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Safety and Security

This North American country tops the list of the safest countries for travelers

A new year means new destinations.

When looking at where to go, travelers will consider the usual factors such as weather, cost and available activities. This year, safety is also top of mind as want to go off the beaten path and take solo trips.

To help, travel insurance provider Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection just released its ninth annual State of Travel Insurance report, which includes the safest countries in the world for travelers.

"The definition of safe destination has evolved,” Carol Mueller, vice president at Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection, told ӣƵ in an email. "In our most recent survey, travelers lean in on countries they believe as safe destinations they can move about freely without discrimination or harassment."

To determine the list, the travel insurance provider surveyed 1,702 people on their own travel experiences in different countries and also pulled data from third-party resources that evaluate safety concerns such as terrorism, weather emergencies, health measures and the safety of underrepresented groups. This included the  and the State Department’s own .

Learn more: Best travel insurance

While these countries are considered to be overall safe for people to visit, the company noted the report doesn't mean every part of the country is safe nor account for the possibility of natural disasters. And as always, don't let your guard down when it comes to petty theft against tourists.

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Read below to see the 15 countries determined to be the safest for all travelers.

1. Canada

Moraine Lake in Alberta, Canada.

The Great White North tops this year's list of safest countries in the world for travelers, thanks to its low violent crime and strict gun laws. Last year, the country, known for its high standard of living and political stability, made sixth on the list.

2. Switzerland

Zermatt Valley and Matterhorn Peak in Switzerland.

Known for its security and low crime rates, Switzerland made second place for the safest nations to visit. The country is known for its high quality of living and beautiful nature, such as Lake Geneva and Lake Zurich.

3. Norway

A 30 second exposure captures the sudden flash of a fireball meteor from the Geminids amid the shimmering glow of the Northern Lights, or aurora borealis, last December in Norway.

Besides having some of the best views of the dancing northern lights, Norway is also one of the safest places when it comes to crime rates, terrorist activity and violent demonstrations. According to the report, Oslo, the capital of Norway, was the country's safest area.

4. Ireland

Carrigaphooca Castle in Ireland.

Those wanting to see Ireland's Cliffs of Moher or sip on some Guinness can rest assured in going through with those travel plans. The country had fewer homicides in 2022 than 16 U.S. cities, according to the report.

5. Netherlands

Tourists on a bike tour wait in front of the Anne Frank House Museum in Amsterdam.

Last year, the Netherlands took the top spot for safest destinations to visit, and this year, it made fifth. Survey respondents repeatedly said they felt safe in the country and its capital Amsterdam. Just beware of the tourist tax increase as the city continues to crack down on reckless partiers.

6. United Kingdom

Big Ben in London.

With a beautiful countryside and cities with low murder and theft rates, the United Kingdom is a safe bet for travelers. Unfortunately, the country is soon going to implement a fee to enter its borders.

7. Portugal

Porto, Portugal's second city, is a great place for solo travelers.

There's a reason digital nomads flock to this sunny coastal country, and it's not just the delicious seafood and wine. Portugal's cities are secure and orderly, and the rural areas are peaceful. In 2022, the country was determined to be one of the best places for solo female travelers too.

8. Denmark

Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, is a great city for solo travelers

Last year, Denmark was the second safest country in the world for travelers, and its low crime rates continue to help it be a safe choice for travelers. The northern European country typically steals the spotlight for its happy residents and its politics.

9. Iceland

Iceland waterfall

Like its Nordic neighbor Denmark, Iceland is often regarded as the world's most gender-equal country and the safest country in the world when it comes to crime. To entice travelers even more, the country is home to otherworldly landscapes featuring glaciers, geysers, hot springs, waterfalls and volcanic terrain.

10. Australia

Sydney, Australia

Rugged wilderness and cosmopolitan cities make Australia a desirable country for travelers, especially female solo travelers since the Land Down Under also has low homicide rates. In 2022, there were 377 recorded homicides, about half of what Chicago experienced, according to the report.

11. New Zealand

Hooker Valley Trail in New Zealand.

Although expensive, New Zealand is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts who want to explore its coastlines, mountains, fjords and more, or for those who are big "Lord of the Rings" fans. With low crime rates, the country is also considered to be quite peaceful and great for female solo travelers.

12. Japan

A traveler wearing a backpack and walking down a small street lined with shops and restaurants in Tokyo.

Along with low crime rates, Japan offers travelers a blend of ancient traditions and cutting-edge modernity. Think robot servers in restaurants amongst ancient shrines. In Japanese culture, politeness and orderliness are also highly valued, making it a safe place for travelers, solo or not. However, the report doesn't consider natural disasters, such as the earthquakes that recently shook the western part of the island nation.

13. France

Tourists and Parisians are photographed in August sitting in the Champ de Mars in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Home to the City of Light, France has stood the test of time as one of the world's most popular destinations. Thankfully, for travelers, the country has relatively safe transportation (well, minus petty theft, which is common on the metro) and safety from disease epidemics, according to the report. However, violent demonstrations mean travelers should be cautious and check local media for updates.

14. Spain

Mercado de San Miguel is undoubtedly the most well-known market in Madrid. Situated right next to Plaza Mayor in the historic center of the city, the market is frequented by tourists.

Another popular European destination, Spain is known for petty theft like pickpocketing. Overall, the Mediterranean country has a low crime rating for how heavily touristed it is, the report said. Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection recommends people especially watch out for passport thefts, so as always, travel cautiously.

15. Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

This year, Brazil made the list of safe countries to visit. The survey respondents who identified as women, people of color and LGBTQ+ especially felt safe in the South American country, known for its beautiful beaches. However, Brazil's borders are notably dangerous for crime activity.

Kathleen Wong is a travel reporter for ӣƵ based in Hawaii. You can reach her at kwong@usatoday.com.

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