Safest Countries in Asia
The safest countries in Asia 2022 are rated as safe for their peace, cleanliness, and crime rates. Asia does have a tendency to score lower than places such as Europe and Australia, when it comes to safety and ease of travel. However, many Asian countries are nonetheless extremely enjoyable places to visit. The top three countries frequently ranked as the safest countries to visit in Asia are Singapore, Japan, and Malaysia.
Asia is a continent famed for trade and affluence, but it is also a continent whose countries display a wide range of development and massive gaps between the richest countries in Asia and the poorest countries in Asia. Poverty can be an indicator of an increased risk of crime in some areas, and Asia is home to some of the world's most dangerous countries as well as but the countries in Asia that are considered the safest work hard to create a better lifestyle for their people and help them overcome these social and economic challenges.
Top 10 Safest Countries in Asia (2022 Global Peace Index)
- Singapore — 1.326
- Japan — 1.336
- Malaysia — 1.471
- Bhutan — 1.481
- Qatar — 1.533
- Taiwan — 1.618
- Estonia — 1.662
- Kuwait — 1.739
- Mongolia — 1.775
- South Korea — 1.779
Ranking countries via the Global Peace Index
Released annually by the Institute for Economics and Peace, the Global Peace Index is a multi-faceted metric that tracks peace and safety in 163 independent nations and territories around the world, comprising approximately 99.7% of the world’s total population. The GPI analyzes 23 indicators in the categories of militarization, safety and security, and domestic and international conflict, and combines them into a single Peace Index Score.
A sampling of the safest countries in Asia
Singapore's culture of responsibility
There are several reasons why Singapore's crime rate is not only lowest in Asia, but one of the lowest crime rates in the world. One of the biggest reasons is the culture of Singapore itself: Children are taught from a young age to have self-discipline and to follow and respect the law. Moreover, the police are trusted—people in Singapore report crimes quickly and faithfully, knowing the police will do everything they can to apprehend the perpetrator. Finally, most people earn fair wages and punishments for crimes are quite harsh, two variables that help make crime less appealing overall.
Japan’s low crime rate
Japan has extremely strict and rigid laws when it comes to even the most minor offenses. These penalties are typically credited as being a strong deterrent and helping make Japan one of the safest countries in Asia. Japan has a low murder rate and serious crimes are rare, and not experienced by the average traveler. While suggestions that a visitor to Japan has more to fear from earthquakes and tsunamis than from human criminals isn't entirely accurate, it is also not as outlandish a claim as one might imagine.
Malaysia’s technological revolution
Malaysia is not a country many people travel to for fun or vacation, but it can and should be—it is one of the safest countries in Asia and is home to one of the most digitally connected and tech-friendly societies in the world. As in Japan, many crimes carry harsh penalties—some drug crimes even carry the death penalty—which helps act as a deterrent and keep the rate of violent and non-violent crimes low.
Iraq improves its peace score
The word “safe” is rarely connected to the country of Iraq, but it did improve its year-on-year GPI score by 4.3 percent from 2020 to 2021—the second-highest improvement in the world during that time—and posted an even better score in 2022. The number of terrorism- or conflict-related fatalities has dropped considerably in recent years, from 15,000 in 2014 to fewer than 1,000 annually in 2022.
That said, Iraq still has some way to go to qualify as truly safe—it's only the 44th-safest country in Asia overall and 157th in the world (out of 163 rated by GPI), it remains politically volatile, and it has intense relationships with neighboring countries, making it an unstable destination for tourists. But the country's positive trend is a good start.