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12 of the Safest Countries in the World

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In uncertain times, safety and security become paramount considerations, so having a Plan B is a smart move.

Clearly, taking a closer look at the safest countries in the world is a sensible thing for any investor or traveller to do. That’s why the Nomad Capitalist team has put together a top 12 list of the nations globally recognised for their very low crime rates, peaceful societies and political stability.

As a result of their reputation for safety, these same countries also offer incredible opportunities for travel, business and perhaps even a new place to call home.

After all, having a stable home impacts everything – your lifestyle, your investments and your peace of mind. Let Nomad Capitalist help you find the best offshore solution for your individual needs with a specially tailored Action Plan.

Understanding the Global Peace Index

Understanding the Global Peace Index
Living in a peaceful location is a great option.

Before listing off the safest countries in the world, you first need to understand the metrics that help determine which nations top our list. One key tool Nomad Capitalist’s team uses is the Global Peace Index (GPI).

The GPI is a remarkable measure that gauges global peace across the world and grades individual countries by looking at 23 different indicators, including violent crime, societal safety and security and political instability.

It’s like a health check for a nation’s level of peace and is updated regularly to keep tabs on how countries evolve over time.

Why the Global Peace Index Matters

So, why should you care about the Global Peace Index? Isn’t that just for hippies and bleeding hearts? Or, worse, for the paranoia sufferers who actively search for terrifying reasons to never leave their bedrooms and go out into the world?

Here’s the thing: the GPI isn’t just about the number of violent crimes or a country’s political stability. It’s about understanding the environment you might be stepping into, whether you’re looking to travel, invest or move.

Suppose you’re contemplating the idea of relocating to a country in Europe or perhaps considering investment opportunities within the European Union (EU). Understanding the GPI could help you make a more informed decision.

It might even lead you to a country you hadn’t considered, like Slovenia, which is known for its high safety ranking.

Global Peace Index: A Tool for a Safer Future

In essence, the Global Peace Index is a tool that can guide you towards a safer future. By understanding the societal safety and security landscape of a country, you can make more informed choices.

The GPI can help us find countries that aren’t just safe but also ripe with opportunities for investment and growth. And remember, safer countries often equate to better investment environments.

If you’re looking for advice on exploring the safest countries according to the GPI, Nomad Capitalist can help you discover the most peaceful and viable regions around the globe that might just be your next investment or travel destination.

Exploring the Safest Countries in the World

Below is a compilation of the top 12 safest countries in the world, ranked according to their Global Peace Index scores for 2023. The comprehensive report by the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP) serves as the source for these scores.

1. Iceland: Remote and Peaceful, but Pricey

Safest Countries Iceland
Iceland is a very safe place to establish yourself.

Iceland is ranked as the safest country in the world according to the Global Peace Index (GPI score of 1.124).

This breathtaking country has a very low crime rate and benefits from a stable political climate and effective law enforcement which contribute significantly to its peaceful atmosphere. Iceland scores high in terms of safety and security domain and has been the most peaceful country in the world every year since the index began.

Its naturally beautiful landscapes, including majestic glaciers, rejuvenating hot springs and dramatic geysers, make it a haven for those seeking peace, beauty and adventure in equal measure.

Although residents enjoy a high quality of life, the cost of living in Iceland is considerably high.  Moreover, as with Scandinavian countries in general, Iceland also suffers from high taxes.

2. Denmark: Low Crime Rates But High Tax Rates

Denmark Average Annual Income
Copenhagen is a peaceful city in Denmark.

Denmark, listed second in the Global Peace Index (GPI score of 1.31), embodies the essence of Scandinavian peace and harmony. The nation is recognised for its very low crime rate and the high standard of living it offers its residents, courtesy of a robust social welfare system. 

Of course, all of that doesn’t come cheap, which is why this stable European nation has some of the highest taxes in the world.

3. Ireland: Friendly, Safe and Thriving 

Ireland Low Corporate Tax jpg
Ireland is a welcoming, tranquil land.

Ireland is the third safest country in the world, according to the Global Peace Index (GPI score of 1.312). Having earned a reputation for peacefulness, culture and friendliness, the country’s very low crime rate is balanced by the warmth of its people, making anyone feel at home.

Ireland’s social stability, along with a lack of political instability, contributes to its peacefulness.

The lush green countryside is a treasure trove of music, literature and history. Meanwhile, its population is well known for humour and hospitality, making Ireland not just a safe country but a destination rich in experiences and heritage.

Its skilled, native-English-speaking workforce, low corporate tax rate and flexible non-dom tax regime also make it appealing to foreign investors.

4. New Zealand: the Peaceful Land of Adventure

New Zealand scaled
New Zealand is a peaceful land.

New Zealand, another one of the world’s safest countries (GPI score of 1.313), is a haven of tranquillity situated in the Southern Hemisphere. New Zealanders, or Kiwis as they like to be called, are known for their friendly and welcoming nature.

The country’s low crime rate is supplemented by a strong emphasis on societal safety and peacefulness, creating an environment that feels secure and welcoming. The nation’s natural beauty and a plethora of outdoor activities like hiking, skiing and surfing further enhance its appeal.

Despite its modest size, New Zealand consistently demonstrates a commendable commitment to upholding peace and guaranteeing an outstanding quality of life for those who call it home.

5. Austria: Peace and Culture in the Heart of Europe

Austria Average Annual Income
Austria is a gorgeous spot in Europe.

Fifth on the Global Peace Index is Austria (GPI score of 1.316), a country where safety, culture and natural beauty converge in a harmonious blend.

With a low crime rate and high societal safety, Austria has managed to create a peaceful and secure environment for its citizens and visitors. The country’s political stability and effective law enforcement further contribute to its high safety ranking.

Known for its music, art, architecture and picturesque landscapes, Austria offers a safe haven for those seeking both cultural richness and peace.

6. Singapore: Safe Haven for Foreign Investors

Singapore Safe Haven for Foreign Investors
Singapore is a wealthy country as well as a peaceful one.

A long-time favourite of ours, Singapore has been named the sixth most peaceful country in the world, according to the Global Peace Index (GPI score of 1.332). 

In the Asia-Pacific region, it’s worth noting that the level of peacefulness in this year’s GPI has slightly increased by 0.32. The increase is due to progress in safety and security and reduced militarisation. 

Besides safety and security, Singapore has much to offer foreign investors, such as low corporate taxes and incentives for entrepreneurs and business owners.

7. Portugal: Tranquil Retreat on the Iberian Peninsula

Portugal 1 scaled
Portugal is a great place in Europe with decent tax schemes and a good culture.

Portugal ranked seventh on the Global Peace Index (GPI score of 1.333), which is a testament to Europe’s commitment to peace and safety. This vibrant country is recognised for its low crime rate, societal safety and remarkable social harmony across its various social and economic classes.

Portugal’s beautiful beaches, historic cities and scrumptious cuisine contribute to its appeal. Coupled with a peaceful and secure atmosphere, Portugal offers a mix of rich cultural experiences and safety that’s hard to resist.

Compared to neighbouring Spain, it enjoys a far better tax system and a much higher standard of English fluency.

8. Slovenia: Peaceful and Affordable

Slovenia the cheapest place to live
Slovenia is less well-known than other European countries.

Slovenia, standing proudly as the eighth safest country on the Global Peace Index (GPI score of 1.334), is a testament to Central Europe’s commitment to peace and safety.

Its relatively homogeneous population enjoys a very low crime rate and a high degree of societal safety, thanks to the country’s strong economy and effective law enforcement.

Famous for its natural beauty, encompassing mountains, lakes and forests, as well as its wine production, Slovenia is a country that has managed to balance safety and peace with a high quality of life.

9. Japan: Fusion of Ancient Traditions and Modern Safety

Tokyo Japan
Japanese culture is governed by cooperation and respect for law.

Japan, listed ninth on the Global Peace Index (GPI score of 1.336), is a fascinating blend of tradition, innovation and safety. Despite being densely populated, Japan boasts a low crime rate and high societal safety.

The country’s commitment to maintaining law and order and its well-trained police force contribute to its peaceful atmosphere. Undoubtedly, Japan’s unique culture and safe environment make it a compelling destination for travellers and investors alike.

Japan also scores high for innovation and economic clout but is let down by high taxes and famously strict immigration policies.

10. Switzerland: Alpine Sanctuary of Peace and Prosperity

Switzerland Average Annual Income
Switzerland is a notoriously peaceful region.

Switzerland, taking tenth spot on the Global Peace Index (GPI score of 1.339), is synonymous with safety and tranquillity.

The country’s low crime rate, strict gun control laws and effective law enforcement practices are components of a broader societal safety system that ensures peace and security.

Known for its stunning mountainous landscapes, serene lakes and world-famous chocolates, Switzerland provides an idyllic setting for peaceful living and investing.

11. Canada: Northern Haven of Peace and Friendliness

Canada Least Densely Populated Countries in the World scaled
Canada is a polite and friendly place.

Canada, a country known for its friendly people and beautiful natural scenery, ranks eleventh on the Global Peace Index (GPI score of 1.35).

Canada’s commitment to maintaining a low crime rate and ensuring high societal safety is evident in its welcoming and secure communities. The country’s peaceful nature is further enriched by its love for ice hockey (maybe that’s where the violence goes), strong democratic government and commitment to equal pay across different economic classes.

Canada presents a unique blend of safety, multicultural vibrancy and natural beauty.

12. Czech Republic: Affordable Centre of Culture

Best Cities For Digital Nomads In EuropePrague Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is one of the more affordbale nations listed as one of the world’s safest countries.

The Czech Republic ranked twelfth on the Global Peace Index (GPI score of 1.379), a testament to the peace and stability that pervades much of Central Europe.

This inland country maintains a low crime rate, underpinned by a strong societal safety framework and political stability.

Known for its stunning architecture, rich history and delectable beer, the Czech Republic offers a secure, peaceful environment alongside a strong cultural heritage.

It also boasts lower taxes compared to most of its neighbours and is generally quite business-friendly.

12 of the Safest Countries in the World: FAQs

What are the safest countries in the world?

Nations like Iceland, New Zealand, Ireland, Denmark, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Canada, Japan and Finland are ranked among the safest in the world.

What does the Global Peace Index measure?

The Global Peace Index, a product of The Economist Intelligence Unit, quantifies peace across the globe by evaluating countries and regions on a set of diverse criteria. Its broad assessment considers numerous factors, from violent crime levels and political stability to the scale of military forces and the threat of terrorism. Additionally, the Index takes a keen interest in societal safety and security while not neglecting the impact of both domestic and international conflict.

What makes a country safe?

A safe country is one where the crime rates are low, particularly violent crime. But it also involves more than just low crime rates. Political stability, effective law enforcement, societal safety and the absence of conflict are all factors that contribute to a country’s safety ranking. It’s also important to consider personal security, digital security and infrastructure security.

Which European countries are considered safe?

A considerable number of European nations, especially those within the European Union, garner high safety ratings. Their safety is attributed to exceptionally low crime rates coupled with a significant emphasis on societal safety and security. The Global Peace Index highlights several of these countries as remarkably safe on a list which includes Iceland, Ireland, Denmark, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia and the Czech Republic.

Why does Iceland often rank as the safest country?

Iceland frequently ranks as the world’s safest country due to a number of factors. These include its very low crime rate, lack of military expenditures, political stability and strong societal safety measures. Iceland also has a relatively small and homogeneous population, which tends to result in fewer societal conflicts.

Is a low crime rate the only factor considered in the Global Peace Index?

No. While a low crime rate is an important factor, the Global Peace Index also considers many other aspects that contribute to a country’s overall safety. Among these other factors, the ranking considers aspects such as societal safety and security, the extent of militarisation, the stability of political structures, as well as the presence and magnitude of domestic and international conflicts.

How does political stability influence a country’s safety ranking?

Political stability is key to a country’s safety ranking as it reduces the likelihood of violent demonstrations or internal conflict that could disrupt societal safety. Stable political climates tend to have more effective law enforcement, fewer violent crimes and increased societal safety.

Find Your Peace in the Safest Countries in the World

Find Your Peace in the Safest Countries in the World
Moving to the most peaceful region can be a game changer for your peace of mind.

From Iceland’s geysers and hot springs to Ireland’s loughs and islands, these countries exemplify what it means to prioritise societal safety and maintain peace.

Despite having diverse cultures and landscapes, each of these nations shares a common thread of peace, security and low crime rates. One thing you will note, however, is how these countries differ in terms of taxation with many of these countries – though not all – demanding high taxes.

If you dig a little deeper, you’ll notice that this high-versus-low comparison only tells half the story. While on the surface, some of these countries may appear to have high taxes, they may offer special tax breaks or other legal methods to reduce them.

Learning about all of these tax reduction methods, which countries offer them and exactly how they work takes a lot of effort. But this is precisely what we do every day at Nomad Capitalist, helping our clients pick the best solutions from all available options.

So, if you are looking to relocate to a safe and stable country but also want to find the best all-around solution for your offshore needs that offers minimal taxes and maximum travel and investment freedoms, contact us today.

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