The safest cities in Latin America

This is research from the English magazine The Economist, which evaluates 60 cities worldwide in 57 indicators, grouped into categories.

The safest cities in Latin America
Photo by Agustín Ljósmyndun / Unsplash

The English magazine The Economist revealed its 2019 Safe Cities Index, a study that found Santiago to be the safest city in Latin America but ranks below the world average in almost all the items evaluated. It is an investigation that evaluates 60 cities in 57 indicators, grouped into categories such as digital security, health security, infrastructure security, and personal security.

According to the study, Santiago has the best index in the region, reaching a score of 69.8 (33rd on the list), just below the study's average of 71.2. The Chilean capital is followed by Buenos Aires (69.7 points and 34th place in the ranking), Mexico City (61.6 points; 40th place), and Rio de Janeiro (60.9 points; 41st place). It should be noted that the regional cities considered in the ranking also include Sao Paulo, Lima, Quito, and Bogotá, which ranked 42nd, 45th, 50th, and 51st, respectively.

At the world level, Tokyo leads with a score of 92, Singapore City with 91.5, and Osaka with 90.9. The list is closed by Yangon with 41.9, Caracas with 40.1, and Lagos with 38.1.

Digital Security

To measure digital security, items such as security policies, citizen awareness of digital threats, the level of technology, the risk of local threats, the percentage of the population with Internet access, and how many computers are dedicated to cybersecurity were evaluated.

Santiago ranked 32nd with an index of 64.6, below the world average of 67.2. The Chilean capital was surpassed by Buenos Aires, which had an index of 65. Further behind is Mexico City with 58.4.

Health security

To talk about health, points such as health care policies, the number of beds and doctors per 1,000 people, the quality of health services, mortality rates, air and water quality, life expectancy, and emergency services, among others, were taken into account.

Here Buenos Aires was above the average (68), ranking 32nd with 69.8. Further behind are Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo in 36th place with 64.7. Santiago reached 38th place with 64.4.

Infrastructure security

In infrastructure, transport safety, pedestrian friendliness, disaster management, deaths from natural disasters and traffic accidents, air transport facilities, roads, the energy network, trains, and disaster safety were evaluated, among several other topics.

At this point, Santiago was also surpassed by Buenos Aires, although both cities ranked below the average (72.5). The Argentine capital ranked 35th with 71.2, while the Chilean city ranked 36th with 71. Mexico City ranked third with 61.5.

Personal safety

Finally, in personal security, the level of policy commitment, patrolling, the use of data-based techniques to combat crime, private security measures, arms regulation, the effectiveness of justice, organized crime, the level of corruption, the rate of drug use, gender security and the severity of terrorist attacks were analyzed.

This category is Santiago's greatest strength, ranking 35th with an index of 79.4, above the world average of 77. Further behind were Buenos Aires (42nd with 72.9), Lima (45th with 69.3), and Rio de Janeiro (46th with 68.4).