It is no secret that South Africa is not one of the safest countries in the world, and a new study has placed us in the bottom 5 of countries where residents feel least secure.

Gallup, an American research company, released its latest Global Law and Order Index which takes into consideration people’s confidence in their local police and incidents of theft, assault or mugging in the past year.

More than 148 ooo adults were interviewed across 142 countries in 2017 as part of the study. The higher the index score, the higher the proportion of the population that reports feeling safe and secure in a particular country.

The average global index score for feelings of safety and security is 81 out of 100. South Africa has scored a low 58 out of 100 on the index, making it one of the countries where its residents feel the least safe.

Eighty-six countries, which include Venezuela and Afghanistan, posted scores lower than the average.

The countries which have scored the best and worst on the index have remained unchanged since 2016, with Singapore scoring the highest (97 out of 100) and Venezuela scoring the lowest (44 out of 100). Although Venezuela has earned the “least secure” title, it also shares this designation with war-torn Afghanistan.

Afghanistan has hit its lowest score on record – the country now has an index score of 45 out of 100.

Globally, 69% of people have confidence in their local police, and feel safe walking alone at night where they live.

An average of 13% of global citizens have had their property stolen, or know someone who has experienced this in the past year. About 5% say they have been mugged or assaulted.

Among the top 10 countries in which residents are least likely to say that they feel safe walking home at night, five are in Latin America. Another four of the top ten is found in Sub-Saharan Africa, and includes South Africa with 31% and Botswana with 31%.

In most economically developed countries with a strong rule of law, high majorities of residents feel safe walking alone in their areas at night.

This response is nearly universal in Singapore with 94%, and tops 80% in many Western European countries.

The United States of America is considerably further down on the list, with 72%.

Graphics: Gallup

Picture: Pixabay


Article written by

Lucinda Dordley

Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.