What is the safest country in the world?

The Institute for Economics and Peace has recently released its annual Global Peace Index. This is their tenth report and it ranks 163 countries using 24 different factors including militarisation and political stability. Planning a trip somewhere where security may be a concern? This report can be invaluable.

The top 5 safest countries in the world are:

1. Iceland 
Ever thought about visiting Iceland? It is a remarkable destination that’s well worth visiting. For the sixth time in a row, the “Land of fire and ice” has recently been voted as the safest country in the world. With a very low crime rate, the main issue to worry about are the natural hazards as conditions can be unpredictable and change swiftly.

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Iceland's isolation and low crime rate make it one of the safest countries in the world

2. Denmark 
These Scandinavians say they live in the ‘happiest place on earth’. Get ready to say ‘goddag’ (go-da, hello in Danish) to the friendly locals next Spring (the best time to visit is May-June).

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The world's happiest place is also one of the safest

3. Austria 
Imagine seeing those spectacular Alps in person and then exploring the Austrian wine country. Biking has become a popular way to explore the countryside (you can even do a Sound of Music bike tour).

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As well as being very safe, Austria is famous for its breathtaking scenery

4. New Zealand
Just four million people live in this beautiful country which has lush forests and spectacular coastal and mountain scenery to enjoy. A whopping 20 per cent of NZ is made up of national parks and reserves. There are also two world heritage areas and 14 national parks.

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The only top-5 country outside Europe, New Zealand is renown for its laid-back lifestyle and safety (Image: TNZ)

5. Portugal 
Historic villages, impressive architecture, food and wine galore, spectacular art, beaches and music. What’s not to love?

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Wine, dine and sightsee in this Iberian paradise, also one of the world's safest countries

What is the most peaceful region in the world? Europe!

Voted the Safest Countries Voted the Most Dangerous Countries

1. Iceland
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1. Syria 
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2. Denmark
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2. South Sudan
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3. Austria
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3. Iraq
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4. New Zealand
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4. Afghanistan
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5.Portugal
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5. Somalia
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6. Czech Republic
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6. Yemen
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7. Switzerland
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7. Central African Republic
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8. Canada
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8. Ukraine
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9. Japan
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9. Sudan
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10. Slovenia
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10. Libya
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11. Finland
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11. Pakistan
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12. Ireland
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12. Democratic Republic of the Congo
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13. Bhutan
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13. Russia
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14. Sweden
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14. North Korea
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15. Australia
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15. Nigeria
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16. Germany
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16. Palestine
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17. Norway
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17. Colombia
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18. Belgium
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18. Lebanon
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19. Hungary
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19. Turkey
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20. Singapore
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20. Israel
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 Voted the world’s most dangerous countries
The countries that have deteriorated fastest since last year are Yemen, Ukraine and Libya while those that have improved most are Panama, Thailand and Sri Lanka. Overall, Central America and the Caribbean are becoming more peaceful while the most dramatic decline has been in the Middle East and North Africa.

The index reported “The world is now less peaceful than it was in 2008, with year-on-year levels of peacefulness having declined in five out of the last eight years. Given the increasing levels of terrorism and large population displacement caused by internal conflict, this trend is likely to continue into at least the near future.”

“Terrorism is at an all-time high, battle deaths from conflict are at a 25-year high, and the number of refugees and displaced people are at a level not seen in 60 years.”

Over the past 70 years international tourism has boomed and continues to grow rapidly. The report states “There is a strong consensus that even though the world has become much less violent since the end of the Second World War, the last decade has seen an increase in conflict and violence, although whether this is a temporary reversal or the start of a new longer-term trend remains to be seen.”

See last year's list of safest countries here.

Always visit the Australian Government’s Smart Traveller website before planning a trip or departing on an international holiday as this provides up-to-date information for travelling Australians.

Have you been to Iceland? Is it really as safe as people say? Let us know by commenting below.