These Are the World’s 25 Safest Cities

A photo of Tokyo's skyline.
A photo of Tokyo's skyline.
Torsakarin/iStock via Getty Images

When looking for a new place to visit or live abroad, there are many factors to consider. Nightlife, culture, and popularity are all important, but so are more practical matters—like safety. As AFAR reports, The Economist Intelligence Unit published its annual list [PDF] of the safest cities in the world after judging 60 cities across 57 metrics. Places from around the globe, including the U.S., make the cut, but Tokyo claims the top slot.

Japan's capital city earned a 92 on the EIU's 100-point scale. According to the study, it excels in areas like digital security, health security, infrastructure security, and personal security, ranking within the top five places in all four categories. Tokyo also topped the Safest Cities Index released by the EIU in 2017 and 2018.

Based on the list, East Asia is home to many of the safest places on Earth. Singapore comes in second place, followed by Osaka in Japan. Seoul, South Korea, also shows up, tied with Copenhagen, Denmark, for the eighth spot. A few additional European cities appear in the top 25, including Amsterdam in the Netherlands and Stockholm, Sweden, as well as some American locations, like Washington, D.C., Chicago, and San Francisco.

Before planning your next international trip, or move, check out the full list of the 25 safest cities in the world. And to see if you can afford to travel there, read up on which of the world's cities are most expensive.

  1. Tokyo, Japan

  1. Singapore

  1. Osaka, Japan

  1. Amsterdam, the Netherlands

  1. Sydney, Australia

  1. Toronto, Canada

  1. Washington, D.C.

  1. Copenhagen, Denmark

  1. Seoul, South Korea

  1. Melbourne, Australia

  1. Chicago, Illinois

  1. Stockholm, Sweden

  1. San Francisco, California

  1. London, England

  1. New York, New York

  1. Frankfurt, Germany

  1. Los Angeles, California

  1. Wellington, New Zealand

  1. Zurich, Switzerland

  1. Hong Kong

  1. Dallas, Texas

  1. Taipei, Taiwan

  1. Paris, France

  1. Brussels, Belgium

  1. Madrid, Spain

[h/t AFAR]

Welcome to Cool, California. Population: 2520

Alan Levine, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Alan Levine, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

It’s not hard to find U.S. towns with some pretty weird (and sometimes depressing) names, so we shouldn't be surprised that people have the option of settling in the tiny town of Cool, California.

Initially named Cave Valley, due to the limestone formations nearby, the town popped up around 1849 during the California Gold Rush. The population eventually grew to 4100 people.

It's unclear when the town went from Cave Valley to being Cool. One legend suggests that a beatnik named Todd Hausman bequeathed the name after passing through in the 1950s, but the veracity of that story is doubtful since the Cool Post Office was founded as early as 1885. According to Condé Nast Traveler, records show that a reverend named Peter Y. Cool came out to pan gold and settled in the town in 1850, possibly serving as the source of the change.

Whatever the origin of its name, the town of Cool has ample branding opportunities. There’s the Cool Grocery Store and the Cool Beerwerks brewery and restaurant, which specializes in Hawaiian-Japanese fusion cuisine. Cool has held the Way Too Cool 50K Endurance Run every year since 1990.

[h/t Condé Nast Traveler]

A Picturesque Region of Southern Italy Wants to Pay People $770 a Month to Move There

Freeartist/iStock via Getty Images
Freeartist/iStock via Getty Images

If you’ve been toying with the idea of moving to southern Europe and opening a quaint inn ever since you first saw Mamma Mia! in 2008, it’s time to dust off your overalls and get packing. Molise, Italy, will pay you about $770 each month for three years if you promise to establish a business in one of its underpopulated villages.

The campaign aims to bolster Italy’s population numbers and provide areas with the culture, commerce, and infrastructure needed to keep those numbers up. “If we had offered funding, it would have been yet another charity gesture,” Molise president Donato Toma told The Guardian. “We wanted people to invest here … It’s a way to breathe life into our towns while also increasing the population.”

The government will, however, supplement the newcomer program with actual funding—about $11,000—for participating villages, which must have fewer than 2000 residents. And, if an ABBA-inspired inn isn’t the name of your game, Toma also suggested a bakery, a stationery shop, or a restaurant.

Molise, a mountainous region southeast of Rome, boasts spectacular cliffside views, sweeping olive groves, and bucolic tranquility. Why, then, aren’t people clamoring to move there for free? Partially because Italy is currently enduring a nationwide population crisis that has hit Molise especially hard.

According to the Italian National Institute of Statistics, the region has lost 9000 residents since 2014, and 2800 of those were from last year alone. The Guardian explains that young people are seeking job opportunities elsewhere in Europe, and those who stay aren’t starting families. Last year, for example, nine of Molise’s towns had no new births to report. Overall, Italy’s population of resident citizens fell by 677,000 between 2014 and 2018, and it’s second only to Japan on the list of countries with the largest proportion of senior citizens.

Enticing prospective residents with small salaries is only one method of combating the plummeting population numbers. The mayor of Sutera, in Sicily, has offered his empty estates to Libyan asylum seekers, while Sambuca, also in Sicily, is selling abandoned houses for about a dollar.

[h/t The Guardian]

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