Amsterdam is yet again the safest city in Europe

Amsterdam is yet again the safest city in Europe

According to the latest iteration of the Safest Cities Index (SCI) from The Economist Intelligence Unit, Amsterdam is yet again the safest city in Europe and has ranked even higher on this year’s SCI to become the 4th safest city in the world! Although not completely comparable, in the 2017 ranking the Dutch capital took 6th place globally.

Safest Cities Index 2019

This is the third edition of the Safe Cities Index, which appears bi-annually and was first published in 2015. This iteration ranks 60 cities from across the world according to 57 indicators. The last edition only looked at 49 indicators. These ranking indicators fall under the four equally-weighted categories of digital security, health security, infrastructure security and personal security.

In this year’s edition, the framework has been modified to focus more on a city’s climate-change or disaster risk resilience / preparedness. To this end, four new indicators have been added, related to disaster / climate-change preparedness. Moreover, other new indicators highlight changing global trends.

When it comes to the four security categories, Amsterdam received two top 10 positions and two top 20 positions. Namely, the Dutch capital ranked 14th for digital security, joint 4th for health security, 16th for infrastructure security and 9th for personal security. Overall, Amsterdam ranked 4th, with a score of 88,0 (100 being the best score).

Digital security

The factors bundled under digital security assess the ability of a city’s residents to use the internet and other digital channels without the fear of their privacy being violated or their identity being stolen. Some factors used in ranking a city according to digital security include the awareness of digital threats, existence of dedicated cyber-security teams and level of technology employed. Indicators like estimated number of computers infected with a virus, amongst others, also feature in this category.

Amsterdam took 14th place for digital security, the only other European city ranking above it was London in 10th place. Those in the top five spots for this category were Tokyo, Singapore, Chicago, Washington DC, and Los Angeles and San Francisco – which were joint 5th.

Health security

This category looks at the level and quality of healthcare available to residents as well as how a city performs in terms of environmental policy. Health security indicators include air and water quality, infant mortality, access to safe and quality food, and environmental policies, amongst others. One of the latest indicators added to this category is emergency services in the city.

Of all of the Dutch capital’s scores, it did best on health security, coming in joint 4th place with Stockholm. No other European city ranked above Amsterdam in this category. Those in first to third place were all Asian cities, namely Osaka, Tokyo and Seoul.

Infrastructure security

The built physical environment is what is important when it comes to infrastructure security, and how vulnerable this is to attacks and disasters. The quality of the infrastructure itself, as well as the enforcement of transport safety, are assessed, along with things like the number of road traffic deaths and the number of terrorist attacks on facilities and infrastructure. This category gained the most new indicators: six were added and three existing indicators were refreshed.

Of the four categories, Amsterdam ranked the worst in this one. The Dutch city came in at 16th place for infrastructure security. Three European cities ranked above Amsterdam, all of which made it into the top 10. The top five for this category were Singapore, Osaka, Barcelona, Tokyo and Madrid.

Personal security

How at risk citizens are when it comes to violence, crime, natural disasters and man-made threats all fall under this category. Other factors used in this category include level of police engagement, gun regulation and enforcement, organised crime and level of corruption, amongst others.

Amsterdam did reasonably well in personal security, making the top 10 for this category: it ranked 9th. Copenhagen was the only other European city to rank higher than Amsterdam, coming in 2nd. The top five for this category were Singapore, Copenhagen, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Wellington.

Top 10 Safe Cities

The cities making it into the top 10 of the Safe Cities Index 2019 are as follows:

1. Tokyo
2. Singapore
3. Osaka
4. Amsterdam
5. Sydney
6. Toronto
7. Washington, DC
=8. Copenhagen
=8. Seoul
10. Melbourne

For more information, see the Safe Cities Index 2019.

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

Read more



Leave a comment