The Economist’s Intelligence Unit has released a ranking of the safest major cities in the world. The Safe Cities Index 2015, sponsored by NEC is based on an index composed of more than 40 quantitative and qualitative indicators. These indicators are split across four thematic categories: digital security; health security; infrastructure safety; and personal safety. Every city in the Index is scored across these four categories.
Each category, represented throughout the report by the icons shown in the key, comprises between three and eight sub-indicators. These indicators are divided between inputs, such as policy measures and levels of spending, and outputs, such as the frequency of vehicular accidents.
The world’s most populous city is also the safest in the Index. The Japanese capital Tokyo performs most strongly in the digital security category, three points ahead of Singapore in second place. Meanwhile, Jakarta is at the bottom of the list of 50 cities in the Index. The Indonesian capital only rises out of the bottom five places in the health security category (44).
Four of the five Middle Eastern cities in the Index are considered high-income, but only one makes it into the top half of the Index: at 25 Abu Dhabi is 21 places above Riyadh at number 46.
US cities perform most strongly in the digital security category, while Europe struggles. New York is the only US city to make it into the top ten of the overall index (at 10). However, it is third for digital security, with three of the four other US cities in the Index (Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago) joining it in the top ten. Meanwhile, European cities perform relatively poorly. London, at 16, is the highest-ranking European entry in the digital security index; Rome is the lowest, at 35.
Los Angeles falls from 6th place in digital security to 23rd for personal safety. San Francisco suffers a similar drop, falling from 8th to 21st. For these cities—both home to high-tech industries—a focus on technology and cyber security does not seem to be matched by success in combating physical crime.