Iceland Voted the Safest Country in the World for the 11th Time

Photo of Camille Buckley
16 July 2018

Every year, an Australian company looks at a variety of data to determine the safest and most dangerous countries out of 163 independent states. The factors that take part in the data crunching include crime rates, terrorist attacks, murder rates, weapons exchange, incarceration rates, corruption, and government function. In 2018, it has been revealed Iceland has topped this list for the 11th year in a row.

There are a few prominent reasons why this should come as no surprise. The tiny Nordic nation of 340,000 with an equally tiny crime rate has just 1.8 murders per 100,000 people per year. Another reason is that Iceland has no military; its skies are monitored by a rotation of guest militaries each year. This, all in all, makes the chances of war very low. The Icelandic police are also unarmed and had only just begun to carry guns in their vehicles.

Peace, Reykjavik, Iceland | © Vestman/Flickr

This year, Iceland was not the only country from Europe on the top 10 list. Austria came in at third place, Portugal in fourth place, and Denmark in fifth place. While a small population might make you assume that it’s the biggest reason for Iceland’s safety, there are certainly more factors.

While Iceland’s violent crime rate is low compared to other countries, it is on a per capita basis, meaning individuals are three times more likely to be a victim in the US than in Iceland. Another factor one might not assume as playing a big role in safety is the lack of a class system, creating a greater sense of equality and equanimity amongst the population. Most Icelanders consider themselves middle class. You will notice firsthand when you visit Iceland how this ranking of safest country in the world carries itself out with the Icelandic custom of leaving babies sleeping outside in prams on the street, as well as the freedom given to children in general.

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