Safest Countries in the World in 2023

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Published on 08 September, 2022 • Last updated on 11 January, 2024

By Portugal Homes

Safest Countries in the World in 2023

According to the Global Peace Index, Europe remains the Safest Region in the World in 2023, being the home to seven of the top 10 safest countries. This Index is a yearly report produced and released by the Institute for Economics and Peace, and it measures the relative positions of nations and regions.

In assessing a country’s level of peacefulness, three core aspects are researched, which are the level of societal safety and security, the extent of ongoing domestic and international conflict, and the degree of militarisation.

This is achieved through a careful examination of factors such as crime rate, incidences of terrorist acts and violent demonstrations, harmonious relations with neighbouring countries, political stability, and the proportion of the refugee population. In total, 23 indicators are used to measure the absence of violence or the fear of violence. Though these factors have been used since 2007, they are reviewed on an annual basis, making the Global Peace Index a reliable, trustworthy worldwide ranking. This methodology allows the Institute to evaluate the level of harmony or discord within a country and determine which are the safest countries in the world to live in.

With Europe’s outstanding position as the Safest Region in the world, is Portugal ranked among the safest countries with the lowest crime rate in the world?

Continue reading and find out more about the safest countries in the world below.

Top Safest Country in the World

1. Iceland

Iceland is at the top of the Global Peace Index and has kept this position undisputedly since 2008. Iceland is well-known for its high quality of life, and this Nordic country has a rich history dating back to Vikings’ time and has exotic landscapes such as volcanoes, geysers, hot springs, and lava fields.

In 2023, Iceland witnessed a 4% deterioration in its overall score, but despite this, it remains the safest country in the world.

Landscape of Reykjavik, Iceland.


2. Denmark

This amazing Scandinavian country is famous for its rich culture and amazing architecture. Its capital, Copenhagen, boasts a true medieval sense of wonder, present in its royal palaces and cobbled streets leading up to the historic centre. Denmark is in the Jutland Peninsula and possesses numerous islands in the region, including Greenland.

Over the Index’s existence, Denmark has never fallen below the fifth position, and in 2023, this Nordic country has risen to the second spot in the Index from the fourth place, revealing the country’s commitment to safety and peacefulness.

Landscape of Copenhagen, Denmark.


3. Ireland

Ireland is known for its myriad of amazing green landscapes, earning the nickname “Emerald Isle.” The country has a millennial history scattered along its multiple medieval castles. In 2023, it has retained the title of the Third Safest Country in the World in the Global Peace Index.

Landscape of Dublin, Ireland.


4. New Zealand

Located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, New Zealand is an island country formed by two mainland territories and over 700 smaller islands and is one of the largest island countries in the world. It is the only Oceanic country among the top Safest Countries in the World, according to the Global Peace Index.

In 2023, New Zealand decreased by two places, now standing at the fourth position, in comparison to 2022, where it ranked second. It is important to understand New Zealand’s decrease in the ranking occurs because of the militarisation aspect, and not necessarily because of an increase in violent occurrences.

Landscape of New Zealand's city.


5. Austria

Austria is located in Central Europe, by the Eastern Alps. It is a federation of nine states, one of which is the capital Vienna, the largest city and state by population. Austria is famous for its musical history, medieval castles, amazing palaces, and cathedrals. The country is also a major destination for winter sports, such as skiing or snowboarding, and its Christmas market has become a cultural staple.

In 2023, Austria has remained in the fifth place in comparison to the 2022 Global Peace Index.

Landscape of Vienna, Austria.


6. Singapore

Singapore comes into the list in sixth place, and it is one of the two Asian countries featured in the top ten safest countries in the world, with the other being Japan at number nine. It holds the particularity of being a city-state and being an extremely multicultural country, recognizing four official languages.

In 2023, the country rose three places, going from the ninth to the sixth position, revealing the country’s commitment to improvement on the levels of societal security.


7. Portugal

Portugal can be found along Southern Europe, on the Iberian Peninsula, right next to Spain. Despite its location, Portugal is not bathed by the Mediterranean, but by the Atlantic, which was crucial for the country when it kickstarted the Age of Discovery. A rich, ancient history and culture and boundless sunny weather are some of the key characteristics of the country.

In 2023, Portugal decreased from the sixth place to the seventh position. However, this is more so because of Singapore’s tremendous efforts in safety increase than any decrease in security in Portugal.

Landscape of Lisbon, Portugal.

Why is Portugal one of the Safest Countries in the World?

Despite the one place decrease in 2023, Portugal is still extremely safe. It consistently ranks among the safest countries in the world, with little variation in the Index. In 2019 and 2020, Portugal ranked the highest ever, standing in third position for two years in a row, and these levels of safety are because of several factors.

Let us not forget the Global Peace Index has classified Europe as the Safest Region in the World, despite recent and ongoing world events. As a country in the European Union, Portugal is no different and follows the same standards when it comes to security and safety.

Portugal heavily bets on a healthy relationship between its policing forces and local communities, which leads to overall better combat against criminal occurrences. Furthermore, Portugal places great emphasis on crime prevention, starting early with programs in school on safety and actively doing campaigns against criminality. Portugal’s modest size and population also play a key role in this, as it is effectively easier to maintain the peace in a smaller territory.

In recent years, Portugal has also experienced a boom in the tourism industry, and it has become one of the country’s main economic drivers. Because of this, Portugal has placed further importance on fostering and promoting its safety. As with any other country, normal precautions should always be exercised when visiting or moving to Portugal. Petty property theft and domestic violence are among the main criminal occurrences, but violent crime continues to be at an all-time low and gradually declining year-on-year.

Praia do Camilo is one of the best beaches in the Algarve.


Portugal is a Safe Haven for Families

When moving abroad with your family, the main priority is to establish if everyone will be safe, healthy, and happy. There are a lot of key factors at play that make or break the decision, but you will undoubtedly not regret moving to Portugal, as the country truly proves a safe haven where you and your family can prosper on all levels.

The cost of living is an important factors when moving to another country, especially when family is involved, as there are always extra costs associated, such as healthcare for everyone, education, clothing, transportation, and school supplies, among many others. Compared with the other countries that precede Portugal on the Index, Portugal is by far the most affordable.

But it is not just the cost of living that makes Portugal a truly enticing destination. While other European countries such as Iceland, Ireland, Denmark, and Austria are well-known for their long and hard winters, a lot of Portugal’s fame comes from its sunny weather. One of the sunniest countries in all of Europe, Portugal has mild, amenable winters and comfortable summers, and boasts absolutely fantastic beaches, which are perfect for spending time and creating memories.

Furthermore, the lifestyle in Portugal is naturally more relaxed and oriented toward family, friends, social hangouts, and taking life one day at a time. The Portuguese culture supports this, with strong family-friendly policies in effect.  The education of children is also an immense priority, with the public system being heavily invested in every year by the government and the existence of an abundance of international schools. Tertiary education also takes the spotlight, with Portugal boasting some of the best universities in Europe.

Though all these factors are crucial when considering moving abroad, the best part about Portugal is that it harmonizes all these essential aspects of societal life with extremely elevated levels of security. The country registers a high level of public safety and most occurring crimes pertain to property and domestic violence. It truly is possible to have it all when it comes to ensuring the safety of your family, and Portugal is the only place for it.


Portugal is a safe minimal-risk place for Investments 

While investments always carry out risks, these are mitigated when applied in Portugal. The country is both politically stable and economically strong, having the EURO as its official currency and being part of the European Union.

For over a decade, Portugal also operated the most successful Golden Visa program in Europe, which produced more than 6 billion EURO over a decade, revealing the country’s ability to captivate and safely manage foreign investment. In 2023, the option to directly purchase Real Estate to qualify for the Portugal Golden Visa was discontinued, though the country still represents an excellent investment avenue in the Real Estate market, which is not slowing down any time soon.

The Portugal D2 Visa arises as the best Residency by Investment alternative. Also known as the Entrepreneur Visa, this program requires opening a new or branching out an existing business in Portugal. With no minimum set investment amount, and Real Estate qualifying for the program, Portugal is becoming even more competitive and attractive to international investors.

The Mátria Co-Space for example, is a qualifying avenue to obtain the Portugal D2 Visa. The Portugal D2 Visa also extends to the investor’s family, including the spouse and children, and can act as the perfect launching pad for EU Citizenship, as Portugal enables investors to become Citizens after five years of Residency.

Ever since its inception, Portugal Homes quickly became a key player in the Golden Visa market, emphasizing Portugal’s levels of stability to international investors as a selling point for minimal-risk investments with great returns. This has led Portugal Homes to handle vast amounts of capital in a secure and efficient way, all the while guiding hundreds of investors toward Residency in the European Union.

Now, Portugal Homes is set to continue leading the market with its Portugal D2 Visa solutions. If you have any questions about the Portugal D2 Visa, do not hesitate to contact Portugal Homes. Fill out our query forms and one of our representatives will reach out as soon as possible.

Read More:

Portugal is in 6th place among the World’s Safest Countries
The cost of living in Portugal
Retiring in Portugal - What do you need to know?
Living in the Algarve


Employee Talks with Maria Alves | Administrative Support

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