Egyptians and Rwandans feel safer than Kiwis - poll

New Zealand ranks below Egypt, China and Myanmar for perceived safety in a worldwide poll.
New Zealand ranks below Egypt, China and Myanmar for perceived safety in a worldwide poll. Photo credit: Getty

New Zealanders rank the safety of their own country lower than Egyptians, Indonesians and Chinese in a new global poll. 

The annual Gallup Global Law and Order poll asks respondents whether they feel safe at night and if they've recently been the victim of crime. The results appear to show that people from New Zealand, the UK and the US don't consider their own countries very safe.    

Australia was placed well-below New Zealand on the list in terms of perceived safety, behind Bangladesh, Mauritius, Israel and Rwanda, in the poll of 148,000 adults in 142 countries. 

Singapore took out the top spot, while Venezuelans ranked their country the least safe. New Zealand, on 83, ranked 37th.

Norway was ranked second-safest, ahead of Hong Kong, Finland, Rwanda and Slovenia. Afghanistan was ranked the second-least safe, behind Gabon, South Africa, Brazil and Botswana. 

The poll asked people about their confidence in their local police, how safe they felt walking about at night, cases of theft, and whether they or their family members had been involved in an assault within the past 12 months. 

New Zealand scored 83 out of 100, ahead of Australia with 82, while Uzbekistan scored 91, ahead of Indonesia with 89, and China and Egypt both scored 88. The US ranks above New Zealand with a score of 84, while the UK scored a higher 86. 

Egypt's perceived safety ranking (88 out of 100) improved on its 2016 score of 82. Egypt's score put it alongside Denmark and Slovenia in terms of its perceived safety, despite the country being targeted by Islamist militants who in 2016 killed over 70 people in suicide attacks against churches.  

Citizens in Egypt are said to be placing more trust in police, Gallup's Jon Clifton told BBC, hence the increase in perceived safety. 

More than two-in-three adults worldwide (69 percent) said in 2017 that they have confidence in their local police, the poll found. Just 17 percent of Venezuelans in 2017 said they feel safe walking alone in their area at night - only slightly higher than the 12 percent who said so in 2016.

Among the 10 countries in which residents are least likely to say they feel safe walking alone at night, five are in Latin America.

Last year New Zealand was ranked one of the most generous countries in the world ahead of the US and the UK, in the World Kindness Survey, conducted as part of Charities Aid Foundation's 2017 World Giving Index.

But while New Zealand might be considered generous, the Gallup Global Law and Order poll appears to show New Zealand's perceived safeness slipping on the global stage. 

Top 10 safest countries:

  1. Singapore - 97
  2. Norway - 93
  3. Iceland - 93
  4. Finland - 93
  5. Uzbekistan - 91
  6. Hong Kong - 91
  7. Switzerland - 90
  8. Canada - 90
  9. Indonesia - 89
  10. Denmark - 88