 78.19 62.29% 32 7
Mexico City, Mexico 20.94 33.9 61.89% 343 8
Boston, MA, United States 40.62 64.25 58.17% 128 9
Miami, FL, United States 30.73 46.11 50.05% 276 10
Ankara, Turkey 79.38 57.15 -28.00% 179 117
Cairo, Egypt 61.33 44.09 -28.11% 293 118
Amman, Jordan 77.21 55.2 -28.51% 199 119
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil 32.92 22.13 -32.78% 369 120
Delhi, India 58.75 39.21 -33.26% 315 121
Chicago, IL, United States 52.58 34.61 -34.18% 341 122
Oslo, Norway 82.03 51.2 -37.58% 237 123
Curitiba, Brazil 57.71 34.84 -39.93% 338 124
Atlanta, GA, United States 59.38 35.19 -40.74% 336 125
Bogota, Colombia 62.5 36.36 -41.82% 328 126

Full list (126 total).

Most improved cities for safety 2012 - 2017

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Gurgaon, India has improved by Safe City index value between 2012 and 2017 (+136.25%). The city now ranks 326 out of 376 cities in 2017 with a Safe City index value of 37.54.

Top 10 cities becoming more dangerous 2012 - 2017

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At the other end of the scale Bogota, Colombia, saw its Safe City index value drop by a massive -41.82%. The city had a Safe City index value of 62.5 in 2012, in 2014 it had fallen to 44.31. It now stands at a value of 36.36 points, ranking 328 / 376 in 2017 (only slightly more dangerous than Gurgaon, India, the most improved city).

Improvements

Using index values from a respected survey provides an aggregated view of safety. In out “Most Dangerous Cities 2017” post we considered actual murder rates to judge danger. The analysis of this post could be improved – or at least offer more insight – if we considered actual crime statistics for each city.

tl;dr

The world’s safest city in 2017 is Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

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  1. Data sources + data used in this post.

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