How safe do we feel?

The level of perceived criminality in a society is one of the 22 indicators that make up the Global Peace Index. This indicator is a qualitative assessment of how much citizens trust one another and the levels of domestic security.

How we measure perceived criminality

Each country is given a score that reflects very low levels of perceived criminally (score of 1) to very high (score of 5). In countries that perform well (or have a low score) the majority of people trust their fellow citizens, and do not have much domestic insecurity.

In countries that perform poorly (or have a high score) the majority of people do not trust their fellow citizens and are extremely cautious in their dealings with others. There are often a large number of gated communities and a significant number of security guards.

Trends in peace and perceived criminality

Globally, levels of perceived criminality are getting worse, with a 10% deterioration in score since 2008. The 15 countries with the worst levels of perceived criminality (i.e. those countries that all score 5 for this indicator) are Afghanistan, Angola, Central African Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Iraq, Lebanon, Nigeria, El Salvador, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Chad, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe.

How to measure peace

The perception of criminality in a society is just one of the 22 indicators of peace used on the Global Peace Index. Peace is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon, therefore the Institute for Economics and Peace uses both qualitative and quantitative indicators to gauge the state of peace in 162 countries.

Keep exploring

Check out how the world fares according to the perception of criminality by selecting an indicator on using the toggle on the right hand side of the interactive Global Peace Index map. You can then click on Global Rankings (left) to see how 162 countries rank according to that indicator.

Discover more about how we measure the perception of criminality, the methodology of the Global Peace Index and the 2014 Global Peace Index Report

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Contact us

Vision of Humanity is an initiative of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). IEP have offices in New York and Sydney. For more specific inquiries related to the peace indexes and research, please contact IEP directly.

Data request:

Sydney office

PO Box 42, St Leonards,
NSW 1590,
Tel: +61 2 9901 8500

New York office

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New York, New York 10022
Tel: +1 (646) 963-2160

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