More than 55% of the world's population lives in urban areas; by 2050, that percentage is expected to rise to 68%, says The Economist Intelligence Unit. The speed of urbanization can present many challenges to cities and nations — most paramount being resident safety.

The Economist Intelligence Unit, sponsored by NEC Corporation, recently published its findings for the 2019 Safest Cities Index (SCI), a benchmarking tool that measures a number of safety factors in some of the world's most populated cities, including, health, infrastructure, digital and personal security.

  • Health security: The index measures health security based on how cities perform in regard to environmental policies as well as the quality and accessibility of health care.
  • Infrastructure security: Factors including physical builds, vulnerability to disasters, terrorist attacks and transportation safety are considered under this category.
  • Personal security: Crime rates, natural disasters and man-made threats are all accounted for when measuring cities' personal security level.
  • Digital security: This domain evaluates the level of which citizens can roam digital channels without fear of cyber violations or threats; in addition, it accounts for the level of technology cities have in place to fight cyber threats and teams they have dedicated to cybersecurity.

City safety

Asia-Pacific cities dominate the top slots of the Safest Cities Index; however, the report clarifies that geographical location is not related to safety, but rather these cities lead the pack because of their strengths in maintaining citizens' safety.

The report also highlights how the cities that rank highest in each domain — digital, health, personal and infrastructure safety — all have mastered the basics, such as offering quality healthcare, having community-based police patrolling and more.

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Heather A. Turner

Heather A. Turner is the managing editor of ALM's NU Property & Casualty Group. She can be reached at [email protected].