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The U.S. doesn't even break the top 10.

Bailey Bennett
October 12, 2017

Looking for a sense of security? You may want to head to Tokyo.

According to the Safe Cities Index 2017, a report produced by The Economist Intelligence Unit, the safest city in the world this year is Tokyo, followed closely by Singapore and Osaka.

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The report analyzed 60 major cities across the globe, utilizing four major criteria to determine which are the safest and least safe: digital security, health security, infrastructure security, and personal security.

Tokyo, which also took the top spot in the 2015 report, received an overall score of 89.8, coming in first for digital security, second for health security, and fourth for personal security. The city ranked 12th for infrastructure security.

Singapore received a score of 89.64, and Osaka a 88.87. Toronto, Melbourne, Amsterdam, Sydney, Stockholm, Hong Kong, and Zurich rounded out the top 10.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Karachi, Pakistan, came in as the least safe city, with an overall score of 38.77. Karachi ranked last for health security and personal security, and had the highest frequency and severity of terrorist attacks. Yangon, Myanmar came in second to last place overall, with a score of 46.47. Dhaka, Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City, Manila, Caracas, Quito, Tehran, Cairo, and Johannesburg were also at the bottom of the list.

The report points out that while the U.S. performs well in digital security, the country's infrastructure negatively affected its rankings this year. No U.S. city was included in the top 10; San Francisco, at 15, was the only one in the top 20.

The report highlights a “sharp divide in overall levels of safety between the fast urbanising developing world and the stagnant developed world.” With the exceptions of Madrid and Seoul, security is falling rather than rising in most cities, with places like New York City falling 11 spots to 21st, and Lima dropping 13 places to 44th.

However, the report does note that security isn’t completely in decline: “At least in the developed world, more cities are devoting resources to digital security.” Still, the report finds, there are significant gaps in safety.

“In many instances, it’s a matter of resources—financial, human and political,” the report states. “Yet in others, it’s a question of understanding. The latter is easier to bridge and cities can start with identifying the problems and understanding how they’ve been solved elsewhere.”

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