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Which Are the World’s Safest Travel Destinations?

The idyllic Alpine country was noted for its political stability, excellent healthcare system, and extremely low homicide rates

by Fergus Cole

March 27, 2023

Photo: Grimentz, Switzerland. Courtesy of Patrick Robert Doyle / Unsplash

A U.K. consumer rights company has released a list of the world’s safest countries to travel to, with Switzerland coming out on top.

The list of the world’s safest holiday destinations was compiled by Which?, a not-for-profit travel analysis website that uses data sourced from consultancy firm STC. The study looked at several safety aspects, such as homicide rates, road traffic fatalities, the risk of natural disasters and terrorism, essential health services, and safety for women. These factors were combined to calculate a safety index score for each destination, producing a compelling list of the world’s most unassailable destinations.

Unsurprisingly, the top ten safest destinations, according to the findings, are dominated by European countries, with Switzerland closely followed by Iceland in second place and Norway in third. Only two of the top ten safest countries were from outside Europe – New Zealand in seventh place and Singapore in ninth.

Gstaad, Switzerland / Photo: Courtesy of Destination Gstaad

Switzerland was singled out for its low rates of violence, excellent healthcare system, and political stability. It also has the safest roads in the world, with just 3.3 road traffic deaths per 100,000 people.

Singapore was also highlighted for its road safety, with traffic fatality rates around a tenth of those in low-ranking Thailand. At the same time, it also has a highly-developed healthcare system and a low risk of natural disasters. Which? urged caution over Singapore’s political authoritarianism, however, mentioning the fact that the city-state has only just recently repealed anti-gay legislation.

New Zealand was also singled out by Which? for its political stability and low homicide rates. However, traffic fatalities are more common in the country than in any other destination in the top ten, at a rate of 6 deaths per 100,000 people.

Queenstown, New Zealand / Photo: ChameleonsEye/Shutterstock

On the other end of the scale, Jamaica was revealed as the most dangerous country to visit. The Caribbean island nation’s low ranking was driven by its extremely high homicide rate, around 60 times higher than Switzerland’s. According to Which?, Jamaica has the highest homicide rate in the world at 35.2 homicides per 100,000 people.

The other countries to make up the five least safe destinations in the world were Brazil, South Africa, the Philippines, and Mexico. Like Jamaica, these countries struggle with relatively high homicide rates. At the same time, the Philippines also ranks poorly due to the heightened risk of natural disasters and a high prevalence of road traffic accidents.

The United States, which has a relatively high homicide rate (5.3 per 100,000) and road traffic fatality rate (10.6 per 100,000), didn’t even make the 40 safest countries in the world, receiving an overall safety index score of 0.7 (out of 1). This was level with Israel, slightly above Cuba, and lower than Chile, Mauritius, and Morocco.

Here are the world’s ten safest countries to travel to, according to Which?:

  1. Switzerland
  2. Iceland
  3. Norway
  4. Portugal
  5. Slovenia
  6. Finland
  7. New Zealand
  8. Denmark
  9. Singapore
  10. Denmark

Here are the world’s ten most dangerous countries to travel to, according to Which?:

  1. Jamaica
  2. Brazil
  3. South Africa
  4. Philippines
  5. Mexico
  6. Kenya
  7. The Gambia
  8. Thailand
  9. Egypt
  10. Peru

Not every country in the world was included in this report, which only focused on destinations with high annual visitors.