The security of a country impacts all areas of society: from the well-being of its citizens and tourists to foreign investment, as well as the staging of major events and university student exchanges. Spain can rightly claim to be one of the safest countries in the world and therefore one of the best countries for the development of rights, freedom and economic progress.
If Europe is the safest continent in the world, according to the Global Peace Index 2018 of the Institute for Economics & Peace in which Spain holds a top position according to the latest data from the European Statistics Office (Eurostat). Of the 41 countries studied, Spain is near the bottom of the list in terms of murders, thefts and robberies with very low rates of sexual violence and assault.
In terms of murders, Spain has the eighth lowest rate of the 40 countries analysed by Eurostat, with 0.48 murders per 100,000 inhabitants, far lower than that of neighbouring countries like France (1.31), Germany (0.91) and Italy (0.67). It is also near the bottom of the list in terms of the number of thefts and robberies: 351.1 for every 100,000 people, positioning it as the eleventh safest country in this regard, compared with those countries where the most robberies occur, such as Denmark (3,951), Sweden (3,810), the Netherlands (3,219) and the UK (2,286).
The rate of aggressions (intentional attacks which cause serious injury) is also low in Spain, standing at 37.2 per 100,000 inhabitants. At the same level as countries like Sweden and Norway and far below the UK (799), Belgium (603), Luxembourg (494) and France (363) who lead the ranking.
In regard to sexual violence –any undesired sexual act by one of the parties caused by physical force, threat, intimidation or the use of drugs – the rate in Spain is 18.7 cases per 100,000 people, a figure which is exponentially lower than that of countries such as Sweden (179), Ireland (171) and the UK (149). Spain also has one of the lowest incidents of rape: 2.69 per 100,000 inhabitants, compared with 71 in the UK, 64 in Sweden and 55 in Iceland.
The Spanish feel safe…
The Spanish population not only feels safe, it also has the preception that Spain is safe. According to CIS data from February 2019, only 4.2% of those surveyed see the insecurity of citizens as one of the three main problems of the country and it ranked 14th amongst national concerns.
Furthermore, the percentage of people who say they suffer from problems involving delinquency or vandalism in their area fell from 18.7 in 2004 to 8.7% in 2017 according to data from the last Quality of Life Indicator of the INE.
One of the factores that best defines the feeling of safety is walking alone at night. According to INE data, only 5.3% of the Spanish population feel unsafe when they do so. A figure which is ratified by the Global Law and Order Report 2018 from the opinion poll company Gallup which ranks Spain as the second safest country in the world to walk alone at night. 85% of those surveyed said they felt safe when doing so, only behind Norway (86%) and ahead of Germany (80%), the UK (79%), Ireland (75%) and the USA (72%).
…and so do foreigners
The perception that Spain is a safe country is not only felt by its citizens, but also by those who visit it. Security is one of the categories in which Spain is rated the highest by foreigners, behind its fame as a tourist destination that is highly valued for its food, its citizens and its sports people, according to the Barometer of the Image of Spain 2018 from the Elcano Royal Institute. A key reason why Spain has beaten its record number of tourists for the sixth year running, with 82.8 million visitors, maintaining its position as the third ranked tourist power worldwide – only behind the USA and France – and second in terms of income.
It is no coincidence that Spain has been ranked first amongst 80 countries as the best destination to travel to alone, according to a ranking published in 2018 by the US portal US News, surpassing Italy and New Zealand. In addition to the climate and its vast cultural and entertainment offer, the index focuses on the security factor.
And let’s not forget, how important security is for business investment. In this regard Spain is the ninth best country for investing or doing business in 2018 according to the CEO World Magazine, ahead of world powers such as the UK, France and the USA.
Security is not only a factor that provides stability and well-being to a country’s citizens it is, also an assurance for the development of rights and freedom for its citizens and a major element of economic and social stability.
- Global Peace Index 2018 of the Institute for Economics & Peace.
- The latest data from the European Statistics Office (Eurostat)
- The last Quality of Life Indicator of the INE.
- Ranking published in 2018 by the US portal US News.