What is the Safe Cities Index?

The Safe Cities Index is regularly released and updated by the Economist Intelligence Unit, sponsored by the NEC, to understand the level of security in leading urban cities worldwide. The index is released for governments around the world to implement better measures that ensure safety. Its assessment covers a broad area, including the concepts of urban, personal, infrastructure, health, and digital security. The latest Safe Cities Index 2021 included a new measuring parameter: environmental security.

UPSC aspirants can look at the detailed report online to understand the 76 safety indicators included in the report, some of which are aggregate multiple data points.

Why is it in the News?

The latest edition of World’s Safe Cities Index 2021 was released in September 2021. Mumbai and New Delhi were the only Indian cities to make it to the top 60 and were placed not very high in the safe cities index list, with Delhi ranked 48 and Mumbai being placed at 50.

Global Indices and India’s Rankings represent the country’s performance on indicators that range from social to economic factors along with political indicators as well. To know about Global Indices & India’s Ranking, visit the linked article.

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What is the Safe Cities Index?

The Safe Cities Index is an annual report prepared by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), sponsored by NEC Corporation. The latest safe cities report in 2021 is the fourth edition of the index since its inception. The Safe Cities Index ranks 60 cities across 76 indicators, evaluating them across five parameters—digital, health, infrastructure, personal and environmental security.

The cities are scored on a scale of 0 to 100. The safety score range is rated in the following manner:

0-25 – Low Safety

25.1-50 – Medium Safety

50.1-75 – High Safety

75.1-100 – Very High Safety

A Brief History of the Safe City Index

First Edition, 2015

The Safe Cities Index was first launched in 2015, focusing on 50 countries. Tokyo topped the chart followed closely by Singapore in second place. Japan topped the index performing most strongly in the digital security category.

The Indonesian capital, Jakarta was placed at the bottom of the safe cities index list.

Second Edition, 2017

The second edition of the safe cities index list was published in 2017 in which 60 cities were ranked across 49 indicators including digital security, health security, infrastructure security, and personal security. While Japan topped the safe cities index list twice in a row, Dhaka, Yangon, and Karachi were placed at the bottom this time.

Third Edition, 2019

The third edition of the Safe Cities Index was released in 2019. The report was the third iteration of the index, ranking 60 cities across 57 indicators covering the usual parameters of digital security, health security, infrastructure security, and personal security. Like the first two times, Tokyo had the highest overall score in the index. Other cities in the top ten positions (in the given order) were Singapore, Osaka, Amsterdam, Sydney, Toronto, Washington DC, Seoul, and Copenhagen and Melbourne (tied 8th).

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Smart Cities Mission Smart Cities India Awards
Sponge Cities Mission In India Urban Planning in India
Sustainable Development Goals Gujarat International Finance Tech-City

Safe Cities Index 2021

The Safe Cities Index 2021 is the fourth and the latest report released from The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), sponsored by the NEC Corporation. It covers 60 cities across 76 indicators and five parameters.

The findings from the index were contributed by an eclectic group of researchers and experts. It was created and constructed by Divya Sharma Nag, Shubhangi Pandey, and Pratima Singh, written by Paul Kielstra and edited by Naka Kondo.

In a first, Copenhagen topped the safe cities index 2021 with 82.4 points out of 100, followed by Toronto falling in second place with 82.2 points. The other cities in the leading ten with only a few points between them included Singapore (80.7), Sydney (80.1), Tokyo (80.0), Amsterdam (79.3), Wellington (79.0), Hong Kong (78.6), Melbourne (78.6), and Stockholm (78.0).

The lowest ranking cities in the safe cities index 2021 were Lagos (Nigeria) placed at 56; Cairo (Egypt) at 57, Venezuelan capital Caracas at 58, Karachi (Pakistan) at 59; and Yangon (Myanmar) came in last at position 60.

Aspirants can visit the linked article and get details about the upcoming government exams that comprise current affairs and general awareness as an important topic in the syllabus.

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Frequently Asked Questions on Safe Cities Index


Which city was named as the world’s safest city in the Safe Cities Index 2021?

Copenhagen has been named as the world’s safest city from among 60 global cities in the Safe Cities Index 2021.


Which city was placed at the bottom in the Safe Cities Index 2021?

Yangon, the largest city in Myanmar was placed in the last position in the Safe Cities Index 2021 with 39.5 points.


Which Indian cities made it to the list of Safe Cities Index 2021?

While New Delhi was placed 48th with 56.1 points, Mumbai held the position at 50 with 54.4 points.


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