The safest and most dangerous nations in the world


The safest and most dangerous nations in the world

One of the most important factors on planning for a move abroad is, is it safe? Whilst no nation is completely free from dangers there are those that you should avoid if you want to have a long and healthy life in another country. We list some of the safest and most dangerous countries for expats from our list of country guides.

The safest

The safest countries in the world (in no particular order) are as follows:

New Zealand

With its relatively small population and its geographic isolation New Zealand is one of the safest nations on Earth. According to the 2012 Global Peace Index the country ranked 2nd place, just behind Iceland and tied with Denmark. The nation has long established democracy offering a safe and stable political environment. The native islanders tend to be very welcoming to foreign arrivals and offers strong British expat community.

Crime rates are low due to a well trained and equipped police force meaning that you feel safe in most regions whether in a town or city. The biggest threat to a person’s safety comes from the threat of earthquakes. A large rebuilding programme is underway to repair the damage caused by the 2011 quake that ravaged the Canterbury region. 


Sitting just behind New Zealand on the Global Peace Index is Canada. Unlike its neighbour the USA which ranked 88th in the list, Canada has strict gun control laws and a relatively peaceful foreign policy.

The Canadian government is stable and the nation is enjoying the fruits of a strong economy. Crime is low and there are no natural disasters to contend with except in some regions that are vulnerable to hurricanes and quakes. 


In 5th place in the rankings of the Global Peace Index and sat just behind Canada Japan is famous for its low crime rate. Tokyo, a city of 30 million people and one of the biggest cities in the world has remarkably no dodgy no-go zones.

The majority of crime that does occur in the country is committed by foreigners so you don’t have much to fear from the native population. That said, Japan could fall in the rankings for 2013 due to its diplomatic row with China over some disputed islands continues to escalate. 

Republic of Ireland

The troubles are a thing of the past in the Republic of Ireland but in Northern Ireland sectarian violence has flared up again in recent months. The threat that the violence could spill over the border

may be low but it is there. According to the Global Peace Index the Republic of Ireland lies in 6th place thanks to the friendliness of its people and the presence of an effective police force. Ireland also has a peaceful foreign policy not being involved in a war since it won its independence from the UK.


Europe’s biggest nation lays in 15th place in the Global Peace Index a full 14 places ahead of the UK. Unlike the rest of the Eurozone, Germany has prospered and is enjoying a period of low unemployment rates despite the Euro crisis. Germany has a peaceful foreign policy and a low crime rate meaning that external threats or the threat from terrorism is low, saying that there are elements of illegal neo-Nazis in the outer regions of the country.

The most dangerous

The most dangerous countries in the world (in no particular order) are as follows:


Lying 153rdin the Global Peace Index Russia is the lowest ranked nation out of our country guides. The reasons for its low rank include high levels of corruption throughout all levels of politics and civil administration, restrictions of press freedoms and the very real concern that the nation is becoming a dictatorship under the stewardship of Vladimir Putin. A number of terrorist incidents and wars have occurred in recent years reducing the nation’s peace levels. For British expats the general population are fairly friendly but relations between the British government and Russia have cooled in recent years.


Safety in Egypt has become an increasing concern for foreign tourists and expats. The 2011 Arab Spring has seen the nation torn apart by rioting and violent demonstrations. Peace was restored shortly after the overthrow of Mubarak but now tensions are escalating once more. Civil unrest continues to blight the country. Underlying socio-economic concerns, including poverty and unemployment, particularly amongst the youth, and tensions between Christians and Muslims, are also drivers of instability at present.


Still a much favoured tourist attraction and a popular destination for expats Mexico has suffered terribly as a result of the year’s long drugs war. Expat and foreigners tend to be safe in Mexico if they stick to the major expat areas. Drug related violence has seen close to 50,000 people murdered or killed as a direct result of conflicts between the various drug cartels and the Mexican army.

South Africa

For tourists and expats who stick to the safe tourist destinations South Africa can be an amazing place to live. However, you should always take precautions when entering certain areas of the country. The homicide rate in Cape Town is one of the highest in Africa but typically crime is native on native violence. The country’s struggling economy has not helped matters as many South Africans find themselves out of work.

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