Impressive personal security rating sees Copenhagen top 2021 Safe Cities Index

Ben Hamilton
August 23rd, 2021

This article is more than 2 years old.

Denmark calling: you’re unlikely to be a victim of crime or natural disasters, says insurance-provider (photo: Jorge Franganillo / Flickr)

Copenhagen has crept up the rankings to claim top spot in the 2021 Safe Cities Index, which is compiled by The Economist Intelligence Unit (TEIU) based on an assessment of 60 cities.

Some 76 urban safety parameters are taken into account, ranging across five security pillars – personal, health, infrastructure, digital and, for the first time this year, environmental – with the Danish capital placing in the top five in three of them.

Trailing Copenhagen in the top five were Toronto, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo, while Amsterdam, Wellington, Hong Kong, Melbourne and Stockholm completed the top ten.

Top performer for personal security
While it finished third for both infrastructure and digital (respectively topped by Hong Kong and Sydney), it reigned supreme for personal – echoing the findings of other such surveys that have named Copenhagen as the second safest European city to walk by night after Iceland’s Reykjavik.

Wellington ranked first for environmental and Tokyo for health, and notably there was only one European city in either top five – Milan in fifth for environmental. Likewise, Copenhagen was the only European entry in the top five for digital and infrastructure.

Personal, though, was an all-European affair, with Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Stockholm and Brussels completing the top five.

COVID-19 a factor
For Copenhagen, which scored  82.4 out of 100, topping the rankings is something of a coup, as the previous three indexes have seen the same top three emerge: Tokyo, Singapore and Osaka. It pipped Toronto, another big riser, by 0.2 points.

COVID-19 is thought to have played a big role in Copenhagen’s rise up the rankings. TEIU referred to it as the “first global pandemic to strike humanity since we became a predominantly urban species [which] has changed the whole concept of urban safety”. 

Other notables in the index were New York (11), London (15), LA (18), Paris (23), Beijing (36), Moscow (38) and New Delhi (48).


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