The Safest Countries in the World

The GPI analyzes 163 countries, which account for 99.7 percent of the world’s population. Using the indicators, the GPI ranks each country’s levels of safety across 3 key aspects: societal safety and security, ongoing domestic and international conflict, and the degree of militarization. 

How does the Global Peace Index evaluate the safest countries in the world?

To determine the levels of societal safety and security, the Index considers indicators such as: the level of perceived criminality in society; political instability; the number of homicides per 100,000 people; the level of violent crime, among others.

As for ongoing domestic and international conflict, the report takes into account indicators, including: the number and duration of internal conflicts; the intensity of organized internal conflict; and the number of deaths from internal organized conflict, among other similar external-oriented indicators.

Regarding the degree of militarization, the GPI reviews indicators like military expenditure as a GDP percentage; and the volume of transfers of major conventional weapons as exports per 100,000 people, among others.

As 2024 is at its beginning, the information available at hand for 2023 proves undoubtedly essential for the future. Here are the safest countries in the world.

st lucia panorama

What are the Top 10 safest countries in the world?

In 2023, Europe remained the most peaceful region in the world. The continent has undisputedly held the title since the Global Peace Index’s inception in 2008, always ranking in with at least 6 countries and a maximum of 8. 2023 proved no different, as 7 European countries made the Top 10 safest countries in the world. Check the list below:

Safest Countries in the World



It is noteworthy that the Global Peace Index’s top 10 safest countries in the world have had minor variations over 17 years of existence, revealing Europe as the safest continent in the world, despite recent ongoing conflicts in nearby regions. Outside of Europe, only 3 countries have consistently ranked on the list. New Zealand is the only Oceanic country that has made the top 10 every year since its inception. The only other time was in 2015 when Australia ranked number 9.

Japan is the only Asian country to consistently feature in the Top 10, classified as one of the safest in the world 15 out of 17 times, though it did not make the list in 2017 or 2021. However, Singapore is slowly rising in the ranks, having appeared 5 times over the last 6 years, only missing the Top 10 in 2021.

Canada is the only North American country to make the list, claiming the title 13 out of 17 times. In comparison, in 2023, the United States ranked 131, and Mexico even worse at 136.

European countries have completely dominated the Top 10 with the same set of countries ranking in slightly different positions over the years, with little to no variation. This cements Europe as the safest continent in the world.

Iceland is undoubtedly the safest country in the world, having held the position consecutively for more than a decade, since 2011. Austria and Denmark have never left the Top 10. Portugal has featured in the list 10 times out of 17, and Czechia, Ireland, Slovenia, Switzerland, and Norway have all made it 9 times each. It is also important to consider that 35 of the 36 countries the Global Peace Index classifies as European rank in the upper half of the 163 ranked territories.

Mother and daughter at a viewpoint in Lisbon, Portugal.

Why is Europe the safest region in the world? 

It is important to acknowledge first and foremost that the world is becoming more unsafe every day.

According to the 2023 Global Peace Index, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region ranked as the least safe in the entire world, being the home to 4 of the 10 least peaceful countries. Published in June 2023, the GPI does not even consider the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

The Asia-Pacific region registered minor improvements in the overall levels of safety for 2023, mainly driven by a reduction in the militarization aspect of the region. New Zealand unsurprisingly leads the region, with North Korea in the last position.

In comparison to previous years, the region of Central America and the Caribbean experienced slight reductions in levels of overall safety. Interestingly, despite two distinct regions being grouped, the countries most impacted are found in Central America, and not in the Caribbean. Countries where Citizenship by Investment programs, like Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Saint Lucia remain the region’s safest havens, despite not featuring in the Global Peace Index.

North America
keeps its position as the 3rd safest region of the world, though there is a significant disparity between Canada and the United States, the only two countries the GPI considers for this bloc. While Canada witnessed a mild increase in safety, the United States worsened, especially in indicators such as perceptions of criminality and homicide rates.

South America lags behind, in the 5th position, having registered increases in the indicators pertaining to the key aspects of ongoing internal or external conflicts and levels of safety and security. South Asia and Sub-Sahara Africa also have overall registered deteriorations.

Generally, the world is experiencing worsened levels of security and peacefulness across all regions. There are no 100% risk-free locations where to live. Even so, amid the growing uncertainties, Europe is by far the safest and most stable continent in the world.

Happy family on holidays in Greece

How to Live in Europe: Investment Immigration Solutions 

While the Global Peace Index is a useful tool to consider, it is not the be-all and end-all. However, it does paint a clear picture of everyday reality: Europe is the safest region of the world and living in any of its 35 countries represents a better, more secure life. A life where a person does not have to consistently worry about their surroundings or look over their shoulder. A life where it is possible to have a safe, conducive environment for the entire family, or where to best enjoy retirement and the golden years.

How, then, to move to Europe and live in one of its countries? The solution is found in investment immigration programs, which usually come in two formats: Residency by Investment or Citizenship by Investment. In Europe, Residency by Investment is far more common, largely in part because of Golden Visa programs. On the other hand, Citizenship by Investment programs are more prevalent in the Caribbean.

The best European Golden Visa is currently found in Greece. It currently offers an official and government-recognized path to Residency status through a direct investment in the country’s Real Estate market. Purchasing property in the minimum amount of €250,000 in most areas of the country is sufficient grounds to qualify and earn Residency.

Even though Greece does not feature in the Top 10 of the safest countries, it does not mean the country is by any means unsafe. Its status as a European Union country cannot be overstated, as the bloc holds high standards and demands certain criteria to be upheld across levels of public safety and peacefulness. Furthermore, the U.S. Department of State classifies Greece as Level One, recommending only normal precautions to be exercised when visiting the country.

Portugal, also an EU country, offers one of the best Residency by Investment programs with its D2 Visa. This program requires opening a new or branching out an existing business in Portugal. With a one-time investment, Residency is achievable in 3 months, and Citizenship in 5 years, the fastest of any EU country.

Portugal is not only one of Europe’s safest countries but also of the world. Many factors play a key role in this. For instance, there is a healthy relationship between the police forces and the local population, which starts from an early age, and results in an overall better combat against criminal occurrences. Since tourism is one of the country’s main economic drivers, Portugal also places further importance in creating and fostering a secure environment for locals, residents, and expats alike. The main criminal occurrences are petty property theft and domestic violence, though violent crime continues to decline every year.

Read more:
Portugal vs. Spain vs. Greece: Where to Buy Property?
Best Countries to Move from the USA

It is important to bear in mind both Portugal and Greece are among the world’s most powerful passports, a common recurrence in European countries. Incidentally, both countries also enable their Citizens to hold another passport and be Dual Citizens, also frequently practiced in the Eastern Caribbean countries and some other European Union members. Endeavoring through either the Portugal D2 Visa or the Greece Golden Visa is embarking on the path to holding a European Union passport, one of the world’s best destinations for retirement, and the safest place to create a Plan B safe haven.  

Choosing the right investment immigration program can be a challenging task. But it does not have to be. Not with Investment Visa on your side. With a team of industry veterans holding more than 25 years of experience, knowing every detail and step of investment immigration programs from all over the world, Investment Visa advisors have successfully guided hundreds of investors to second residency and citizenship in Europe.  

Whether it is a brand-new property in Greece or through specifically curated D2 Visa investment options, Investment Visa has solutions for all types of investors and expats. Contact Investment Visa today, get the best advice on the market and start your journey toward a brighter future!


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