Story at a glance

  • The Safe Cities Index ranks 60 cities based on 76 indicators.
  • These indicators measure and analyze each city’s digital, health, infrastructure, personal and environmental security.
  • The 2021 index also took into account the COVID-19 pandemic, finding that it affected nearly every aspect of safety in cities, not only health.

The Economist’s Intelligence Unit released its biennial report known as the Safe Cities Index, which “ranks 60 cities across 76 indicators covering digital, health, infrastructure, personal and environmental security.” The cities are then ranked in each category, as well as overall, on a scale of 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating safer cities. 

However, the 2021 index also took into account the COVID-19 pandemic, finding that it affected nearly every aspect of safety in cities, not only health. The surge in people working from home brought digital security to the forefront, while crime patterns in regards to personal security changed due to lockdown orders worldwide.

“COVID-19 has impacted all aspects of urban safety,” Pratima Singh, project director of the EIU’s Safe Cities Index, told CNBC


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The latest index determined the least safe city was Yangon, Myanmar, which ranked last in digital security, 58th in health, infrastructure security and personal security, as well as 54th in environmental security.

Rounding out the five least-safe cities were Karachi, Pakistan; Caracas, Venezuela; Cairo, Egypt; and Lagos, Nigeria.

The five safest cities, according to the index, were Copenhagen, Denmark; Toronto, Canada; Singapore; Sydney, Australia; and Tokyo, Japan.

The first U.S. city to appear on the overall safest list was New York City, ranking at 11th.


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Published on Aug 30, 2021