The safest city in the EU is Dutch

The safest city in the EU is Dutch

According to the Safe Cities Index 2017 by The Economist Intelligence Unit, Amsterdam ranks number six in the world and number one in Europe for safety. Two other European countries made it into the top 10 as well.

The ranking

The Safe Cities Index, publishing its second edition this year, looked at 60 cities, as opposed to 50 in 2015, and scored them according to 49 indicators, six of which are new. These indicators fall into four categories: digital security, health security, infrastructure security and personal security.

In these categories, Amsterdam had a position in the top 10 for three out of the four and received an overall score of 87,26, not far behind the number one, Tokyo, which received 89,80 points. Stockholm and Zurich were also amongst the European cities that placed in the top 10, placing 8th and 10th respectively.

Digital security

Digital security refers to a city’s awareness of digital threats, the level of technology employed and whether or not the particular city has a dedicated cybersecurity team. This category also looks at the estimated number of computers with a virus and the frequency of identity theft.

In digital security, Amsterdam performs well, taking 4th place, the highest place it took in all categories, just above Hong Kong.

Health security

Health security looks at city maintenance of natural environments, environmental policies and the quality of care available. This category also scores cities on indicators such as life expectancy, infant mortality and the quality of air and water.

In health security, Amsterdam just misses the top 10 by two places, coming in at 12th place. This is the lowest score that the Dutch capital received from the report. European cities such as Frankfurt, Zurich, Brussels, Paris and Stockholm all scored above Amsterdam on health security.

Infrastructure security

The category of infrastructure security focuses on how vulnerable a city's infrastructure is to terrorist attacks and disasters, as well as the enforcement of transport safety and the number of transport-related deaths, amongst other factors.

Amsterdam takes 6th place for infrastructure security, with Madrid, Barcelona and Stockholm all scoring higher. In infrastructure security, the top 10 is dominated by high / middle-income countries, whilst the countries falling to the bottom of the list are generally low-income countries.

Technology plays an important role in infrastructure security, and the Safe Cities report mentions the development of “smart dykes” in the Netherlands to prevent flooding specifically.

Personal security

The personal security category concerns the risk of crime, violence and other man-made threats to citizens.

Amsterdam finds itself in the top 10 again in the category of personal security. Here, the city is awarded 10th place, with only one other European city scoring higher, namely Stockholm at 9th place. Asian cities came out on top in the personal security category, with Singapore taking the top spot.

Top 10 Safe Cities

The following countries made it into the top 10 of the Safe Cities Index 2017:

  1. Tokyo
  2. Singapore
  3. Osaka
  4. Toronto
  5. Melbourne
  6. Amsterdam
  7. Sydney
  8. Stockholm
  9. Hong Kong
  10. Zurich


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...

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