Qatar has been ranked the second safest country in the world by a new international index that assessed 70 nations on factors such as crime levels, unemployment and being at risk for global attacks.
According to the Golden Visa 2015 World Safety Index, Qatar came first in three of 10 major categories that contribute to internal safety: It has low levels of unemployment, is at limited risk for terrorism attacks and is unlikely to suffer from natural disasters.
However, it fared less well when it comes to pollution, ranking 66th out of 70 nations measured. And it ranked 46th in terms of cost of living, thanks to the rising inflation rate.
The rankings were compiled using data from the United Nations, World Health Organization, Vision for Humanity, the International Labor Organization and UN University.
Each country was assessed according to its life expectancy rate, crime index, pollution index, global peace index, global terrorism index, suicide rate per 100,000 people, rate of unemployment, disaster risk, cost of living as based on the Consumer Price Index and the quality of its healthcare.
An average score and ranking was for each category in each of the countries examined. All categories were given the same weighting and averaged out to give the final score and rank, the report said.
A breakdown of the individual scores and final ranking has only been revealed for the top 24 countries in this year’s study.
Who did well
Singapore, with an average score of 19.8, was named the world’s safest country, because it has low crime levels and is not at a high risk for terrorist attacks, the report said.
The country also scored well under the unemployment and life expectancy categories, but performed poorly when it came to its high cost of living and the quality of its health care.
The rest of the top five nations were dominated by European countries, with Switzerland in third place, Denmark fourth and Germany coming in fifth.
The UAE is the only other nation in the MENA region to make it into the top 20, coming in some way behind Qatar in 16th place.
The Emirates scored well in terms of not being at risk for disasters and came in fifth overall for its crime rate, but its final ranking was pulled down by the quality of its healthcare (58th) and for its global peace index ranking (40th).
Australia just made the cut of the top 24 states, helped by its low pollution levels (ranked sixth) and high life expectancy (seventh place). However it ranked 66th out of 70 nations in terms of cost of living.
Qatar has long had a reputation for being a relatively safe place, due to perceptions of low levels of crime and a strong degree of public order.
It was named the sixth safest small country (population under 5 million) in a global study by a US-based organization last year.
In a separate assessment of the safety of international cities published earlier last year by the Economist Intelligence Unit, Doha came in 29th out of 50 world cities.
Residents felt the city was safer than it actually is, the report said, as Qatar scored ninth out of 50 cities for public perception.
Meanwhile, figures published last month by the Ministry of Interior (MOI) indicate that despite the rapidly growing population, the number of crimes recorded by officers across the country have fallen dramatically in recent years.
The MOI said that during 2015, the crime rate fell by 3.5 percent, although it did not publish the actual number of reported cases.
While there was a reported 49 percent decrease in the number of violent crimes (including murder, rape, aggravated assault, kidnapping, robbery and arson), again no numbers of reported cases were given.
While some of the trend could be attributed to the increased CCTV coverage which may be stopping crimes from being committed, the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) has also said that the statistical decline could be due to under-reporting or investigation of crimes by authorities.
Do you think Qatar is safe? Thoughts?