This article will discuss the safest European countries, what makes them so safe, and what features a country must boast to be considered safe.
Although things are changing, Europe, especially Western Europe, is still considered the most developed region in the world owing to its excellent reputation, living standards, universal healthcare, education system, and of course, safe environment.
That’s why many people dream of acquiring European citizenship or residency to expand their opportunities and investment portfolio or upgrade their lifestyle. If that’s you, get in touch with Nomad Capitalist, and we’ll help you go where you’re treated best.
Why is Safety So Important?
Whether you want to travel to a country or settle there long-term, there’s usually a checklist of “must-haves” a country must possess. We all know the usual fields – natural beauty, developed infrastructure, plenty of activities, etc.
For a Nomad Capitalist, all of the above counts, but we also prioritize factors like investment opportunities, a favorable business environment, and a friendly tax regime.
However, there’s one factor that tops all else, and that is safety. The country could be the ultimate highly developed, zero-tax investment hub, but people still wouldn’t touch it with a pole if they felt unsafe.
Safety is that important.
There are many layers to a safe environment. Not all safety conversations discuss violent crime rates or law and order situations. Safety also encompasses healthcare, general perception, and the political landscape.
Considering all that, the following are the safest countries in Europe.
Safest Countries in Europe for 2024
The Duchy of Luxembourg is a landlocked country in northwestern Europe bordered by France, Germany, and Belgium. Luxembourg is one of the world’s smallest, oldest, and most prosperous countries, with the largest economy by GDP per capita, according to the IMF. The country is also the largest investment fund center in Europe and the second largest in the world after the US making it an excellent location to set up trusts and other financial vehicles.
The Luxembourgish passport ranks 2T on the Nomad Passport Index due to its excellent travel freedom. Other factors contributing to its high ranking were its fantastic perception, friendly taxation laws, and immigration policies.
Luxembourg is a common occupant in lists discussing the safest countries in Europe or the world. The crime rate there is low, and most of that comprises petty crime.
Economically and politically speaking, the country is highly desirable. Luxembourg meets the highest security standards, and the political landscape is also very stable. Quality healthcare is widely accessible, and the same can be said about the standard of education.
One of the safest European countries, Switzerland deserved a spot on our list. The country is famous worldwide for all the right reasons. Switzerland is one of the world’s oldest, most politically stable, and most economically prosperous countries. Long favored by investors, entrepreneurs, and high-net-worth individuals for its excellent banking and privacy laws, Switzerland has successfully maintained an aura of luxury, class, and stability. The Swiss passport ranks 2T on the Nomad Passport Index due to its excellent travel freedom.
The crime rate in Switzerland has always been low. In fact, in 2017, the chance of becoming a victim of a crime in Switzerland was only 0.3%. If that isn’t safe, we don’t know what is.
A significant factor that has made Switzerland so safe, stable, and away from all the violence is its neutral stance over the decades. Swiss people have always known a peaceful environment devoid of any threat of war or chaos, making them an exemplary nation. The extended period of peace has enabled the country to work on more important things like development, social welfare, etc. Currently, Switzerland tops the Human Development Index chart.
Another factor contributing to Switzerland’s excellent safety standards is its law enforcement personnel ensuring that all citizens and residents abide by the law.
Did you know Switzerland has one of the highest gun ownership rates in the world? Even so, it has maintained a very low crime rate. That’s how effective the government and its gun laws are.
Consistently topping the Global Peace Index since 2008, Iceland is a Nordic island nation known as one of the world’s happiest, safest, and most satisfied countries.
Iceland is also the only NATO member without a standing army, navy, or air force. The crime rates are low, and corruption is almost non-existent, thanks to economic and political stability.
The country is also one of the safest places to travel as a woman – even if you’re traveling solo.
Thanks to these attributes, Iceland has bagged the third spot on the latest Women, Peace, and Security Index.
Iceland has a strong sense of community and social support networks, with almost 98% of Icelanders reporting having someone to count on in times of trouble. This is also one of the most significant benefits of being an island nation with a close-knit community, crime rates are low because everyone is connected, and communities can pull together during difficult times.
The country is highly developed and currently sits in the third spot on the UN’s Human Development Index. It’s also the third happiest nation in the world, according to the World Happiness report.
If we consider human development, happiness levels, healthcare and education standards, and law and order situation, then it won’t be wrong to call Iceland the safest country in Europe.
Slovenia is a Central European country known for its crystal-clear lakes, majestic mountains, and world-class ski resorts. With neighboring countries like Croatia, Austria, and Italy, Slovenia often gets ignored in European travel itineraries despite being one of the safest and richest Slavic countries. However, here’s why Slovenia deserves your attention.
First of all, the country is beautiful and full of greenery. In fact, Ljubljana (the capital of Slovenia) was named the Green Capital of Europe in 2016 owing to its car-free city center, plentiful green spaces, and modification in the traffic regime to boost sustainability and environmental health.
Environmental safety is not the only domain Slovenia aces in. It also boasts one of the lowest crime rates in the world, with over 90% of registered criminal offenses constituting theft.
With an abundance of medieval castles, plenty of outdoor activities, and one of the safest and greenest atmospheres you’ll ever encounter, Slovenia deserves to be your next travel destination.
Unlike Slovenia, Ireland needs no introduction. Each year, millions of entrepreneurs, investors, digital nomads, and tourists visit Ireland for its breathtaking views, business-friendly environment, skillful workforce, and some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet.
The Global Peace Index ranks Ireland as the third most peaceful country in the world. Moreover, the country is eighth on the UN’s Human Development Index. The country is also among the top twenty on the Women Peace and Security Index.
Ireland has always been a very safe country and is super-friendly toward foreigners – be it tourists or people looking to settle there long-term. One of the most significant reasons foreigners prefer Ireland is its secure environment. The country has a very low crime rate, and the percentage of violent crime is even lower.
The country offers one of Europe’s lowest corporate tax rates. Moreover, its passport is among the top five passports in the world, offering excellent travel freedom.
Scandinavian countries have consistently ranked among the world’s safest countries. Whether you talk about quality of life, education, healthcare, safety, or happiness, Scandinavian countries are always among the top ten.
The Global Peace Index and the Women Peace and Security Index ranks Denmark fourth in the world owing to its low crime rates, high satisfaction levels, and extremely low danger rating.
The country is also among the top twenty in the Safety Perception Index, indicating that its citizens and residents perceive themselves to be safe across five domains: health, violence, personal security, workplace, and environment.
Denmark is also known worldwide for its capital, Copenhagen. The city is famous for its ancient castles, the Little Mermaid Statue, and undeniable charm. The city is extremely safe and was named the world’s safest city by the Latest Safe Cities Index. As far as stats go, it can’t get safer than Denmark.
Finland may be one of the most northerly countries on the planet, but it’s also one of the finest. The education standard in Finland is world-class and easily accessible throughout the country, making it one of the best countries to raise a family.
The remarkable social welfare system, tight-knit community, and high living standards have made it the happiest nation in the world.
Moreover, Finland is a safe haven for solo travelers as it’s the second-safest country on the Women Peace and Security Index. So if you’re a woman planning to see the northern lights, you can pack your bags and book the next flight to this beautiful country without any worries.
The country is also among the top twenty countries in the Global Peace Index, Safety Perception Index, and Human Development Index. Moreover, its Lahti region was also named the Green Capital of Europe in 2021.
Finland is also one of the most beautiful European countries, with breathtaking landscapes, including numerous lakes, lush forests, and more, making it an extremely attractive tourist destination.
Our second Scandinavian addition to this list, Norway, is famous for its glaciers, pristine fjords, Viking history, and rich culture.
Leading the Women Peace and Security Index, Norway is highly safe for women. This sentiment is also reflected in its sixth position on the Safety Perception Index, indicating that Norwegian people feel incredibly safe compared to others worldwide.
The country, like Denmark, has a strong economy and high living standards. It also has stringent gun laws and one of the lowest crime rates in the world.
The country is second on the Human Development Index and the eighth happiest nation globally, thanks to its commendable social welfare system.
Another happiest nation on our list, the Netherlands is also a safe haven for locals and foreigners alike. Famous for its bicycle culture, rich art, Amsterdam, tulip fields, and more, the Netherlands is a delight to visit.
The country is among the top listings on the Global Peace Index and the Women Peace and Security Index. Amsterdam is also one of the top five safest cities in the world, according to the latest Safe Cities Index.
If you’ve read this far, you may be thinking that safety and good weather don’t go hand in hand. However, that’s not true, and Portugal is a testament to this fact.
Portugal is as diverse as it gets. The country’s north is rocky and cold, while the south is warm with year-round sun. The country is famous for its vast history, rich culture, excellent cuisine, delicious wines, and miles of stunning coastline.
The country ranks sixth on the Global Peace Index and has a very low crime rate. The country is also among the top tourist destinations in the world.
One thing distinguishing Portugal from most other countries on our list is its tax-friendly regime. The country doesn’t have a low tax rate, but it offers excellent tax incentives to foreigners looking to live in Portugal – something you won’t find in the world’s happiest nations.
One of the most underrated Eastern European countries, Georgia is a beautiful nation famous for its delicious wines, its historic capital, Tbilisi, its ancient monasteries and majestic mountains.
Georgia ranks 24th on the Safety Perception Index owing to its low crime rate and high satisfaction levels of its citizens and residents. The country is also economically and politically stable.
Other countries on this list may be excellent from a tourists’ point of view, but Georgia takes it one step further and markets itself as an ideal European base for business activities or even a second home.
Its thriving real estate market, tons of tax incentives, friendly business environment, and strategic location at the intersection of Asia and Europe, make it an excellent option for second residency or citizenship.
Is Safety All That Matters?
Safety is of top-most importance, but it isn’t the entire picture. Any country you’re about to visit, whether for a short duration or not, must be safe. However, it must also offer more perks than a secure environment.
At Nomad Capitalist, we’re all about the holistic approach. For a country to be in our good books, it must be tax-friendly, business-friendly, investor-friendly, and of course, safe.
Most countries on this list score very high in safety while featuring the highest tax rates. If you’re a tourist, it shouldn’t bother you. However, if you’re an investor or an entrepreneur looking for your next base, low tax rates should be among your top three priorities.
Want a holistic approach for your next destination? Contact Nomad Capitalist, and we’ll provide you with precisely that.