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Monday, 26 January 2015

Tokyo tops index of world’s safest cities


  • Asian cities rank top and bottom of safe cities index
  • New definition of urban safety includes online environment
  • New York makes it into top 10, ahead of London, Paris, Madrid and Rome
  • Wealth is no guarantee of safety

Tokyo is ranked the safest world city in a new index from The Economist Intelligence Unit, just ahead of Singapore and Osaka.

The Safe Cities Index 2015, sponsored by NEC, ranks 50 cities worldwide across five continents (see full list below). Ho Chi Minh City, Tehran and Jakarta occupy the bottom three positions in the Index.

The Index introduces a new definition of urban safety. Every city’s ranking is based on an average score across four categories: digital security, health security, infrastructure safety and personal safety. Tokyo’s highest score is for digital security. Its lowest score is for health security, although it still ranks in the top 10.

James Chambers, editor of the report, said, “It is time to update our traditional understanding of a safe city. The risks today continue to multiply as everything is becoming connected and the online and offline environments converge. This tool is meant to assist city leaders to make an honest and comprehensive assessment of this complex urban environment.”

New York is the only US city to make it into the overall top 10. Nonetheless, the five US cities in the Index tend to perform better than Europe’s major capitals, such as London, Madrid, Paris and Rome, owing to comparatively high scores for digital security.

Cities in developed countries dominate the top half of the Index, while developing world cities tend to fill the bottom 25 positions; although there are notable exceptions. Abu Dhabi is the only wealthy Middle Eastern city to make it into the top half. Meanwhile, Rome and Milan, Italy’s capital and commercial capital respectively, are the only two European or North American cities to feature in the bottom half of the Index. 


Visit the Safe Cities Hub on to view the Index and download the white paper.


Other highlights include:

  • An interview with the governor of Tokyo (video, Japanese with English subtitles)
  • A Q&A with the CEO of the Tokyo Olympic Organising Committee
  • Access to the interactive data workbook to generate personalised city comparisons


For more information, please contact:

UK: Mathew Hanratty, corporate communications manager

+44 (0)20 7576 8546

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Hong Kong: James Chambers, senior editor

+852 2585 3886

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Japan: Christopher Clague, senior analyst

+81 (3) 5223 2662

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Notes to editors

About the Safe Cities Index 2015

The Safe Cities Index 2015 measures the relative level of safety of a diverse mix of the world’s leading cities (see list below) using four main categories of safety: digital security, health security, infrastructure safety and personal safety. Every city in the Index is scored across these four categories.

Each category comprises between three and eight sub-indicators, which are divided between security inputs, such as policy measures and level of spending, and outputs, such as the frequency of vehicular accidents. A full explanation of the methodology is contained in Appendix 4 of the white paper.

The Index focuses on 50 cities selected by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), based on factors such as regional representation and availability of data. Therefore, it should not be considered a comprehensive list of the world’s safest cities (ie, a city coming number 50 in the list does not make it the most perilous place to live in the world). 

The 50 cities covered in the Index are (listed by region):

Americas: Buenos Aires, Chicago, Los Angeles, Lima, Mexico City, Montreal, New York, Rio de Janeiro, San Francisco, Santiago, Sao Paulo, Toronto, Washington, D.C.


Europe, Middle East & Africa: Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Brussels, Doha, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Johannesburg, Kuwait City, London, Madrid, Milan, Moscow, Paris, Riyadh, Rome, Stockholm, Tehran, Zurich.


Asia-Pacific: Bangkok, Beijing, Delhi, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Melbourne, Mumbai, Osaka, Seoul, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei, Tianjin, Tokyo.


About The Economist Intelligence Unit

The Economist Intelligence Unit is the world leader in global business intelligence. It is the business-to-business arm of The Economist Group, which publishes The Economist newspaper. The Economist Intelligence Unit helps executives make better decisions by providing timely, reliable and impartial analysis on worldwide market trends and business strategies. More information can be found at or


About NEC

NEC Corporation is a leader in the integration of IT and network technologies that benefit businesses and people around the world. By providing a combination of products and solutions that cross utilize the company’s experience and global resources, NEC’s advanced technologies meet the complex and ever-changing needs of its customers. NEC brings more than 100 years of expertise in technological innovation to empower people, businesses and society.  For more information, visit NEC at