Qatar is one of the safest countries in the world, according to a new report that ranked more than 100 nations on factors such as crime rates, life expectancy and national police presence.
According to ValuePenguin, a New York-based global consultancy, Qatar was the world’s sixth safest small country (nations with populations under 5 million people) in 2015.
Qatar also ranked 14th in an overall index of 106 countries, nestled in between Luxembourg and Malta.
That was far ahead of the only other Gulf country on the index, Bahrain, which ranked 53rd.
According to the report, the safety scores each country received were based on seven factors, in order of increasing importance:
- CO2 emissions (in metric tons)
- National police personnel (per 100,000 residents)
- Traffic deaths (per 100,000 residents)
- Thefts (per 100,000 residents)
- Assaults (per 100,000 residents); and
- Life expectancy (in years)
According to the report, Qatar had eight assaults per 100,000 people. Bahrain in contrast had 327 per 100,000.
Switzerland, the safest country, had seven, and the bottom-ranked nation, Swaziland, had 1,308 per 100,000 people.
Rising crime rate
Qatar has long enjoyed a reputation as a safe country. According to government statistics, crime is low relative to many other countries around the world, but the rate has been rising over the years.
In 2001, the crime rate was 320 crimes per 100,000 people, but it jumped to 2,355 crimes per 100,000 people in 2010, the 2011 Sustainable Development Indicators report states.
The increase was attributed to the “arrival of numerous number of people from all over the world, in addition to the development occurred to the techniques followed by criminals, which are extrinsic crimes and deeds, that were not common or known previously by the Qatari society.”
More recently, the US released a crime and safety report this year that noted Qatar’s burglary rate is 25 per 100,000 inhabitants – far below the global average of 100 per 100,000 people.
But the report warned that the rate of break-ins is rising:
“The Embassy’s Regional Security Office has assessed prospects for potential crime increases in Qatar over the next 36 months and believes that low level illegal activity will likely continue to increase over time, both in frequency and level of sophistication.”