6 Reasons Why Copenhagen Is The Safest City In The World

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, Copenhagen is the safest city in the world. Here are six reasons why!

This year, the capital of Denmark, Copenhagen, has been deemed as the newest safest city in the world. To establish this conclusion, the Economist Intelligence Unit cross referenced 60 cities with 76 indicators, covering five main areas ranging from health security to environmental initiatives. COVID-19 has certainly changed our perception of the word “safe,” hence it is the first time that Tokyo has been toppled by a European city since 2017. So, what are the reasons that led the Danish Capital to score 82.4 out of 100?

“Everyone should feel safe in Copenhagen, whether child or senior, male or female, LGBTI+ or part of any other minority. That is why we work continuously to improve safety for our citizens” states the Mayor of Copenhagen – Lard Weiss.

1. Low crime rate/Personal security

Photo by Nick Karvounis on Unsplash

One of the main reasons that Copenhagen scored such a high standing is due to low crime rate by focusing on early intervention using precautionary initiatives. Low crime rate in a city starts with a “first class police force that is technically well-trained and equipped…not corrupt” declares Gerald Singham – Chairman of Singapore’s National Crime Prevention Council. According to the EIU, the correlation between corruption, income level and personal security is very high. Male, female, old, young, minority or not; Denmark is a very liberal country, and it is safe to wander in the streets. Although, do not forget to use your common sense no matter where you are!

2. Narrow wealth gap

A narrow wealth gap is also one of the main reasons why Copenhagen toppled Tokyo. “It is a mixed city where both the cleaning assistant and the CEO meet each other at the local supermarket and have their kids in the same school,” says the mayor lord of Copenhagen, Lars Weiss. The narrow disparity between wealthy and non-wealthy citizens, is an indication of trust among the Danish population. For example, it is ordinary to see members of the Royal Family dropping off their children at the public daycare center on a bike. This narrow wealth gap is the result of many initiatives, including: a flexible labor market, free education and a model known as “Flexicurity.” This model enables companies to lay off workers quickly and easily during downturns, and in exchange these workers receive guidance for future jobs. According to a Gallup Poll published in 2014, 38% of Danes are happy with the actual welfare system and 50% partly agree.

3. Sustainable initiatives

Biking in the city is very popular
Biking in the city is very popular. Photo by Febiyan on Unsplash

Mayor Weiss declared that Copenhagen aims to become “the world’s first carbon-neutral capital city by 2025.” The Danish Capital is putting in place several environmentally-friendly initiatives, including: green mobility, green energy, reducing emissions and energy…etc. There is more work to be done, however, in order to become a fully sustainable city, like: improving the safety of infrastructures for cyclists. New parks and urban spaces have been created, and the once polluted harbor has now become a trendy swimming area.

4. Digital security

For the last 4 years, Tokyo, Singapore and Osaka have always dominated this indicator, but COVID-19 has completely changed the concept of digital security. Naka Kondo, Senior Editor of The Economist Intelligence Unit states “Digital security is now an even higher priority as more work and commerce have moved online.” 59 out of the 60 cities evaluated are on track on becoming a smart city, including the Danish Capital. Copenhagen has scored very high in this category as the city has one of the best smart city projects in the world: “Connecting Copenhagen,” which aims to create a greener city with a higher quality of life for its citizens. The metropolis has started to implement certain initiatives, such as: investing 13 million euros in intelligent traffic management.

5. Health Security

This is one of the most important indicators as we are still at the heart of the pandemic. COVID-19 has made cities rethink their healthcare system completely. The health security marker assesses if the city is providing effective care for ethnic minority groups and if effective natural disasters emergency plans are put into place. Healthcare in Denmark runs more effective than in most European countries due to several factors, including: shorter length of stay in a hospital, healthcare financed by grants and taxes, accessibility, first-rate infrastructures…etc. Furthermore, Denmark spends more money on its healthcare system (10.3) than the European average (9.9,) according to Health Statistics Eurostat Database 2015. Key reforms were put into effect: improving care coordination, rehabilitation, and preventive services. Based on the findings performed by the Danish Research Center for Migration, immigrants constitute 10% of the Danish population in 2019, and they are eligible to receive free healthcare.

6. Environmental Security

parks in copenhagen
Parks in Copenhagen. Image by David Mark from Pixabay

Environmental security encompasses responding and protecting the environment from external factors. Being a small country, Denmark is very dependent on its surroundings, especially environmentally, because their ability to change the environment by themselves is very limited. In 2019, Denmark set a very high ambition: becoming independent of coal, oil, and gas by 2050; thus focusing on renewable energy. Denmark is certainly leading by example in the war against climate change, thanks to experts, new technologies and preventive approaches. Even though the country is on its way of becoming fully sustainable, there is still work to do, especially involving air pollution.

For more information on the top-ranking cities in 2021, click here.

Eve McGuardian


Eve was born and raised in NYC and later on, moved to Paris. She grew up in an international home and is fluent in both French and English. Every chance she gets, she travels; either to discover a new culture or as a volunteer in an organization. The most memorable cities she has been to are: Ischia, a little island off the coast of Naples for the people, Istanbul for the culture, and Paris for the architecture.

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