In this article, we take a look at the top 20 countries with the lowest crime rates. You can skip our detailed analysis of crime, business, and cybersecurity, and go directly to Top 5 Countries with Lowest Crime Rates.
A country’s crime rates are indicative of the level of its law and order and government effectiveness. Countries with lowest crime rates in the world, therefore, have strong rule of law and safer economic environments which encourage business growth and profitability.
Crime Rates and Business Safety
Six of the countries, with some of the lowest crime rates in the world, are also given the highest ease of doing business scores by the World Bank. This means that business friendliness in these countries, which include New Zealand, Singapore, and Denmark, among others, has a positive correlation with their low crime rates. The robust governmental infrastructure in these countries suppresses crime and supports the business community in establishing and operating their firms. Because of the peace and stability, which prevails as a result of low crime rates, these countries also offer a safe haven to investors from all across the globe.
On the contrary, countries with higher crime rates tend to instill a fear of failure and investment losses among the business community, which drives them to relocate their businesses to more stable countries with lower crime rates. For instance, Venezuela, which has the highest crime rate in the world, saw a decrease of $761 million in foreign direct investments in 2021.
Singapore, which has the lowest crime rates in the world, has attracted investments from more than 4,500 top-ranking US firms, as a direct result of these companies operating in the country. These include Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), among others, bringing the direct US investment in Singapore to $270 billion, as of 2021, Per Asean Briefing.
Many countries are implementing major policy initiatives to curb their crime rates, especially those of cybercrime, due to its increasing intensity. Some of the most common crimes which affect businesses and consumers are debit/credit card fraud, forgery of official documents, and insurance frauds.
In 2022, governments and businesses across the world invested a collective amount of $2.1 billion in Financial Crime Tech (FinCrime Tech) companies. These companies develop and offer AI-integrated softwares to businesses and state departments which detect fraud and money-laundering activities. Between 2018 and 2022, Anti-Money Laundering and FinCrime Tech companies grew at a compound rate of 20.2%.
The Global Organized Crime Index evaluates the prevalence of crime in countries across the world, and measures it from 1-10, with the score of 1 indicating virtually no criminality and the score of 10 indicating high criminality. The criminality is calculated by using indicators which include trafficking of humans and arms, resource-related crime, drug trade, and existence of mafia-style groups, among others.
Gallup’s Law and Order Report, on the other hand, gives each country a law-and-order-index score based on incidents of assault and mugging, theft of money and property, overall safety of citizens, and people’s confidence in local police force. Since it is a law-and-order-index score on a scale of 1-100, we have formulated a crime index score by subtracting each country’s value from 100.
In order to compare these values with those of the Global Organized Crime Index, we placed these values on a scale of 1-10. Then we used averaged-out scores from the Organized Crime Index and our newly-formulated Crime Index to rank the top 20 countries with lowest crime rates in descending order of their scores. Countries with the lowest crime score have the lowest crime rates.
Another pertinent index discussed in this article is countries' resilience against organized crime. The resilience score is measured on a scale of 1-10, with the score of 1 corresponding to highest resilience and a score of 10 corresponding to the lowest. It is based on multiple factors including law enforcement, crime prevention, strength of the judicial system, and government transparency.
Here are the top 20 countries with lowest crime rates:
Crime Index Score: 3.06
Tajikistan’s murder and homicide rate was recorded to be 0.91 in 2020, which is a 44.3% decline from the previous decade. While it is a country with one of the lowest crime rates in the world, the US State Department labels its environment ‘unpredictable’ in terms of safety, especially in the areas bordering Afghanistan. Economically, Tajikistan is a resilient country and the World Bank expects its economy to grow by 4.2% by the end of 2023, which is likely to have an impact on poverty reduction.
Crime Index Score: 3.04
Uzbekistan is a lower middle income country in Central Asia, which has a resilience score of 3.79 against organized crime. Even though the country faced repercussions of Russia-Ukraine war, its resilience allowed its GDP to grow up to $80.3 billion in 2022. In order to tap the supplier potential of the country, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and provided online trading access to sellers in Uzbekistan.
Crime Index Score: 2.99
Egypt is often considered safer than the US and the UK. According to a 2018 survey conducted by Gallup Law and Order, Egypt was ranked ahead of both the US and the UK in safety. Because of its large GDP size, low crime rate and high investor confidence, Egypt continues to attract huge investments from businesses all across the world. In the last month of 2022, 29 top-ranking global companies signed agreements with the government, allowing them to establish their headquarters in Egypt. These companies, which include Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), will contribute approximately $1 billion to the country’s revenue.
Crime Index Score: 2.98
Malta earned a score of 0.92 out of 1 on World Justice Project’s Order and Security Scale and ranked 7th out of 140 countries in the world. To encourage the growth of businesses and investments, Maltese government has announced tax exemptions and low costs for business incorporation and maintenance.
Crime Index Score: 2.97
World Justice Project gave Japan a score of 9.2 out of 10 for order and security. Japan has the third-biggest economy in the world and is one of the safest countries in the world to live in. It is also a highly attractive country in terms of investment, despite a slowed-down economy. Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) has announced its plans to invest $690 million in the country by 2024. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has also invested heavily in Japan, amounting to more than $100 billion as of December 2022.
Crime Index Score: 2.95
With its low criminality scores and high ranking on the Human Development Index, it is no surprise that Hungary is attracting huge amounts of investment from all over the world. In November 2022, BMW group announced its setting up of a high-voltage battery assembly plant in Hungary, thus making an investment of approximately $2.2 billion. Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited, a Chinese battery manufacturing company, also announced an investment of $8 billion in Hungary in August 2022.
Crime Index Score: 2.95
Netherlands has a criminality score of 4.69 and ranks 18th out of 193 countries for resilience against crime. Consequently, it ranks 11th on US News list of countries open to business. This ranking is based on its favorable tax environment, simple regulations, absence of corruption, safety and transparent government practices.
Crime Index Score: 2.91
The occurrence of violent crimes is rare in the urban centers of Jordan. Violent incidents, on rare ocassions, are either a result of inter-clan clashes or a repercussion for terrorism in its neighboring countries, Iraq and Syria. Economically, Jordan is a thriving country with a Gross National Income of $112 billion.
Crime Index Score: 2.89
Sweden has a high score of 8.6/10 for safety on OECD Better Life Index. While it is a generally peaceful country, incidents of gang crime tend to increase in Sweden ahead of its general elections. It is regarded as one of the most highly developed societies in the world, with strong economic indicators. The current industrialization initiatives taken by the government of Sweden are environment-friendly and make use of fossil-free sources of energy.
Crime Index Score: 2.82
Austria is one of the safest countries in the world in terms of crime. The country has a well-functioning legal system and a strong police force, which contribute to maintaining a low crime rate. It is also experiencing a business boom, especially due to an increase in exports by small and medium-sized enterprises. In 2021, these enterprises earned approximately $550 million in sales revenue with the help of online trading platforms such as Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN).
Crime Index Score: 2.73
Portugal ranks 6th out of 163 countries in the Global Peace Index of 2022, with a score of 1/5 for violent crime and 1.45/5 for homicide. Its quality-of-life score is 53.6, which is calculated using indicators such as public safety, political and economic stability, and a good job market. Portugal’s score for resilience to organized crime is 6.46/10.
Crime Index Score: 2.65
Slovenia is a Central European country with a criminality score of 4.29. According to a UNODC report, its homicide rate was 0.5 per 100,000 people in 2020, which is a promising figure in comparison with the world's average homicide rate of 5.8. Some of the most prevalent organized crimes in Slovenia are vehicle theft, human and drug trafficking, and money laundering.
Crime Index Score: 2.57
Switzerland was given a high score of 9.3 out of 10 by OECD Better Life Index for public safety. With a GDP of $813 billion, it also ranks first on the list of countries open for business. In November 2022, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) announced its expansion into Switzerland with the launch of a new infrastructure region called AWS Europe (Zurich).
7. New Zealand
Crime Index Score: 2.53
New Zealand is a high-income country with a GNI per capita of $45,440 in 2021. Because of its high law and order and security ranking, the country provides good opportunities for tourism, business, and investment. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has recently announced its plan to invest $180 million in New Zealand for building a data center.
Crime Index Score: 2.49
Canada is a generally safe and peaceful country. While there has been a decrease in property crime and non-violent crime in recent years, incidents of violent crime were reported to have increased in 2021, with 890 cases reported per 100,000 people. Economically, Canada ranks among the top 10 countries in the world by nominal GDP with an annual growth rate of 4.6%.
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Disclosure: none. Top 20 Countries with Lowest Crime Rates is originally published on Insider Monkey.