I’m often asked this question, and it’s usually attached to a city. For example, is Melbourne a safe city to live in? Or, is Sydney a safe place to live?
My answer is always pretty much the same, Australia generally speaking as a country is regarded as safe. Obviously, like any country, we do have crime here and we have crooks…
Not a very scientific answer is it? In fact without anything to back it up, it’s simply my opinion. Thanks to recently stumbling across a report that was released much earlier this year, I can now give you an answer with a little more substance.
The Safe Cities Index 2015
This is another report from the people at the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) who I have featured many times before, particularly with their ‘Livability’ reports. The last time I mentioned them, I think, was in my post called The World’s Top Five Most Liveable Countries 2014.
This report though looks at safety in 50 different cities around the world. Of those 50 cities, only two are in Australia, that’s Sydney and Melbourne. In the UK they only looked at one city; London, of course. There were five cities featured from the US, I decided to use the largest of them, New York.
So, let’s do a comparison.
Sydney and Melbourne versus London and New York
We are going to look at and compare how these four cities performed in the four categories of this report and then end up with a combined overall index.
We do live in a digital world, and in this category factors such as the frequency of identity theft and the dedicated cyber security teams put in place to prevent them were looked at for each city. Here are the results:
- Of the four cities we are looking at, New York did the best, they were 3rd
- Sydney were 14th
- London in 16th
- Melbourne were 20th
The most digitally secure city in the world? Tokyo.
The least digitally secure? Tehran.
This category looked at factors such as the number of hospital beds available compared with the population and also life expectancy. Here are the results:
- New York, again, did the best, coming 2nd
- Melbourne were 14th
- Sydney were 17th
- London a lowly 22nd
Best city for health security? Zurich
Worst city for health security? Mumbai
Factors such as the quality of roads and deaths from natural disasters were looked at in this category, here are the results:
- Melbourne were in 2nd place
- Sydney were in 3rd
- New York the 16th
- London were an even lower 25th
Best city for infrastructure safety? Zurich takes it again.
Worst is Ho Chi Minh City.
This category looked at the levels of crime and illegal activity, police engagement and the prevalence of violent crime, here are the results:
- Melbourne were in 8th position
- Sydney were in 10th
- London in 12th
- New York a very poor 28th
Best city for personal safety? No prizes for guessing Singapore.
Worst city? Stay away from Santiago.
Now a quick bonus section.
Where is the best place to live?
The report acknowledges that this is very much down to personal choice and what each individual regards as important and less important about a city. They still manage to rank all cities though, by combining six of their reports including that livability survey, a cost of living survey, and reports on business environment, democracy and food security as well is this one on safety.
Here are the results:
- Melbourne came top of our group in 6th place
- Sydney were next, they came 9th
- New York were in 13th place
- London 22nd place again
Toronto, for those who need to know, came top.
The overall index
Finally, the overall index. By combining all reports and throwing in a little bit of life expectancy into the mix, the EIU came up with a final table. Here are the results:
- Sydney topped our band of four, coming 6th
- Melbourne were not far behind, they came 9th
- Hot on their heels was New York in 10th
- London ended up in 18th
Top of this chart was Tokyo.
Down at the very bottom, Jakarta.
I will leave you all to draw your own conclusions, but I think we can all agree on this. My totally unscientific answer stating that Australia is pretty safe isn’t far off the mark.
You can read online or download the full report, and there is so much more in it, by visiting this page: The Safe Cities Index 2015