Hard on the heels of Vienna’s title as the world’s most livable city, Austria was recently ranked as the fifth-safest country in the world by Global Finance Magazine, trailing just behind Iceland, Switzerland, Finland and Portugal.

Austria’s ranking comes as no surprise, since European countries with developed economies and healthcare systems dominate the top of the list. In fact, Qatar, Singapore, New Zealand and Canada are the only non-European countries to rank among the 20 safest in 2019.

The safety score calculated by Global Finance goes beyond the usual metrics of violent crime and weighs three factors – war and peace, personal security, and the risk of natural disaster – by combining the data of the Global Peace Index and the World Economic Forum.

While economic development seems to lower the potential for military conflict and domestic crime, the U.S.’ high rate of homicide pushed the country into 65th place, sandwiched  between Panama and Malawi. The inclusion of natural disasters as a factor also spelled bad news for Japan, which came in 111th despite being one of the most peaceful countries in the world according to the Institute for Economics and Peace.

A combination of natural disaster and crime made the Philippines the least safest country in the world, while lack of reliable data excluded Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan from the ranking.

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